MME // OAI → Australian War Memorial → Guide to the papers of Brigadier Maurice 'Bunny' Austin. Collection Number: PR86/062JSON
Guide to the papers of Brigadier Maurice 'Bunny' Austin. Collection Number: PR86/062
This collection, which consists of 56 boxes, reflects Austin's lifelong interest in 19th Century Australian military history. Included are Austin's files of newsclippings, files of research notes and associated indexes, photocopies and printouts gathered during various research projects. These projects included work as the Army Historian, from which came the Army in Australia project, work as consultant to the Heritage Commission and as editor of the Journal of the Royal United Services Institute of Australia. Also included are the indexes to the New South Wales Corps which were a work-in-progress at the time of his death. The papers described in this guide were donated to the Memorial in 1986.
Series 1, Indexes to New South Wales Corps members. Description: These indexes were created during Austin's research of his life long interest, the New South Wales Corps, which involved note taking and creation of indexes from a wealth of sources.; Series 2, Index to Garrison Orders. Description 8 x 10 inch white cards which record the order number, date and a summary of the order. Date range 1841 to 1855.; Series 3, Index to ships. Description: Card index compiled by Austin using Charles Bateson's The Convict Ship. Entries record the ship's name, date departed and landed, number of officers and other ranks carried. Cards are arranged in alphabetical order by name of ship.; Series 4, Index to shipping arrivals and departures. Description: These cards record transcriptions taken from JS Cumpston's Shipping arrivals and departures 1788 to 1825 and provide dates of voyage and ports of call. The cards are arranged in alphabetical order by ship's name. Date range 1788 to 1800.; Series 5, Index to regiments. Description: 8 x 10 inch white cards which show Australian Joint Copying Project references plus location, date and place of incident or movement affecting each regiment. There are also two cards giving dates of service of the regiments. Date range 1783 - 1823.; Series 6, General research index. Description: 8 x 10 inch white cards show reference to oft used sources, abbreviations for holding institutions, also cards listing relevant theses and authors and an index to Australian Joint Copying Project microfilm reels.; Series 7, Index to government publications. Description: Card index to Queensland Colonial Government Gazettes, Votes and Proceedings, Queensland Parliamentary Debates. Subjects covered include raising of units, fortifications, defence acts, supply of the garrison and the visit of imperial troops. Date range 1859 to 1901.; Series 8, General chronological index. Description: 8 x 10 inch white cards consisting of indexed entries taken from a variety of sources. Each card relates to events on a particular date. Records indexed include the Sydney Morning Herald, despatches, House of Commons papers, archival sources held by the Archives Office of New South Wales and records microfilmed by the Australian Joint Copying Project. Subjects indexed include staffing, general administration, policy, land acquisition, military and military police matters, the Eureka Stockade and the effects of the gold rush. Cards are arranged chronologically by date of event/citation. Date range 1852 to 1862.; Series 9, Register/index to despatches Historical Records of New South Wales. Description: 8 x 10 inch white cards consist mostly of handwritten extracts taken by Austin from the Historical Records of New South Wales series (some cards have photocopies of the entry). Each card records the date, sender and addressee and the text of the despatch (to the United Kingdom) and gives the volume and page number. The selected despatches relate to regimental/garrison matters and affairs of the colony etc staffing, establishments, Governor's powers, rations etc. Note some cards include extracts from Historical Records of Australia Series 1 and Australian Joint Copying Project sources. Cards are arranged chronologically by date of the despatch. Date range 1785 - 1810.; Series 10, Register/index to despatches from Historical Records of Australia Series 1. Description: 8 x 10 inch white cards consist mostly of handwritten extracts taken by Austin from Historical Records of Australia Series 1. Subjects covered include policy and administration of the colonies, acts, exploration, inquiries regarding individuals, mutinies, returns, disbanding of companies, the defence of Sydney and Melbourne, matters relating to the garrison and regiments. Each entry includes the volume and page number, date of the despatch and the sender and addressee. Also interpersed chronologically are miscellaneous extracts from the Sydney Gazette and the Australian Joint Copying Project microfilms. Cards are arranged chronologically by date of despatch. Date range (1815) 1823 - 1849.; Series 11, Sydney Morning Herald / Sydney Herald index 15. Description: 8 x 10 inch white cards consisting of handwritten index to entries in the Sydney Morning Herald and Sydney Herald extracted by Austin for his research. Areas covered include military personnel, regimental movements and postings of officers, shipping arrivals and departures including numbers of officers and other ranks and deserters, appointment of magistrates, promotions and executions, robberies and military funerals, reports of bad behaviour in a particular regiment and rumours of war. Each entry records the newspaper, the date, the page and column plus the extract of the report. Cards are arranged chronologically by date of the newspaper. Date range 1839 - 1850.; Series 12, Miscellaneous chronological