1st Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 11 January 1915
Synopsis of Life and Military Service
Patricius George Chaworth-Musters (also known as Patrick) was born on 14 June 1888 in Christiansund, Norway. He was educated at Green Hall, Belper, Bengeo School Hertford and then entered Rugby in 1902. He subsequently entered Sandhurst Royal Military College and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps on 9 October 1907. He saw service with them in Cairo, Egypt and on 1 June 1910 was promoted to Lieutenant.
On 12 August 1914, after War had been declared, the Battalion left Salamanca Barracks in Aldershot and entrained at Farnborough to head for Southampton. The Battalion embarked on SS Honorius and left Southampton about 12 noon and anchored at the Isle of Wight to be inspected by naval authorities; they proceeded to Le Havre arriving around midnight where they had to anchor until 11.00am the next morning when the tide was high enough for them to traverse the River Seine until they reached Rouen at 5.30pm. On the 14th they left Rouen by train heading for Vaux-Andigny and then travelled by road to Hannappes reaching there on around 5pm on the 15th.
By 1 September 1914 after a number of moves and engagement with the enemy, the Battalion had reached Villers-Coteries and were continuing to retire. The Battalion war diary notes that Patricius was wounded in the neck and was eventually returned to blighty where he was administered to the Queen Alexandra’s Military Hospital in Millbank, London on 18 September 1914. The medical records suggest however that he was wounded in his chest. He nonetheless returned to the front line in November 1914.
Official records state that Patricius “Died of Wounds” on 11 January 1915.
The Battalion War Diary for 8 January states:-
“Good deal of rain at intervals all day and very strong wind. About 3.45pm one of our own Lyddite shells (Ed – armour piercing) unfortunately dropped into ‘C’ Coys trenches killing Captain F C Norbury (Ed – Francis Campbell Norbury) and wounding badly Lieutenant P G Chaworth-Musters and 2nd Lieutenant B F Whiteley who were together in the part of the trench. At dusk ‘C’ and ‘D’ companies were relieved by ‘A’ and ‘B’. Major Armitage and Captain Denison rejoined and assumed command of ‘C’ and ‘D’ Coys respectively. Besides the officers we had one L/Corporal killed on an advanced post and two rifleman wounded one of whom died in Hospital.” (Commonwealth War Grave Commission records suggest the war diary is mistaken and the L/Corporal is (5/4392) F Hall who died in Hospital and Rifleman (9405) Anthony Pascal who died in the advance post).
The diary for 12 January commented:-
“A very quiet day both as regards shelling and sniping. We were very sorry to hear during the morning that Lt Chaworth Musters had died of wounds in Bethune”.
Patricius died in No 1 Clearing Hospital on 11 January, his right arm had been amputated but he died of blood poisoning and was buried the next day in the cemetery at Bethune (Bethune Town Cemetery). His Commanding Officer wrote:
“I cannot tell you how brave and splendid he has been all through. He had done wonders in making a good Company out of new and nearly raw material: he was popular with us all and beloved by his men”.
The following family members have been identified:
- Father – John Patrcius Chaworth-Musters born 1860 died 1921.
- Mother – Mary Ann Chaworth-Musters (nee Sharpe) died 1930.
- Sister – Margarita Chaworth-Musters born 1884 died 1954.
- Sister – Elsie Chaworth-Musters born 1885 died1954.
- Sister – Ruth Frances Chaworth-Musters born 1887 died 1967.
- 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 – Philip Mundy Chaworth-Musters MC born 1895 died 1917.
- 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.
Patricius 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.
- For the first year of his life, Patricius lived with his parents and elder sisters at the family fishing lodge on the Laerdal river, Norway.
- The 1911 Census records Patricius as being stationed with his regiment in Gosport, Hampshire.
- He would also have lived at the family home, Annesley Park, Nottinghamshire.
Patricius was a member of the Carlton Club in Green Park, London and also the Junior United Services Club which would have been located in Pall Mall.
Patricius George Chaworth-Musters was awarded the 1914 Star, Victory and the British War Medals for his service in the Great War. One source states that he received the Military Cross posthumously, but other official records do not appear to support this.
Patricius is remembered on the following memorials:-
- The Chapel of the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.
- All Saints Church, Annesley, Nottinghamshire.
- Tithby cum Cropwell Butler, Holy Trinity Church, Tithby Road, Tithby NG13 8GS.
- Cropwell Butler – Tithby cum Cropwell Butler (cemetery), Cropwell Bishop Road, Cropwell Butler, Notts.
- Rugby School Chapel War Memorial.
Links to Additional Information
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Patricius George Chaworth-Musters
- Lives of the First World War – Patricius George Chaworth-Musters
- A Street Near You – Patricius George Chaworth-Musters
- Find a Grave – Patricius George Chaworth-Musters
- Nottingham Council Roll of Honour – Patricius George Chaworth-Musters
- Imperial War Museum – Rugby School Chapel
- University of Nottingham: Biography of John Chaworth-Musters (1838-1887)
- The London Gazette Issue 28067 page 6747
- The London Gazette Issue 28391 page 4654
- Find my Past: British Armed Forces, First World War Soldiers’ Medical Records
- National Archives: WO 95/1358/3 – War Diary 1st Battalion King’s Royal Rifle Corps
- British Army, Bond of Sacrifice: Officers Died in the Great War 1914-1916 Vol 2
- Nottinghamshire County Council Roll of Honour
- Trevor Torkington