John Austen

Medals awarded

  • Crimea Medal 1854-6
    Clasp: Alma
    Clasp: Inkerman
    Clasp: Sebastopol
  • Turkish Crimea Medal
  • Distinguished Conduct Medal

One of only seventeen soldiers from the regiment awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), Austen was present at the three major battles during the Crimean War in which the regiment fought. Along with the medal he was awarded a gratuity of £10 (about £1100 today).

The DCM was awarded to Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and men of the British Army for “distinguished, gallant and good conduct in the field”. For all ranks below commissioned officer, it was the second highest award for gallantry in action after the Victoria Cross.

He was mentioned in a letter written about the Crimean campaign in which it said…: “He [Lieutenant Ames Goren] and Mick and Sergeant Austen used to build a little house at night and they used to stop in it all the day chatting and you know the sort of a chatty old fellow John Austen is, and they sent for Murnane to have some old chat with him.”

Austen continued to serve with the Regiment. In 1857 and 1864 he took the leading roles in the performances put on by the Amateur Dramatics Company, including Jem Bargs in the ‘laughable farce’ Wandering Minstrel.