indexes. Description This is an artificial series of indexes which are all arranged chronologically.; Series 13, Miscellaneous indexes relating to biographical and regimental matters. Description: This is an artificial series of indexes which relate largely to biographical and regimental matters.; Series 14, Miscellaneous indexes. Description This artificial series consists of several sub indexes.; Series 15, Biographical index. Description: A variety of sources were used (including Australian Dictionary of Biography) to compile information on the selected individuals. Each entry of 1-4 lines gives dates and commissions and appointments held. Cards are arranged alphabetically by surname range (A-Y). Date range by 1960's to 1980's.; Series 16, Bibliographic cards. Description: These cards which are arranged alphabetically by author relate to the British and Colonial forces and Australian Colonial history (especially the convict period). Entries include NLA and Department of Defence Library call numbers for most used sources, book catalogues and newsclippings of book reviews and miscellaneous notes. Date range by 1960's to 1980's.; Series 17, Research material relating to the New South Wales Corps and the British Army in Australia and colonial forces, includes preparation for Australian Dictionary of Biography articles. Description: This is an artificial series or grouping of files which relate to this broad research area. Austin's research methodology meant these subject areas were intertwined. Date range by 1960's to 1980's.; Series 18, Drafts and material for The Army in Australia 1840-1850. Description This series consists of typescripts and drafts of material for the publication of The Army in Australia 1840-1850. Also includes correspondence relating to Austin's work as Army Historian and the Army Office decision to not to continue the project beyond 1850.; Series 19, General research files. Description Old general files originally housed in two and four ring binders with Dymo tape markers indicating the contents. There appear to be two original numbering systems one for newsclippings, the other for extracts and typescripts of journal articles. Most files included a typed list of contents. Date range by 1960's to 1980's.; Series 20, Requests for information and material accumulated during research. Description: This series consists of requests for assistance and information and material accumulated throughout Austin's research which includes the period as Army Historian. Includes research material on military law, theses, manuscripts and articles submitted for comment and advice, also invitations to lecture and write articles. Date range by 1960's to 1980's.; Series 21, Research material for lectures and articles. Description: This artificial series consists of Austin's research notes and correspondence for lectures he gave, articles he prepared and items for publications. Included is material for the unpublished second volume of The Army in Australia. Date range by 1960's to 1980's.; Series 22, Printouts from Australian Joint Copying Project microfilms. Description: This a collection of printouts from the microfilms prepared for the Australian Joint Copying Project. In this case Austin selected records from the reels for the War Office and Colonial Office originals of which are held in Britain. These records complement and overlap the despatches found in Historical Records of Australia and Historic Records of New South Wales. The copies reflect Austin's many research interests (conditions for the New South Wales Corps and the British Army in Australia and colonial life generally). Most copies were in poor physical condition, with deteriorating images and, as they had few annotations, the bulk were destroyed and list of references to Australian Joint Copying Project reels and any correspondence retained. Date range by 1960's to 1980's.; Series 23, Photocopies from Historical Records of Australia. Description These copies were arranged originally in two and four ring binders by Historical Records of Australia volume. Some of the copies have been annotated. Date range by 1960's to 1980's.; Series 24, Copies from Colburn's United Services Magazine (title varied). Description: Photocopies from Colburn's United Services Magazine (title varied) which published articles on policy for enlistment in Army and Navy, discharge, pay and conditions and pension entitlements, articles on military law, articles and anecdotes on colonial life for military personnel, establishments, birth, death and marriage notices, postings and stations of regiments. These photocopies, unlike many others in the collection, were retained because they are not otherwise readily available in Australia (Austin had difficulty obtaining them from the United Kingdom). During arrangement the indexes were sorted and matched with the relevant volume and the many surplus copies of photocopies of pages and indexes were put aside for disposal. Date range of collection by Austin 1960's to 1980's. Date range of content 1829 to 1875 (with gaps).; Series 25, Photocopies of government publications. Description: This is an artificial series or grouping of photocopies and notes taken from a variety of colonial and British government publications. Date range by 1960's to 1980's.; Series 26, Printouts from the microfilm of the Sydney Morning Herald and photocopies of other newspapers. Description: This series consists of copies from a variety of colonial newspapers and some Australian Joint Copying Project reels covering subjects relating to Austin's research interests. Date range of collection by Austin 1960's to 1980's. Date range of content 1840 to 1852.; Series 27, Clippings from The Bulletin. Description: This series consists of clippings Austin collected