My great great great grandfather Robert Bray of Muston, born in 1796.
My great great grandparents (centre) William Bray (1829-1906) and Mary Bray (b. 1833), they married in 1858. Mr Clifton (L) and Fred Topps (R). Very likely photographed near Muston.
My great grandfather William Francis Bray (1867-1939), great grandmother Annie Bray (nee Hammond, 1880-1955) and my grandmother Winnie as a baby, 1901. Annie was born at Old Somerby near Grantham and married Francis in 1900.
A view from Muston church gates along Main Street, c. 1900. The Bray's house was on the left of the road in the distance where it bends to the right.
Muston Garland Day at the cross on the village green, c. 1900.
My great great grandmother Mrs Hammond (Annie Bray's mother) with unknown baby, Mrs Sharp (C) and unknown lady (R).
My great grandmother Annie with children Winnie (L), Barbara (C) and Susan (R). Photographed at the back door of the Bray's house in Muston, c. 1905.
Winnie, Barbara, Susan, Annie and Clarice Bray just inside the gate to the right front side of the Bray's house on Main Street, Muston. C. 1910.
Winnie Bray's aunts Pattie and Martha on the Hammond side of the family. c. 1900.
Harry Bray, one of Winnie Bray's cousins. c. 1900.
Another Bray cousin, possibly a young Edgar c. 1900.
Edgar Bray and a friend c. 1910.
Winnie Bray's uncle Will and aunt Pollie Bray (right hand couple).
Winnie Bray playing tennis in the garden of the Bray's house in Muston.
Clarice Bray photographed near the kitchen window of the Bray's house in Muston.
Three Bray sisters: Susan (Florence), Annie and Clarice taken in the 1920s.
Florence Susan Bray (known as Susan) 1905-1930. She died of tuberculosis and her grave in Muston church yard is marked by a white headstone on the right hand side of the path leading to Church Field.
Winnie and Annie Bray c. 1920.
Winnie Bray's sister Annie Elizabeth.
Winnie Bray with her friend from the village Olga Shipman. The Shipman's lived at the end of the road over the river bridge where it turned right to Easthorpe.
Olga Shipman from Muston, 1920s. I can remember her brother George and his shotgun on a beam in their living room!
This picture shows my great grandparents Francis and Annie (L), with Fred and Susan Bray (R) and a young William (Bill) Bray in the centre, c.1920.
Muston church from a post card franked in December 1922.
Winnie Bray in the back garden of the Bray's house in Muston with one of the family's pet cats, c. 1920.
Winnie Bray photographed at Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir whilst in service for the Rutland family. 1920's.
Winnie Bray with her friend Grace Hall at the Duke's stables, Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir. 1920's.
Clarice Bray (L), my great grandparents Francis and Annie (seated), John (Jack) Bray to the right of his brother Francis and Bob the family dog. Photographed at the Bray's house in Muston mid 1920's.
Walter and Winnie Coy, July 30th 1928, on holiday in Skegness.
My great grandmother Annie Bray holding Gerald Coy, 1931.
Annie Elizabeth Bray's wedding to Mr. Abbott at Muston church 1934. My great grandmother has Gerald Coy sitting at her knee with my great grandfather and Clarice Bray behind her.
Clarice Bray's wedding to Kenneth Topps at Muston church in 1940. Albert Topps (2nd L), William (Bill) Bray (2nd R) and my recently widowed great grandmother Annie (R).
My great grandmother Annie with one of the farm animals in the field behind the Bray's house in Muston.
My great grandmother Sarah Coy (nee Smith) with her son Cyril in 1899.
Walter Coy with his dog at Muston Gorse. c. 1910.
A friend of my great grandparents Mrs Bella Gale (wife of Charlie Gale) with her son Cyril c. 1900. Cyril died in WW1.
Walter Coy playing football for Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir about the time of WW1.
The Coy brothers playing football for Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir about the time of WW1. Cyril (L), Walter (C) and Albert Edward (Joe, R).
My great uncle William Henry Coy in the uniform of the Royal Field Artillery. Killed at Boezinge in Belgium, August 1917 and commemorated on the war memorial at Muston Church.
From the collection of Iain Coy
Cyril Coy, photographed post-WW1 in the uniform of the Durham Light Infantry wearing his medal ribbons, 1917.
Personal family collection of Mr Iain Coy.
My great uncle Albert Edward Coy (known as Joe).
Cutting from the Grantham Journal c. 1917 showing local casualties in the Great War, notably Cyril Gale from Muston.
My great aunt Susan Coy. She married Harold Long around 1925 and moved to Coleby near Lincoln. They had a son John Henry.
Harold Long (L), Susan Long (nee Coy, C) with baby John and Mr Long Snr (R). c. 1926.
Harold Long's father holding his and Susan Long's (Coy) son John c. 1926.
My great grandmother Sarah Coy of Muston photographed in later life. She died in 1926.
My great uncle Cyril Coy's daughter Barbara (1925-1994). She had a sister Sheila, born in 1933.
My great aunt Lizzie Coy with Cecil Hallam on their wedding day, 1927.
Lizzie Coy and Cecil Hallam seated at their wedding, 1927. Harold Long holding John (L), Walter Coy and my grandmother Winnie with Susan Coy standing next to her (behind Lizzie Coy)..
My grandfather Walter Coy with a farm horse and her foal.
Walter Coy at work with horse and foal.
Walter Coy with my godfather John Bray, aged 2. August 1937.
