25 Division, Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Field Artillery, 18 July 1917
Synopsis of Life and Military Service
Philip Mundy Chaworth-Musters was born on 9 April 1895 in Annesley, Nottinghamshire and was baptised on 12 May at All Saints Church, also in Annesley. He was educated at Green Hall, Belper, Bengeo School, Hertford and then entered Rugby in 1902. He subsequently entered Woolwich Royal Military College and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery on 16 September 1914. It is unknown the date he was transferred to France but it was certainly before 23 November 1914.
Personal tragedy struck when he was told that his eldest brother Lieutenant Patricius (Pat) George Chaworth-Musters was killed on 11 January 1915.
He was promoted to Lieutenant on 9 June 1915 and the London Gazette of 15 March 1916 noted he had been awarded the Military Cross. His citation stated:
“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. In face of a very heavy shell fire he bound up a Corporal who was badly wounded, took him into safety, and then returned and personally worked a gun under circumstances of great difficulty”
Shortly after his Military Cross was awarded he was made a Temporary Captain while commanding a Trench Mortar Battery on 20 May 1916.
On 7 June 1917, the 2nd Army attacked German defences along the lines of hills from Messines to attached to Wytschaete. The front of attack allotted to the 25th division (which Philip was attached to) extended from the Wulverghem- Messines Road to the Wulverghem-Wytschaete Road. It’s objective was In front of the village of Wulverghem and comprised the strip of ground with the front of about 1,200 yards on the German frontline to a depth of about 3000 yards but narrowing towards the top of Messines Ridge to about 700 yards.
The regimental history records that “excellent work was performed [in the run up to the attack] by the trench mortars in destruction of the enemy front and support lines, wire and trenches under Capt. P. M. Chaworth-Musters, MC, as well as by the heavy trench mortar battery commanded by Capt. J. P. Creagh. The former fired an average of about 100 rounds per day per mortar, and the heavy about 20 rounds per day per mortar in spite of more than one direct hit on their emplacements. Something like a record must have been created by these trench mortar batteries in firing 1,250 60-lb bombs from the 2-inch trench mortars in one day, besides 108 9.45 inch bombs”.
Philip died on 18 July 1917 and is buried at Poperinghe New Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. The war diary notes “The Brigade sustained severe military and personal loss in the deaths of Capt. P.M. Chaworth-Musters MC, RFA (DTMO) [Ed – Divisional Trench Mortar Officer] and Lt. A. Davoren RFA [Ed – Ambrose Joseph Stanislaus Davoren] who with the DTMO, 8th Division were killed by a shell. Second Lt. W T Voss RFA was seriously injured in the face by the same shell”.
The following family members have been identified:
- Father – John Patrcius Chaworth-Musters, born 1860 d. 1921.
- Mother – Mary Ann Sharpe or Chaworth-Musters, died 1930.
- Sister – Margarita Chaworth-Musters, born 1884 died 1954.
- Sister – Elsie Chaworth-Musters, born 1885 died 1954.
- Sister – Ruth Frances Chaworth-Musters, born 1887 died 1967.
- Brother – Patricius George Chaworth-Musters, born 14 June 1888 d.11 January 1915.
- Sister – Catherine Lina Chaworth-Musters born1889 died 1963.
- Brother – John (Jack) Neville Chaworth-Musters born 1890 died 1970.
- Brother – Anthony (Tony) Chaworth-Musters born 1892 died 1987.
- Brother – Robert Chaworth-Musters MC born 1896 died 1918
- Brother – Douglas Chaworth-Musters MC born 1898 died 1957
- Brother – James Lawrence Chaworth-Musters born 1901 died 1948
Philip had two cousins (through his uncle Lancelot George Eden Michael Chaworth-Musters) who fought in the war:
- Richard Hammond Chaworth-Musters MC born 28 March 1895 died 31 December 1941 – 1st Norfolk Regiment.
- Roger Michael Chaworth-Musters born 23 March 1898 died 7 May 1917 – Royal Flying Corps.
His sister, Catherine, married Captain Hugh Lee Pattinson in 1914 but he sadly was killed in action in 1915.
- The 1911 Census records Philip as a boarder at Rugby, staying at 1 Hillmorton Road, Rugby. He would also have lived at the family home, Annesley Park, Nottinghamshire
Philip Mundy Chaworth-Musters was awarded the 1914 Star, Victory and the British War Medals for his service in the Great War. He was also awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty
Philip Mundy Chaworth-Munsters is honoured and remembered on the following memorials:-
- All Saints Church, Annesley, Nottinghamshire.
- Cropwell Butler Cemetery, Cropwell Bishop Road, Cropwell Butler, Notts.
- Holy Trinity Church, Tithby Road, Tithby.
- The Rugby School Memorial.
Links to Additional Information
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Philip Mundy Chaworth-Musters
- Lives of the First World War – Philip Mundy Chaworth-Musters
- A Street Near You – Philip Mundy Chaworth-Musters
- Find a Grave – Philip Mundy Chaworth-Musters
- Nottingham Council Roll of Honour – Philip Mundy Chaworth-Musters
- University of Nottingham: Biography of John Chaworth-Musters (1838-1887).
- Nottinghamshire County Council Roll of Honour.
- 1911 Census of England and Wales.
- The 25th Division in France and Flanders by Lt Col M Kincaid-Smith
- Medal Index Card
- Medal Roll – 1914 Star
- Trevor Torkington