Austin Barrow Mawdsley, always known to his family as ‘Budge, was born in Birkdale, now in Southport, but formerly part of the County of Lancashire, on 17 August 1894.
He was a devout Roman Catholic, the faith having persisted much longer, despite the Reformation, in that part of the country than it had elsewhere. When war broke out, he and his parents and younger brothers and sisters were living in the Gables, Liverpool Road, Crosby.
On leaving school, he entered the oil trade as an apprentice, and was working in that field when he enlisted at St. George`s Hall, Lime Street, Liverpool, on 31, August 1914. He informed the enlisting officer, Captain H.W. Wilson, that he was unmarried, with no previous military experience, and was registered as Private 16731 of the King’s Liverpool Regiment and entered the 18th Service Battalion, Company B.
Basic training followed at Hooton Park racecourse.
On 14 October, he married his first wife, Dolores Mercedes Fisher, at the Catholic Church of Saint Mary and the Angels in Hooton.
By 30 November, 1914, he had been diagnosed with rheumatic fever. The medical notes reported that he experienced an attack of this some years previously. He was sent home for the next 13 weeks, spending some time at the military First Western General Hospital in Fazakerley during which time he was officially made part of the depot company.
He would later ascribe his poor health and the short duration of his military career to being shorter than the rest of the men, saying that while they were up to their waists in mud during training, he was up to his chest.
Unfortunately, the condition persisted. Despite further training at the camp at Knowsley, where conditions were similarly unhealthy, he was eventually discharged as being unfit for military service on 04 June, 1915, having served a total of 278 days. This was before the battalion was sent overseas.
Austin Mawdsley thus never served overseas, and was spared the horrors that awaited those who enlisted with him. In later years, he owned his own business and became very wealthy, with two houses literally a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace. Sadly, however, these were subsequently lost.
His first wife died very young, and he subsequently married Kathleen Grace Hiles with whom he had two daughters.
He died in 1961, of emphysema, from he had suffered for several years, even spending a year in Tenerife in 1960 on medical advice.
Austin Mawdsley is buried in Rottingdean in East Sussex, with his second wife and older daughter. His siblings remained at the Gables in Crosby after his death.
Biography from Carl Rossini Grandson of Austin Mawdsley