Musgrave, Francis William (Reverend)

January 1905 at St. Paul’s Church, Clerkenwell, London.   He was the son of William Gummow & Mary Jane Musgrave, (nee Williams) who had married in the September quarter of 1892 at Pontypool, Monmouthshire (Monmouthshire Vol: 11a Page:223).  The address on the Baptism was 3, King’s Square, Goswell Road and William was a Lay Reader.

William Gummow Musgrave had been born in Mold, Flintshire in 1857 and was baptised at Mold on the 4th October 1857 the son of Francis & Sophia Musgrave from Mold, Francis was a Banker.   As far as I can tell this is the nearest I can get the family to Hope and the reason that The Rev. Francis William Musgrave’s name was added to the Hope WW2 War Memorial.   If anyone can help explain his name being added to Hope WW2 War Memorial and the connection, please contact the website as it would be nice to make Francis connect much closer to Mold.

I have no early details on Mary Jane Musgrave (nee Williams), I’m afraid there are too many Mary Jane Williams to research without some clue to her father etc., and as I cannot find a copy of her marriage without having to purchase it, I will have to rely, for the time being, on perhaps someone knowing more about her family and getting in touch.

However we see William Gummow Musgrave on the 1901 and the 1911 censuses with Mary Jane.  In 1901 they are living at Block 365, Compton Buildings, St. James, Clerkenwell, London, with William Gummow Musgrave, 41, as the Head of the household, he was a Scripture Reader at St. Pauls, (Preach) and had been born in Mold, Flintshire.  His wife, Mary Jane Musgrave, 31, had been born in Pontypool, Monmouthshire.   Constance May Musgrave, 7 and Sophia Doris Musgrave, 5, had both been born in Pontypool.    There had been a tragedy when another daughter, Clarice Lilian had been born in 1897 and died the same year.

By 1911 they had moved to 67, Mercer’s Road, Holloway, Islington, London. (6 rooms) and all the family spoke only English.   Head of the household was William Gummow Musgrave, 51 and a Lay Reader for the Church of England.    His wife Mary Jane Musgrave, 41, tells us that they had been married 18 years and 5 children had been born to them, sadly 2 had died.  This time Mary Jane’s place of birth is given as born in Pontnewynydd, Mon.   Now this is the first time that the householder fills in the census form, so was Mary Jane really born in Pontnewynydd or Pontypool?    Any help would be gratefully received.    Constance May was now 17, Sophia Doris, 15, both had been born in Pontypool.   This is the first sighting of Francis William Musgrave, he is age 6 and had been born in St. Luke’s E.C., London.   A Domestic servant, Ellen Fleming, 28 had been born in New North Road, London.

The 1921 census shows Francis William Musgrave’s family without his father William Musgrave and Francis William himself, but he would have been only 16 years of age.   I have no idea where they were.   Any help would be appreciated.

The 1921 census, which was taken on the 19th of June 1921, shows Francis William’s mother Mary Jane Musgrave and his two sisters living at ‘Guest House,’ Claremont Road, Seaford, East Blatchington, Sussex.    Mary Jane Musgrave is now 51 years and 10 months old, married, born in Ponypool, Monmouthshire and a Boarding Housekeeper (At Home.)   Constance May Musgrave is 27 years and 11 months old, single and an Assistant, as was her sister Sophia Doris Musgrave, 26 years old and both sisters had been born in Pontypool.   There was another Assistant, Ellen Fleming, age 39 years and born London.   The rest of the occupants were Boarders, 10 in all.

There is a burial of another Hope resident, James Bradshaw, whose son, James Samuel Bradshaw died in WW2 and is on the Hope War Memorial that Rev. Francis William Musgrave officiated at, please click on the link to read his story:-

Hope Parish Registers – Burials.

James BRADSHAW, Rhos Estyn, Hope, 2nd July 1928 age 33 years. Francis William MUSGRAVE was the Curate who buried him.   Rev. F.W. MUSGRAVE was to die on the 2nd of August 1944 as Chaplain to the Forces 4th Class, Royal Army Chaplains Dept., attd. 5th Bn. The Dorsetshire Regt.   He is also remembered on the Hope WW2 War Memorial.

I have no information either on Francis’s early or teenage years, but I know that he was at St. David’s College, Lampeter as he is remembered on their WW2 War Memorial along with other students.   It is this source that tells us how Francis was killed.  Please scroll down to WW2 Casualties.

Lampeter (St. David’s College War Memorial

“Reverend Francis William Musgrave, B.A., Chaplain 4th Class, 147348, Royal Army Chaplains’ Department.   Francis was the son of William Gummow Musgrave and Mary Musgrave and the husband of Alma Grace Musgrave, of Hove, Sussex.   He was commissioned in September 1940 as Chaplain 4th Class with the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department.   Francis landed in Normandy attached to the 5th Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment.    He was killed by a shell during the battalions attack at Mount Pincon 2nd August 1944.   Francis was 39 years old and is buried at Hottot-Les-Bagues War Cemetery, France.”    Many thanks to the above website.

Please click on the link: –,_LampeterUniversity of Wales, Lampeter – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Excerpt from the above website:-

In 1852, the college gained the right to award the degree of Bachelor of Divinity (BD) and, in 1865, the degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA), long before the other colleges in Wales gained their own degree awarding powers. As early as 1865, when a campaign had commenced to establish a University for Wales, there were suggestions that the College should take on this function. However, they were opposed by those who believed it should retain its original purpose as a theological college.[4]

Although it continued as a centre of clergy training until 1978, there was always a proportion of students who did not intend to be ordained.

