Having first joined the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, in 1944 Lieutenant Austin transferred to the 12th (Green Howards) Parachute Battalion.
During the Normandy Airborne landings on D-Day, the 12th Battalion was tasked with capturing the village of Ranville (Calvados), with troops landing by glider and parachuting into the area. Lieutenant Austin was reported missing soon after the drop, along with three other officers and a hundred of other ranks. He was aged just 20.
His obituary in The Shirburnian reported that “He was dropped ‘on the bridge’ on D-Day and has not been seen or heard of since. There can be no real hope of his survival. During his short life he showed a courage and an outlook on life which will be an abiding example to his friends.”
A.T.W. Austin is commemorated at the Bayeux Memorial in Normandy, and also at Sherborne School on the War Memorial Staircase, in the Book of Remembrance, and on the Lyon House War Memorial.
Although the School’s Book of Remembrance gives Lieutenant Austin’s date of death as 5 June 1944, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has confirmed that he died on 6 June 1944.
Further information about A.T.W. Austin can be found in Sherborne School’s Book of Remembrance.
Find out more about Sherborne School and the Second World War.
Posted 4 June 2019 by Sherborne School Archives.
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