Captain Joseph Auber



Joseph Auber was born on 12 August 1892 at Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, the second of two children of watchmaker and jeweller John Joseph Auber and his wife Mary Crowther Auber (née Armstrong). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 4 Oxley Road, Winshill, Staffordshire, with his parents, and working as a jeweller.

Auber enlisted in the 1/6 Battalion, Prince of Wales’s (North Staffordshire Regiment) on 2 October 1914. He was posted to the 2/6 Battalion when it was formed in November 1914 (No.2960), rising to the rank of sergeant.

On 24 September 1915 he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant and posted to the 16th (Reserve) Battalion, King’s (Liverpool Regiment). He then transferred to the 1st Reserve Regiment of Cavalry and was posted to 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron, joining it in the field on 11 August 1916. The squadron was then part of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, and there are a number of references to Auber in the regiment’s diary.

15 September 1916: "Mr C.B. Despard was a member of a F.G.C. martial assembled at HQ. 12th M.M.G. Battery. 2/Lts J. Auber & W.H Hutchinson attended for instruction."
23 September 1916: "Flesselles. Fine. Revolver practise [sic] for officers, Sgts and Hotchkiss gun men at a range between here and Wargnies. Shooting very good on an average. Lt Auber A Squadron returning a card of 98 out of a possible 120."
17 January 1917: "The working party under 2/Lt Auber was slightly shelled."
26 January 1917: "The Trench party went up under 2 Lt Auber."
10 February 1917: "2 Lt Auber was in charge of working party."
29 March 1917: "Working Party under 2 Lt Auber. Party was shelled leaving Trenches."

Auber was transferred to the 9th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers on 23 September 1917 when the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was disbanded and absorbed into that battalion. That November, however, he left for England seeking a transfer to the Tank Corps. This did not eventuate and he subsequently transferred to the Indian Army, serving in the 5th Cavalry.

He was promoted to captain in the Indian Army Reserve of Officers on 5 November 1920, and relinquished his commission on 21 December 1921.

On 3 May 1922 Auber married Evelyn Hardstaff in St Modwen's Church, Burton-on-Trent. A report in the Burton Observer at the time gave further interesting details on his background and military service:

Mr. Auber is well-known locally as a sportsman of considerable ability, having shown exceptional prowess as an oarsman. He was a member of Mr. J. S. Moorby's famous Leander crew, which won so many prizes in the seasons 1910-11-12-13 ... Mr. Auber's first connection with the Club was in 1900, when he became a cox. Prior to the war he was also a member of the Burton Rugby Football Club. He saw service in France with the Inniskilling Dragoons and the Tank Corps, and was also in the Irish Rebellion. After spending a leave in England, he was granted a commission in the Regular Indian Army, which he eventually relinquished, and was placed on the reserve. He was called out for insurrection in Mesopotamia, and, after about 16 months service, came home in November of last year and joined his father in business in Station Street. During the latter portion of his time in Mesopotamia Captain Auber was Chief Immigration Officer at Kut.

Auber later inherited his father's jewellery business, but was declared bankrupt in 1938. He was subsequently employed as an inspector for an engineering firm. The bankruptcy was discharged in 1944.


This page last updated 23 September 2023.