My father Gerald Coy, 1940.
Cyril Coy's daughter Barbara's wedding to Jack Etchells late 1940s/early 1950s. Walter Coy 2nd from right.
Walter Coy, Cyril Bray and his father William (Bill) Bray driving the tractor, September 1953. Belvoir Castle is in the background.
Gerald Coy's motorbike being borrowed by his cousin David Gibbons!
My parents Gerald and Pamela Coy, 1957.
My great aunt Clarice and Kenneth Topps' Silver Wedding Anniversary at Hospital Cottage, Muston, 1964. L to R, Albert Topps, Helen Topps, Cyril Bray, Gerald Coy, Pamela Coy, Elsie Bodger (my grandmother), Iain Coy, unknown, William (Bill) Bray, Clarice Topps, Nelly Bray, Kenneth Topps, Walter Coy and Winnie Coy. Kneeling; Susan and Ann.
Grave of William Henry Coy, RFA, Artillery Wood Cemetery, Boezinge, Belgium.
From the collection of Iain Coy
William Coy's name on the war memorial at Muston church.
I found the Bottesford Living History website in 2013 at the same time as I was reading a book about the 9th Duke of Rutland which mentioned William Henry Coy’s name on the World War I memorial in Muston churchyard. I had always been aware of William’s name on the war memorial as he was one of my grandfather Walter Coy’s brothers and was killed during the Great War whilst serving as a Gunner with the Royal Field Artillery in Belgium. I did some research on the internet and found his burial place in the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, Artillery Wood, Boezinge which prompted me to wonder if there were any family photographs of him. I borrowed my grandparents’ photograph albums from my father (Gerald Coy) to see what I could find. I eventually found one photo of William in R.F.A. uniform together with a large number of photographs of the Bray and Coy families of Muston, mostly from about 1900 onwards (although a couple are from the 1860s). The Bray family are my grandmother Winifred (Winnie) Coy nee Bray’s side of the family and she was born together with her brother and sisters at a large house on Main Street marked as number 146 (Elizabeth Bray) close to the Duke’s Cottages on the 1851 Muston census. My grandmother often referred to this house as “the farmhouse” and it remained in the Bray family until recently. My grandfather Walter Coy was born at Breeder Hills Farm on the Belvoir Estate, part way between Sedgebrook and Muston but the family moved to Muston Gorse (property 255 on the 1851 census) in the early 1900’s. The farm has since been demolished but Breeder Hills Farm is still there.
The Coy family were my great grandfather Henry (born at Woolsthorpe-by-Belvoir, 1861-1941), my great grandmother Sarah (nee Smith, born at Colston Lodge, Leicestershire,1862-1926) and their children John Smith (1880-1913), Arthur (1885-1950), Mary Ann (1888-?), Harriet (1890-1969), Susan (1892-1956), William Henry (1894-1917), Lizzie (1896-1979), Cyril (1899-1940), Walter (my grandfather, 1901-1969), Albert Edward (known as Joe, 1903-1971) and Cecil (known as Bob, 1906-1967). Henry Coy and Sarah Smith were married in 1884 and both Henry and his son Walter worked on local farms.
The Bray family were my great grandfather Francis William (born at Muston, 1861-1939), my great grandmother Annie (nee Hammond, born at Old Somerby, Grantham, 1880-1955) and their children Winifred Mary (my grandmother, 1901-1985), Barbara Sarah (b. 1903), Florence Susan (known as Susan, 1905-1930), Annie Elizabeth (b. 1907), Clarice Mabel (1908-1984) and Francis William (known as Bill, 1911-2003). Francis Bray and Annie Hammond were married in 1900. My great grandfather’s brother John (known as Jack) also lived with the family and both John and his brother Francis worked in the ironstone quarries around Belvoir.
My grandparents Walter and Winnie were married at Muston church on November 20th 1926 and they lived on Main Street halfway between the church and the Bray’s house, on the right hand side as you go from the church. Winnie worked for the Rutland family on the Belvoir estate for a while, mainly for the Dowager Duchess – their son Gerald Walter was born on August 19th 1931.
To go back to William Coy’s commemoration on the war memorial in Muston church yard, he was killed on Wednesday 8th August 1917 just after the Battle of Pilckem Ridge near Boezinge. Boezinge was on the front line in the opening moves of the drawn out 3rd Battle of Ypres. Unfortunately I’ve been unable to trace any further details other than his medal index card which shows that he joined up on 22nd July 1915 (up until then he was working on George Goodson’s farm at Bottesford). It is likely that William’s service record was one of the many World War I records lost in the London Blitz of 1940. He was awarded the 1914/15 Star together with the British War Medal and the Victory Medal (posthumously).
Unfortunately there are few gravestones in the churchyard to mark the Coys or the Brays although one of the churchwardens did point out a small marker for Arthur and Mary Coy to the right of the main church door (the Coy burials are mostly to the right of the main door and the Brays mostly adjacent but on the other side of the path leading to Church Field). There is a book inside the church recording the dates of burials but I’ve been told that a former vicar of Muston destroyed the actual burial records showing their locations.
The photographs are arranged mainly with the Brays first and the Coys following as there are fewer photographs of the Coy family. All of the dates quoted on the photograph captions are as accurate as possible (the original photographs mostly have a description on the reverse) and hopefully the captions should put the photographs in context from the 1860’s up to the mid 1960’s.
This page was added on 30/07/2013.