In 1931 Francis’s mother Mary Jane Musgrave died on the 9th of January:- MUSGRAVE, Mary Jane of York Lodge, Claremont-road, Seaford, Sussex widow died 9th January 1931 at Brighton.   Administration Lewes 21st February to Francis William MUSGRAVE, Clerk.

We also know that Francis was on the Ship “Naldera” on the 15th of April 1932 sailing to Yokohama from London.   Francis’s companion was Rowland Newman, age 54.  Francis William Musgrave was 27, both of the Clergy and both disembarking at Tangiers.    Their address was stated to be York House, Seaford.*

*This is the address on Mary Jane Musgrave’s Probate.

On the ship “Rajputane” en route to London, Francis W. Musgrave,(Clerk (H.O)) Rowland A.W. Newman (Clerk (H.O.)) and also Herbert H. Newton, (Clerk) age 23, whose address was 69, Clarendon Road, Fulwood Park, Sheffield, travelled from Gibraltar on the ship “Rajputane” arriving at London on the 27th April 1932.  Again Francis & Rowland’s address was York House, Seaford.

I do not know when Francis met his future wife, Alma Grace Stoner, but they married in the June quarter of 1937 (Brighton Vol. 2b Page 505) and they are seen on the 1939 National Register, which was taken on the 29th September 1939, living at 40 Fletching Road, Brighton And Hove, Sussex, England.     This source gives us the dates of birth for each resident.    Francis W. Musgrave was born on the 24th December 1904 and was Vicar of White Hawk, Alma G. Musgrave was born on the 21st February 1916 and as most married women who did not have a job, was described as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”   There is also Ellen Fleming, born on the 25th June 1882 a Housekeeper, who was seen on the 1911 census living at 67, Mercer’s Road, Holloway, Islington, London, with Francis’s parents and siblings.

Their first son, Christopher F. Musgrave was born in the March quarter of 1940 (Brighton Vol. 2b Page 561).  His 2nd son Timothy I. Musgrave was born in the March Quarter of 1944 (Brighton Vol.  2b Page 282).   They were just infants when their father was killed.

Francis was at home on the 29th of September 1939, he was commissioned in September 1940 as Chaplain 4th Class(Captain) to the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department, his service number was 147348.

He was to find himself, I believe, as part of “Operation Overlord.”

Operation Bluecoat – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Part of Operation Overlord, the Battle of Normandy

The British Army in Normandy 1944 B8190.jpg

Universal carriers and infantry of the 15th (Scottish) Infantry Division move forward during Operation Bluecoat, 30 July 1944.

Date      30 July – 7 August 1944

Location – Normandy, France

48°50′34″N 0°53′32″W

Result   Allied victory

Belligerents –  United Kingdom – Germany

Commanders and leaders – United Kingdom Miles Dempsey   –  Nazi Germany Paul Hausser

Strength :-

3 armoured divisions

3 infantry divisions

2 armoured brigades

+700 tanks         rising to: 4 panzer divisions

2 infantry divisions

Casualties and losses

5,114 (VIII Corps only)

246 tanks (excluding light casualties)      +100 tanks (including light casualties)

Operation Overlord – (Battle of Normandy)

Operation Bluecoat was a British offensive in the Battle of Normandy, from 30 July until 7 August 1944, during the Second World War. The geographical objectives of the attack, undertaken by VIII Corps and XXX Corps of the British Second Army (Lieutenant-General Miles Dempsey), were to secure the road junction of Vire and the high ground of Mont Pinçon.

The attack was made at short notice to exploit the success of Operation Cobra by the First US Army after it broke out on the western flank of the Normandy beachhead and to exploit the withdrawal of the 2nd Panzer Division from the Caumont area, to take part in Unternehmen Lüttich (Operation Liège) a German counter-offensive against the Americans.

Operation Bluecoat – July 30 – August 6, 1944

Bluecoat Operation Plan – July 30 – August 6, 1944

Film taken on the 2nd August 1944 – 6 minutes.  Operation Bluecoat, Mont Pinçon 1944, North West Europe, Second World War.  (Interesting film, snapshots, in a way, of the troops on that day in the vicinity of Mount Pincon.

Francis is also remembered on this website, please click on the link to read his entry:-

Chaplain 4th Class (Captain) The Rev. FRANCIS WILLIAM MUSGRAVE

Also –

They Gave Their Today – Army Chaplains who died in WW2.

Casualty List (Page2) tells us that Francis was killed on the 2nd August 1944, and on Casualty List (Page 9) the date was corrected to the 3rd August 1944.

The Commonwealth War Graves Concentration Report Form tell us that Francis was buried first, probably near where he was killed, at Jurques and then reburied on the 19th October 1945 at Hottot-Les-Bogues, where he now lies.

Alma Grace Musgrove was to remarry in the June quarter of 1946 to Geoffrey W.R. Brownscombe at Hove (Hove Vol. 2b Page 799) and sadly she was to suffer another great loss as Geoffrey died in the September quarter of 1950 age 42 years.

Alma was to remarry again in the June quarter of 1979 at Hitchin, Hertfordshire to Ralph H. Nott.   Then in the February 1990 her death is recorded in Worthing, West Sussex, her age was 74 years.  Let us hope she had some happiness.

As I said at the start I do not know the connection to Hope, or the surrounding districts other than Mold, but someone put Francis’s name forward to the committee for him to be remembered for perpetuity for his sacrifices for us all.   Any information would be gratefully received.

Francis William Musgrave (Rev.) is now emembered on the British Normandy Memorial, Column 238.  His story will be told on their website: –

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