FREDERICK WILLIAM MUSGROVE
2nd Battalion Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Missing presumed dead - 31st October 1914
|1891 Census www.ancestry.co.uk|
By 1891 the Musgrove family had moved home to Chesterfield Road, Staveley. They have two new editions to the family; Lillian aged 3 years old and baby John Wells aged just 11 months.
|1895 Bulmers History www.ancestry.co.uk|
|Description from service records www.findmypast.co.uk|
Whilst Fred was serving with the colours life in New Whittington and the Musgrove household continued. His siblings George, Marian, Emily and Harriett gave him more nieces and nephews. Sad news came in 1902 when the youngest daughter of George died aged only 2 years old. She was named Marian Zylpha taking the Christian name of her Aunty Marian.
Hull Daily Mail 29th November 1907 page 3
|Probate entry for Jonas Musgrove www.ancestry.co.uk|
Agnes and Edward Hosey were running the Dusty Miller Inn at New Whittington. They had three children named; Emily, John and Edward but sadly had lost two sons; John at 6 months of age, Edward under 1 month of age.
John Wells the baby of the family was now 20 years old and had left New Whittington to study at York Training College. He was a student teacher residing at Lord Mayors Walk, York. The college was a teacher training college for men only.
|Passenger lists Orvieto www.ancestry.co.uk|
Unfortunately Fred's service records from his WW1 service have not survived but we know that he enlisted at Pontefract. The 3rd Reserve Battalion were based at Pontefract at this time and it was the training depot.
Fred joined the 2nd Battalion Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) and was now Private 3/169. At the outbreak of WW1 the 2nd Battalion were stationed in Dublin, Ireland and mobilised immediately arriving in Le Harve on 16th August 1914.
The date on Fred's medal card stated that he entered the field of war on 19th September 1914 when he joined the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France. Fred would join a demoralised and worn out battalion who had only weeks before been involved in the Battle of Mons. The 2nd KOYLI had suffered great losses on 26th August in the battle of Le Cateau. The war diary states that 600 of their battalion were either killed or missing presumed dead, this included 18 officers and 532 other ranks. Taken prisoner when the final trench was captured by the German troops were 16 officers and 320 other ranks.
The need to call up the reservists would be necessary and Fred may have been hastily mobilised after the wipe out the KOYLI suffered on that day. He would meet his battalion at La Gobbine Wood on an unusually quiet period. The days had been reported as "quiet all day" and "nothing happened all day". There had been a few notes of German troops patrolling the outer of the woods but other than that a well earned break for the 2nd Battalion KOYLI.
The battalion moved on and arrived in nearby Missy on 25th September, reporting snipper fire along the way. On 1st October Fred and his comrades were relieved by the 1st Essex Regiment and they set off on what would be many days worth of marching from village to village;
*2nd October Vasseny
*3rd October Violaine
*4th October Hartennes
*5th & 6th October Lagny
*7th October Fresnoy
*8th October Abbeville
*9th October Queschart
On 14th October the battalion suffered losses whilst an attack at Vermelles; 4 killed, 12 wounded and 2 missing. Four days later on 18th October the battalion was stationed in the trenches at Lannoy. On this day they reported 17 men killed and 82 men wounded. They remained in the trenches for another two days until marching at 5.00am on 21st October. They arrived in Lorgies on 22nd October to hear word that the 2nd Battalion Kings Own Scottish Borders had attacked the German troops using their bayonets.
On 25th October Fred would witness enemy aircraft overhead, they fired heavy shell fire directly into the KOYLI trenches. The attack lasted all day and the war diary reports that 2 men were buried alive when the loose soil was bombarded too heavily. The dairy states "The men were considerably shaken but stuck splendidly to their posts". The sheer bravery of Fred and his fellow men saw its reward when later that afternoon the German troops made an advance for their trenches only to be held off by the KOYLI. On this day; 17 killed, 1 officer and 25 men wounded.
The battalion remained under heavy fire for the coming days, remaining in the trenches and sustaining heavy casualties during this period.
The dairy entry for the 30th October tells that eventually the bombardment stopped, a quiet day until evening when "the enemy made a strong attack which was repulsed". The KOYLI were relieved from this hell by the 2nd Battalion Garhwal Rifles. They were now able to find relative safety and reflect on their lost comrades.
The war diary notes that their losses were roughly 300 men over the past week in the trenches at Richebourg L'Avoue, 2 officers were killed and 1 wounded.
