71st Battery, Royal Field Artillery
Synopsis of Life and Military Service
The third son of John and Mary Chaworth-Musters, Anthony (Tony) Chaworth-Musters was born on 3 April 1892 in Annesley, Nottinghamshire. He was educated at Rugby school between 1906 and 1910. On leaving school he took his examinations for entry to the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, in June 1910 and passed with a score of 5,457. Having studied for nearly two years he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery (RFA) on 23 December 1911.
Anthony was attached to 71st Battery, RFA. On 4 August 1914 they received orders to mobilise, forming part of 36th Brigade which was attached to the 2nd Division under Major General Charles Monro. An early morning (01:00hrs) start on 17 August saw the battery leave their base at Ewshot, Hampshire and march to Farnborough station. Anthony was in the Right Half battery and was on the first train to Southampton which arrived at 07:00hrs where they boarded the Pacific Steam Navigation Ship Huanchaco. The ship (which the war diary states was very comfortable) left Southampton at 19:00hrs and arrived in Boulogne at 07:00hrs on 18 August.
By 22 August the battery had arrived at their billets in Aulnoye but the next day were ordered to march again to a cross-roads on the Frameries-Givry road about 5 miles south of Mons. At around 7pm they were brought into action for the first time with the object of covering the withdrawal of troops in the neighbourhood of Harveng. Further action took place as the army withdrew and Anthony was in the thick of it. On 14th and 15th September 1914 the Battery War Diary notes that this took his section into action near Cour de Soupir. It was reported that they engaged enemy guns and were themselves shelled. In October the Battery were at Soupir and were firing at enemy trenches and artillery in the direction of Jerlaux.
On 5 October, the War Diary noted that Anthony had been wounded at Rifle Point. This may have been a reference for a map location as medical records show that he was hit by shrapnel from a shell. Family records suggest that he was digging a trench system on the Aisne, and went back to help his colleagues out of the trench following a German shell strike. Another shell landed and Tony sustained severe head wounds.
Anthony was evacuated to the UK and admitted to Queen Alexandra’s Military Hospital at Millbank with a gun shot wound (?) to the head and stayed there until 11 November when he was discharged to Mrs Rupert Beckett’s Hospital for Officers in order to convalesce. (Muriel Helen Florence Paget was the daughter of Lord Berkeley Charles Sydney Paget and Florence Chetwynd. She married the banker Rupert Evelyn Beckett – who’s bank was taken over by what became NatWest – in December 1896). The hospital had beds for 25 Officers and opened in 1914.
Anthony’s health was assessed on 26 January 1915. His wound was described as healed although leaving a depression 2 inches long, ½ inch wide and ½ deep. But it was noted that his visual depth of field was severely affected. He was classed as permanently unfit. He was subsequently to experience headaches, vomiting and epileptic fits. He was not to serve on the Western Front again.
Anthony was promoted to Lieutenant with effect from 23 December 1914 and was subsequently appointed as an Officer of a Company of Gentlemen Cadets at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich on 15 July 1915.
He married Marjorie Caroline Booth on 1 January 1916 at St Martins-in-the-Field in London and had three children. The marriage did not last and he remarried in 1953 to Mabel Charsley in Portsmouth, Hampshire.
Despite his wounds Anthony saw service in the second world war. He retired from the army in September 1944 with the honorary rank of Major.
Anthony died on 26 November 1987 in Hampshire.
The following family members have been identified:-
- Wife – Marjorie Caroline Booth, born c.1893.
- Daughter – Marjorie Anne Chaworth-Musters, born c.1916, died c.1995.
- Daughter – Barbara Chaworth-Musters, born c.1919.
- Daughter – Diana Valerie Chaworth-Musters, born c.1922.
- Wife – 2nd Marriage – Mabel Charsley.
- Father – John Patrcius Chaworth-Musters, born c.1860 died c.1921.
- Mother – Mary Ann Sharpe or Chaworth-Musters, died c.1930.
- Sister – Margarita Chaworth-Musters, born c.1884, died c.1954.
- Sister – Elsie Chaworth-Musters, born c.1885, died c.1954.
- Sister – Ruth Frances Chaworth-Musters, born c.1887, died c.1967.
- Brother – Patricius George Chaworth-Musters, born 14 June 1888, died 11 January 1915.
- Sister – Catherine Lina Chaworth-Musters, born c.1889, died c.1963.
- Brother – John Neville Chaworth-Musters, born 27 November 1890, died 12 March 1970.
- Brother – Philip Mundy Chaworth-Musters, born 9 April 1895, died 18 July 1917.
- Brother – Robert Chaworth-Musters, born 24 July 1896, died 10 October 1918.
- Brother – Douglas Chaworth-Musters, born c.1898, died c.1957.
- Brother – James Lawrence Chaworth-Musters, born c.1901, died c.1948.
Anthony also had two cousins (through his uncle Lancelot George Eden Michael Chaworth-Musters) who fought in the war:
- Richard Hammond Chaworth-Musters 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 was sadly killed in action in 1915.
- 1911 – Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, London.
- 1915: Annesley Hall, Nottinghamshire.
- 1918: 1 Lampard Place, Maida Hill, London W2.
- 1920: The Shameen, West Mersea, Colchester.
- 1987: 39 Little Green, Alverstoke, Hampshire.
A memorial to the Chaworth-Musters can be found in the graveyard at All Saints Church, Annesley.
Links to Additional Information
- Lives of the First World War – Anthony Chaworth-Musters
- University of Nottingham: Biography of John Chaworth-Musters (1838-1887).
- Army and Navy Gazette 13 August 1910.
- 1911 Census of England and Wales.
- Page 449 | Issue 28573, 19 January 1912 | London Gazette | The Gazette
- Page 1982 | Issue 29084, 26 February 1915 | London Gazette | The Gazette
- Page 7175 | Supplement 29238, 20 July 1915 | London Gazette | The Gazette
- Ancestry: WO364: UK, British Army World War I Pension Records 1914-1920 .
- Page 4160 | Supplement 36691, 5 September 1944 | London Gazette | The Gazette
- British Army, Royal Artillery Officer Deaths 1850-2011.
- Trevor Torkington