Muston War Memorial - St John the Baptist churchyard
By Kate Pugh and Neil Fortey
The Leicestershire War Memorials project has been started to ensure that every memorial in Leicestershire is fully recorded. It hopes, too, that volunteers will collect information about the men whose names are inscribed on these memorials.
The Muston memorial, which consists of a six-sided plinth surmounted by a crucifix, stands in front of Muston Parish Church. We believe it was last cleaned some years ago and is now classified as ‘at risk’ by the United Kingdom National Inventory of War Memorials. The memorial has become difficult, but not impossible, to read due to weathering, lichen and moss. A list of the names on the memorial, without dates or regiments, hangs inside the church on the pillar facing the door.
The first panel carries the inscription:
“Erected to the Glory of God and in Memory of Those Men connected with This Parish who Lost Their Lives in the War 1914-1918“.
The remaining panels commemorate the following servicemen who died in the First and Second World Wars. The inscribed words are recorded in bold-type below. Additional information has been obtained from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website http://www.cwgc.org/ .
Private J Buckingham Lincolns July 3rd 1916
Private James Buckingham, Lincolnshire Regiment 1st Battalion, Service Number 15446. Son of Mr & Mrs J Buckingham of Woolsthorpe.
Died 3/7/1916 aged 25 THIEPVAL MEMORIAL
Lance-Corporal W Bullock Leicesters June 8th 1917
No further record of L-C Bullock has been located as yet, regrettably.
Gunner WH Coy RFA August 8th 1917
Gunner W.H. Coy, Royal Field Artillery, “A” Battery 93rd Brigade, Service Number 85242. Son of Mr & Mrs Henry Coy, Muston, Bottesford, Nottingham.
Died 8/8/1917 aged 22 ARTILLERY WOOD CEMETERY
Sergeant JR Furnival Australian Company April 27th 1915
Sergeant James Richey Furnival, Australian Infantry AIF 11th Battalion, Service Number 896. Son of Revd James and Julia Anne Furnival of 3, The Mount, St Leonards-on-Sea. Native of Muston.
Died 30/4/1915 aged 36 BEACH CEMETERY, ANZAC
Private Cyril Gale Lincolns April 27th 1918
Private Cyril Gale, Lincolnshire Regiment, Service Number 49381
Son of Charles and Isabel Gale, Muston, Bottesford, Nottingham.
Died 27/4/1918 aged 19 LE CATEAU MILITARY CEMETERY Cyril Gale appears, aged about 3, on the Muston School photograph, 1902 (See Places – Muston – Saved from the Silver Fish)
Private I Johnson Northumberland Fusiliers October 21st 1918
See research in comments below. Pte Johnson appears, aged about 12, on on the Muston School photograph, 1902 (See Places – Muston – Saved from the Silver Fish)
Sapper E Jones Australian Engineers December 1st 1916
Sapper Ernest Jones, Australian Engineers 6th Field Company, Service Number 3508. Son of James & Ellen Jones of Wilmslow Cheshire; husband of Sarah Lily Jones, Holly Cottage, Muston, Bottesford, Nottingham.
Died 1/12/1916 aged 26
BERNAFAY WOOD BRITISH CEMETERY, MONTAUBAN
Lance-Corporal WP Kirton Notts & Derby September 26th 1917
Lance-Corporal William Pollard Kirton, Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) B Company, 2nd/15th Battalion, Service Number 201905
Son of Mrs Mary Ann Smith of Muston, Bottesford, Nottingham
Died 26/9/1917 aged 21 TYNE COT MEMORIAL
Private J Norman King’s Own Lancers November 4th 1918
Private Jesse Norman joined the Leicester Regiment on the 2nd June 1916 and was later transferred to the King’s Own Regiment. He was wounded on the 23rd May 1918 and on recovery was posted back to France with the Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt), 11th Battalion, Service Number 112905. Son of the late Henry and Elizabeth Norman; husband of Maud Norman, of Muston, Bottesford, Nottingham
Died 4/11/1918 aged 38 VIS-EN-ARTOIS MEMORIAL
Private RC Pritchett Notts & Derby August 20th 1918
Pte RC Pritchard, Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regt), 1st/5th Battalion, Service Number 201253. Nephew of I. Gale of Muston, Bottesford, Nottingham
Died 20/8/1918, age not given FOUQUIERES CHURCHYARD EXTENSION
Private E Wakefield Leicesters March 8th 1916
Pte Ernest Wakefield, Leicestershire Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Service Number 7376. Husband of A.L. Stafford (formerly Wakefield), of Hospital Cottage, Muston, Bottesford, Nottingham
Died 8/3/1916 aged 29 BASRA MEMORIAL
The memorial also commemorates two servicemen from the Second World War:
Lieutenant DJ Hicks REME
L David John Hicks, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, 151st Infantry Brigade, Workshop Company, Service Number 252159
Son of Harold David John and Winifred Louise Hicks; husband of Beryl Audrey Hicks (nee Brown), of Barnet, Herts. B.Sc. Eng.
Died 13/7/1943 aged 23 CASSINO MEMORIAL
Commander CJ Smith RN DSC
Some uncertainty, but this is probably
Commander Charles Janson Smith, D.S.C., Royal Navy, HMS Aurora (an Arethusa class light cruiser launched in 1936 at Portsmouth). Son of the Reverend Leonard W. Smith and Ann Smith; husband of Marjorie Margaret Smith (nee McRea), of Sth Kensington London. [We understand that the Revd Smith in question was probably the Rector of Muston, the last resident rector of the parish.]
Died 30/10/1943 aged 39 PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL
Close to the memorial there is a single serviceman’s grave whose stone commemorates:
Flight-Lieutenant VS Walker
Pilot Royal Air Force
7th May 1947 Age 27
“Proudly Remembering Always Your Courtesy to All Men and Your Great Love“
Further details of the War Memorial are available at www.ukniwm.org.uk , where it is described as a ringed cross bearing a figure of Christ crucified, a tapered hexagonal shaft on hexagonal pedestal and three stepped base, of Ketton Stone, built by sculptor Mr William Silver Frith.
We would be grateful for any additional information, documents or photographs that readers can provide. We are particularly anxious to find out more about the men whose service records we have been unable to trace. Please contact us through the ‘Comments’ box on this page or add the information to this site’s Messages page. Thankyou.