Two years on in 1916 the family receive more sad news of the death of Walter the youngest of the Musgrove family. At this time they may still not have come to terms with the fact that Fred was dead, the obituary for Walter tells...
Frederick William Musgrove, Private 3/169 is remembered at Le Touret Memorial in France. He has no known grave but his name is engraved on panel 31 at the memorial.
|Medal card Frederick Musgrove www.ancestry.co.uk|
Life went on....
The Musgrove family continued as best they could, each had taken a different path and with it came its own joys and sadness.
George Henry Musgrove may have died in 1936 aged 65 years old.
Marian Annie lived through WW1 and died in 1933. Her own son Wilfred Eric John Rodgers enlisted with the South Staffordshire Regiment on 22nd June 1918. He was 18 years and 4 months old. We can only imagine how Marian would feel having to chance losing her own son as she had her brother. Wilfred survived and married Annie Laming in 1928. He died in 1986 aged 86 years old.
Emily died in 1933.
Harriett may have died in Cleethorpes in 1958 but this would need to be confirmed.
Gertrude Mary spent the war years alone, whilst her new husband Sydney served with the Army Ordnance Corps from 8th December 1915 till his demobilisation on 20th March 1917. They had at least one daughter; Mary Vowles was born in 1917. After marriage Gertrude remained living on Handley Road until her death on 27th October 1952. She had frequent visits from her younger brother John Wells and his family during this time.
Lillian May arrived in Australia on 23rd April 1914 she wasted no time at all and married her sweetheart Samuel Huckle on 25th April 1914. Samuel was a local lad born in New Whittington. Lillian would most likely have grown up with him. When she travelled out to Australia she was chaperoned by her own brother Walter and George Huckle. George was the younger brother of Samuel.
|1943 Electoral Roll www.ancestry.co.uk|
Lillian and Samuel lived at 59 Margate Street, Kogarah, New South Wales. The 1943 electoral roll above shows that the two Huckle brothers remained close; Samuel and Lillian lived at number 59 and George and his wife Lucy lived at number 57.
Lillian and Samuel had one daughter named Dorothy Musgrove Huckle. George and Lucy had a son Ronald Huckle. Lillian died in 1968, Samuel in 1973. I will tell more of this story in the blog post for Walter Musgrove.
In 1911 John Wells was studying hard at teacher training college in York. At the outbreak of WW1 he joined his fellow students and enlisted with the Old Boys Public School Regiment. He joined at Manchester on 5th September 1914. John was discharged on 21st June 1915 as medically unfit.
|Derbyshire Times 26th May 1944 p8|
Life was an adventure for John as it was for Lillian and Walter. John travelled as soon as the tensions of WW1 had settled; on 26th September 1919 he left London for Cape Town where her lived until his death on 18th May 1944.
Despite the miles he did return to New Whittington on at least two occasions; he arrived in July 1925 with his wife Ethel and his 1 year old son John. They stayed at his sister Gertrude's home at 95 Handley Road and are listed on the return journey as leaving Southampton on 11th December 1925 destined for Cape Town. John travelled alone when his name appears on the passenger lists from London to Durban leaving on 18th November 1938. He once again had stayed with his sister Gertrude in her new abode at 72 Handley Road, New Whittington.
Walter arrived in Australia full of adventure, when the outbreak of WW1 was announced he was in the north of the island with George Huckle. The pair made their way walking over 400 miles through a fierce sandstorm and enlisted to fight for their King and Country. Walter served with the Australian Expeditionary Force and sadly lost his life on 25th July 1916. His story will be told on 25th July 2016.
Frederick and Walter Musgrove are not only remembered on the St Barnabas Memorial; their names also appear on the Staveley Memorial.
Please feel free to add comments by clicking on the little pen icon at the bottom of the screen.
If you have any more information on the Musgrove family I would love to hear from you and add to this post.
With thanks -
To the kind ladies Ann & Diane on Facebook who searched the Australian records for information on Lillian and Samuel Huckle.
To the knowledgeable Martin and Craig for answering my queries on 1914-1918 WW1 forum.
Reference and further reading -
Soldiers who died in the Great War
Newspaper articles - Derbyshire Times and Hull Daily Mail
2nd Battalion Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry war diaries http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C7352257
The Long Long Trail http://www.1914-1918.net/koyli.htm
Battle of Le Cateau http://www.1914-1918.net/bat2.htm
The Garhwal Rifles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Garhwal_Rifles
Staveley Remembers http://staveleyremembers.wordpress.com/war-memorial/ww1-roll-of-honour/