genealogy of the Bird and Musgrove families
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Frank Arthur Musgrove (1898 - 1917)

Frank was fatally wounded towards the end of the Third battle for the small village of Passendale. He was just 19 years old.

My great uncle on my birth mother's tree, Frank Musgrove, was born on 15th June 1898. On the 1901 census he was just two years old living with his parents, 5 brothers and one sister plus his grandmother on a single floor in the slums of Kensington at 27 Southam Street. Ten years later in 1911 he was still there with his parents and younger brother, John. Like his brothers, he probably thought signing up was a chance to escape this poverty.

Frank (seated) enlisted at Hammersmith and served with the 2nd Battalion of The Queens Regiment (The Queens Own Buffs).  Like many WW1 service records destroyed during bombing in WW2, his records are unavailable, so it is impossible to know exactly which battles Frank fought in but he was certainly fighting with the regiment at what became known as 'Passendale 1917' which was one of the great conflicts of the First World War.  

Ten days of heavy bombardment of the German trenches took place before the Allied attack on 31st July 1917.  Over the next 100 days of heavy fighting there were over half a million Allied casualties with a gain of only a few miles. The weather in August brought the heaviest rain they had there for over 30 years and this caused the land to become a thick, muddy swamp.

Battles included :

Battle of Langemarck - 16th August
Battle of the Menin Road Bridge - 20th September
Battle of Polygon Wood - 26th September
Battle of Broodseinde - 4th October
Battle of Poelcappelle - 9th October
First battle of Passendale - 12th October

...... before, on 6th November, the small village of Passendale was captured.

There is an entry in the Battalion War Diaries on 1st October that two soldiers were taken from the trenches to hospital, and without further information, I think Frank may have been one of these. One can only imagine his suffering.

The CWGC memorial shows his regiment as being the 2nd Battalion of The Queens Regiment (The Queens Own Buffs), but also mentions he was formerly 10711 Herts Regiment.  Frank is buried and remembered with honour at Godewaersvelde British Cemetery which is maintained by the CWGC. Richard, a relative, has visited and some photo's are contained in the Cemetary Album.

In Memory of 

207309, 2nd Bn., The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)
who died age 19
on 05 October 1917
Son of William and Hannah Musgrove, of 8, Rundell Rd., Paddington, London.
Remembered with honour

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their face to the foe
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day time;
They sleep beyond Englandís foam.

Colonel A C Ward OBE
President, The Queen's Royal Surrey Regimental Association
Remembrance Day
November 2008


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.


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