Muston War Memorial - St John the Baptist churchyard

By Kate Pugh and Neil Fortey

Muston War Memorial - St John the Baptist churchyard
Muston War Memorial - St John the Baptist churchyard

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 .

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


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  D.S.C.                    RN

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 , 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.

This page was added on 13/04/2009.

Comments about this page

  • ‘W Bullock’ is Lance Corporal J.W Bullock Serial No: 14376 who was reported missing on the 8/6/1917. He enlisted in Leicester on the 7th September 1914 and saw active service until 15/6/1916 when he was ‘posted to base’ with ‘trench fever’. He rejoined the 1/4th Battalion Leicestershire Regt. on the 6/5/1917 and is listed as missing one month later. His wife was Nellie Bullock (nee Harby). They married in Grantham on the 5/10/1912 and are recorded in his military records as having a son Frances Edward. Nellie Bullock, as next of kin, is also recorded as living in ‘Muston, Bottesford’. In the dispassionate terms of the military record, the ’22-3-1918′ is listed as the date of ‘acceptance of death for official purposes’. William’s personal effects were returned to Nellie on the 28th May 1918 to ‘Mrs Nellie Bullock, Barkestone Lane, Bottesford’. His campaign medals were forwarded on the 8th November 1920 and their receipt acknowledged by Nellie on the 11th December 1920. Nellie married William E. Pinfold in Grantham in 1922 (sometime between April to June). The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Memorial Certificate carries for following inscription:
    In Memory of
    14376, 1st/4th Bn., Leicestershire Regiment
    who died on 08 June 1917
    Husband of Nellie Pinfold (formerly Bullock), of 2, Barker’s Place, Hinckley, Leicestershire.
    Remembered with honour

    By David Middleton (14/04/2009)
  • Private I Johnson, Northumberland Fusiliers: October 21st 1918

    An ‘Isaac Johnson’ is listed in the 1901 census (DOB 1890; Parents John and Annie E. Johnson). Neither the CWGC Debt of Honour Register nor various military records on list an ‘I’ Johnson as a casualty in the Northumberland Fusiliers for that date. Scanning all 742 Johnsons, who are listed as casualties for 1918, still did not produce a record – need to do that again with a fresh eye. We will also go and look at the Grantham Journal for 1918 – this gives comprehensive entries for casualties in the weekly Roll of Honour during WW1.

    By Sue and David Middleton (16/04/2009)
  • Private I Johnson, Northumberland Fusiliers

    Whilst we have not been able to trace Isaac Johnson in any military records nor in the CWGC register we have found the following report in the Grantham dated 9th November 1918. The date of his death in the article is given as the 20th October and he was buried in Muston Church yard, possibly on November 2nd 1918

    Death of a Muston Hero – Still another Muston soldier has given his life for King and Country, viz., Pte. Isac (sic) Johnson, who enlisted in the Royal Engineers on July 19th, 1917, and was attached later to the Northumberland Fusiliers. He went to France in January, 1918, being wounded five months later at Armentieres. He was removed to England to Hospital at Newcastle on August 12th, 1918, later being removed to the University College Hospital, London. Pte. Johnson had suffered very much from his wounds, so that the sad news of his death on October 20th was not unexpected. The funeral took place on Saturday, at Muston, several of his former workmates and friends following him to the grave to show their tribute of respect to him. Before the war, Pte. Johnson was a platelayer on the Sedgebrook length of the Great Northern Railway, Much sympathy is expressed to Mr. and Mrs. J. Johnson and family in their sad bereavement. Their other soldier son, Pte. D. Johnson, is on his way home from India. He has also been suffering from dysentery and malaria.

    By Sue and David Middleton (02/05/2009)
  • Private I Johnson, Northumberland Fusiliers

    A photograph of Isaac Johnson taken in 1902 alongside the pupils of Muston School can be found on the following page :

    By Sue and David Middleton (22/12/2009)
  • Following on from the Muston School photo of 1902, I have now found this page and note that I Gale (presumably Isabel) lost not only her son, Cyril, but in Pte Pritchett, her nephew too. The loss of so many men from such a small community was repeated all across the UK but at the time must have torn the village apart with such sadness.

    By Jonathan D'Hooghe (19/05/2010)
  • Sapper Ernest Jones was born in Wilmslow. Wilmslow Community Archaeology group has been researching the lives of men commemorated on local war memorials for the past two years. In preparation for this year’s publications I have been endeavouring to compile a list of all those who died and who were associated with Wilmslow Parish. Aggregating those from seven war memorials I have about 220 names. I am trying to connect each man to the corresponding Commonwealth War Graves Commission record. But for Sapper Jones I had only “E Jones” – no first name, no rank and no regiment. A search of the 1911 census found two Ernest Jones. Both were born in 1890 and both describe themselves as “painter and decorator”. One of these household entries was unusual. A 50-year-old widow, Ellen Jones, had a household of married children – but with no sign of the children’s spouses. The other entry was just Ernest Jones and his wife Sarah Lily Jones. I am now convinced that Ernest Jones got counted twice in the 1911 census – once in his mother’s household and secondly in his own. I wonder where he actually spent the night of Saturday 2 April 1911! Sarah Lily Jones gave her place of birth as Belgrave, Leicester. A search of the 1901 Census for a “Sarah Lily”, surname unknown, born in Belgrave, found her living with her father Richard H North in Lincolnshire. But the street address was Muston, Bottesford, Notts. I had never heard of Muston so Googled that name, which brought up the Bottesford history pages. I had come across these before in connection with brickmaking – so intrigued, I selected that website – and bingo! There was Sapper Ernest and his wife Sarah Lily on the Muston War Memorial. I would never have expected a Wilmslow painter and decorator to join the Australian Engineers.

    By John Tomlinson (04/02/2012)
  • Thank you for your comment concerning Ernest Jones. We do hope that you have now located the memorial certificate on the CWGC Web site. Please do let us know when your work identifying all those who served from Wilmslow is published. We have been trying to compile a list of the all those who served from Bottesford and Muston in addition to those listed as casualties on the war memorials. We have the following information concerning Ernest and Sarah Jones. They emigrated to Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia sometime after 1911. Heidelberg is now a residential suburb of Melbourne.  They are listed in the 1914 Australian Voting Register as living in Heidelberg. Ernest was working as a painter and decorator. However he enlisted with the Australian Engineers, 2nd Section of the 6th Field Company on 20th July 1915 as a bricklayer. His enlistment papers also indicated he was the father of two children. Red Cross records of his death on 1st December 1916 also sadly report that he had learnt of the death of one of his children whilst serving in Egypt between December 1915 to March 1916. Eye-witness accounts given in March and April 1917 from members of his section describe how around midnight on the 1st December a high explosive shell hit ‘a large tent’ in which ‘around 50 soldiers’, were encamped in the area of the Somme near Longeval in France. 8 soldiers were injured and up to four others, including Ernest, were instantly killed. The Red Cross sought out 11 witnesses account of this calamitous event. His wife Sarah Lillian Jones and his surviving daughter Lillian Elizabeth Jones are listed in pension records after Ernest’s death. Initial official correspondence to Sarah is to the Heidelberg address in Australia. However, by February 1918 Australia House in London is given as the forwarding address. Sarah and Lillian must have returned to the UK to be with her parents in Muston, Leicestershire sometime after Ernest’s enlistment.

    By David Middleton (05/02/2012)

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