from The Bulletin. Date range 1952 to 1953.; Series 28, Copies of selected book reviews. Description: This series consists of book reviews collected by Austin. Date range 1980 to 1982.; Series 29, Photocopies of monographs and journal articles and newsclippings. Description: This series consists of photocopies from a variety of monographs, newsclippings and journal articles collected for a number of Austin's interrelated research projects. Date range 1787 to 1980's.; Series 30, Papers re Australian War Memorial sub committee on atlas of Australia at war. Description: This series consists of correspondence created during Austin's involvement with the Australian War Memorial project on atlas of Australia at war. Date range 1982 to 1983.; Series 31, Papers accumulated during work as consultant for the Heritage Commission. Description: Papers accumulated during work as a consultant for the Heritage Commission to survey all sites of military historical significance in Australia. Mostly printouts from Australian Joint Copying Project microfilm and photocopies of documents with some journal articles relating to a variety of locations and sites. There are also printouts from the register of the National Estate. Date range 1982 to 1984.; Series 32, Papers concerning work as editor of the Journal of the Royal United Services Institute of Australia. Description: This series consists of correspondence and other papers connected with Austin's work as editor of the Journal of the Royal United Services Institute of Australia. Date range 1981 to 1982.; Series 33, Personal papers concerning work as editor of Journal of the Royal United Services Institute of Australia. Description: This series consists of personal correspondence connected with Austin's work as editor of the Journal of the Royal United Services Institute of Australia. Date range 1980 to 1983.; Series 34, Personal diaries. Description Handwritten diaries kept by Austin throughout his war time service and as a less formal daily record of appointments. Date range 1939 to 1980 (with gaps).; Series 35, Photographs, correspondence and reports connected with Austin's Army career. Description: This is an artificial series of souvenirs and records relating to Austin's military service. Date range 1940 to 1971.; Series 36, Correspondence and newsletters from the Ordet of the British Empire Association Australian Capital Territory Branch. Description: Selected newsletters from The Australian Capital Territory Association of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire these were destroyed. Date range 1970's to 1980s.; Series 37, Miscellaneous journals and monographs. Description: This is an artificial series of publications collected by Austin the years before his death. Date range 1968 to 1980's.
Brigadier Maurice (Bunny) AUSTIN DSO, OBE; Born: in Geelong on 15 December 1916; Married: Enid Lyons in 1946 Died: in Canberra on 13 October 1985; Military Service: Austin enrolled at the Royal Military College (RMC), Duntroon on 1 March 1935, graduating on 13 December 1938. He subsequently served in the Australian Army from 14 December 1938 until discharge on retirement on 3 February 1971. He joined the Retired List and was appointed Army Historian on 5 July 1971. Austin saw service in the Darwin Mobile Force and in 1940 was appointed adjutant of 2/27 Infantry Battalion serving in Syria. Returning to Australia in 1942 he joined the 29 Infantry Brigade as brigade major serving in Papua and New Guinea. In 1945 he was posted to RMC as an instructor. He commanded 2nd Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) and later 1st Battalion RAR in Korea. From 1954 to 1958 he was Director of Infantry and Commandant of the Jungle Training Centre, Cunungra. Several staff appointments in the personnel branch of Army Headquarters followed. He also paid several visits to Vietnam. Research and consultancy work: As Director of Infantry he personally re wrote the manuals of infantry minor tactics. From 1971 as a civilian he worked for a number of years as the Army Historian and studied the development of the Australian Army from 1788 to the present. He became the recognised authority in Australia on early military matters, particularly prior to Federation. Austin's research produced articles for the Australian Army Journal (on the activities of the New South Wales Corps). This developed into an interest in the British Regiments which garrisoned the colonies until 1870 and led to the publication of his book The Army in Australia 1840-1850 by the Department of Defence. He also produced articles on soldiering in early Australia (extracts from contemporary newspapers) and on the use of Army records (especially the complex AJCP) which appeared regularly in Sabretache. Austin was also a consultant for the Australian Dictionary of Biography for more than 20 years, in 1972 becoming a foundation member of the Armed Services Working Party for the Australian Dictionary of Biography. He served as editor for the Journal of the Royal United Services Institute of Australia 1980 to 1982 and undertook a variety of consultancies including research work for the Heritage Commission on military sites plus the Australian War Memorial's committee on the the atlas of Australia at war. Honours and awards: Mention in Despatches for recognition of service in the SWPA with 29 Infantry Brigade; Companion to Distinguished Service Order for service with the 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment in Korea (during the defence of Hill 355 in August 1952); Order of the British Empire Queen's Birthday honours 1962 for work during command of 1st Logistic Support Group and in Personnel Branch.
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Biography; Military History
Brigadier M Austin