Lieutenant, Douglas Chaworth-Musters MC & Bar – Survived the War

65 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery

Royal Field Artillery Cap Badge similar to the one which would have been worn by Douglas Chaworth-Musters.

Synopsis of Life and Military Service

Douglas was born on 2 June 1898 and baptised on 7 August that year in All Saints Church, Annesley, Nottinghamshire. His parents were Mary Ann and John Patricius Chaworth-Musters.  He was educated at Bengeo School, and also Rugby which he left in 1915. Upon leaving school he joined the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich and became a cadet. By this time his eldest brother Patricius George Chaworth-Musters had already been killed on the Western Front.

Douglas was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery on 10 May, 1916. He was subsequently appointed to 65 Brigade Royal Field Artillery. He was sent to France on 5 May 1917 and almost immediately was awarded for bravery. He was awarded the Military Cross on 26 September 1917. His citation which was published in January 1918 stated:

“2nd Lt. Douglas Chaworth-Musters, R.F.A. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an intense hostile bombardment of his battery. When an ammunition store was hit and set on fire by an enemy shell, he removed the burning ammunition and extinguished the fire, by his prompt and gallant action preventing the fire spreading and causing very serious damage. On the following day, although heavily gassed by a shell which fell within five yards of him, he refused to report sick, as his commander would have been single-handed.”

He was promoted to Lieutenant on 10 November 1917 and soon after received a Bar to his MC. The citation read:

“Lt. Douglas Chaworth-Musters, M.C., R.F.A. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He took command of his battery when his commanding officer was wounded, and commanded it with skill during several anxious days. By his constant calm and gallant demeanour he did much to maintain the spirit of the battery”. 

After the war he began farming in Durnford Hall, Suffolk. He married Mary Bomford-Emerson in Bedfordshire in 1924 and they had four children. He stayed at Durnford until he was forced to sell as a result of the Great Depression. At around the same time his second son, David, died a tragic early death.

In 1939, Douglas returned to the army and the Royal Artillery , and served as an instructor in Northern Ireland. He was placed on the reserve of officers in 1943 with the honorary rank of Major. He was taken off the reserve list in 1948.

Douglas died on 2 April 1957 in Bedford. He left effects amounting to £12,557 17s. He is buried in St Mary the Virgin Churchyard, Goldlington, Bedfordshire.

Family grave of Douglas Chaworth Muster at St. Mary the Virgin Churchyard, Goldington – ©Kevin Martin

Family

Douglas Chaworth-Musters was born at Annesley, Nottinghamshire on 2 June 1898. His family is shown as follows :-

  • Wife – Mary “Nellie”Bomford-Emerson or Chaworth Musters
  • Son – Patricius, born c.1925 at Rawalpindi, Indian.
  • Son – David Mundy, born c.1927, died c.1933.
  • Son – Philip Robin, born c.1928 at Plomesgate, Suffolk.
  • Daughter – Juliana Mary, born c.1935 at Bedford.
  • Father – John Patrcius, born c.1860, died c.1921.
  • Mother – Mary Ann Sharpe or Chaworth-Musters, died, c.1930.
  • Sister – Margarita, born c.1884, died c.1954.
  • Sister – Elsie, born c.1885, died c.1954.
  • Sister – Ruth Frances , born c.1887, died c.1967.
  • Brother – Patricius George, born 14 June 1888, died 11 January 1915.
  • Sister – Catherine Lina, born c.1889, died c.1963.
  • Brother – John Neville DSO OBE TD JP DL, born 27 November 1890, died 12 March 1970.
  • Brother – Anthony (Tony), born c.1892, died c.1987.
  • Brother – Philip Mundy, born 9 April 1895, died 18 July 1917.
  • Brother – Robert, born 24 July 1896, died 10 October 1918.
  • Brother – James Lawrence, born c.1901, died c.1948

Douglas also 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 was sadly killed in action in 1915. 

Douglas Chaworth-Musters from the ©Beeston Gazette and Echo

Addresses

Records show that Douglas had lived at the following addresses:

  • 1898: Annesley Hall, Nottinghamshire.
  • 1911: Bengeo School, Hertford.
  • 1921: Durnford Hall. Saxmunden, Suffolk.
  • 1939: 71 Putnoe Lane, Bedford.
  • 1957: 4a Campbell Road, Bedford.

Medals

As well as his two Military Crosses, Douglas Chaworth-Musters was awarded the Victory and the British War Medals for his service in the Great War.

Military Cross similar to the two awarded to Douglas Chaworth-Musters.

Memorials

A memorial to the Chaworth-Musters family can be found in the graveyard at All Saints Church, Annesley.

Links to Additional Information

References

Groups

Contributors:-

  • Trevor Torkington
  • Kevin Martin (Grave Photo)
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