John William Musgrove (aka Jack)
This is about Irene's father, Jack Musgrove, whose father died when he was still a baby and who was instrumental in my adoption.
Jack was born on 5th August 1900 in the slums of 27 Southam Street, Kensington. He was the youngest of 8 children so conditions must have been harsh. On the 1901 census there were his parents, him and six siblings plus his grandmother living in just 3 rooms.
His certificate of service says he was previously a railway signalman. No doubt to escape the poverty, he signed up for 12 years with the Royal Navy on 1st February 1916, aged 15 years 6 months. His record shows he was about five feet eight inches tall with brown hair and a fresh complexion. At some point he got a snake tattoo on his right forearm.
He married Amy McTEAR on 30 October 1925 in Portsmouth. She was two months pregnant with her second son. They had three children :
Roy Dalrymple Musgrove - he was born in October 1924, so they obviously had a relationship for sometime before they married. He died in 2001.
Ronald Frank Musgrove - he was born in May 1926 and died in 2007.
My birth mother (LIVING) was born in October 1935.
Amy died in January 1946.
Jack didn't waste any time and re-married in the June 1947 quarter to Dorothy Verena Stableford, or Vi as she was known.
Jack was my birth grandfather. In view of the fact he had two children 'out of wedlock', it is surprising that he was totally opposed to I keeping me after my birth and forced her to put me up for adoption.
J tells me that Jack used to own an off-licence in Muswell Hill near Archway, On one occasion Caroline, Vera (daughter of Bill), Laura and Lena (J's auntie and mother) and their families all met above the shop for a family party (date of this ask J). Sounds like he had a flat above the shop ?
He was also a steward on the Queen Mary.
Jack died in August 1968. I remembers Aunt Carrie and her were with him when he died.
His service record is extensive :
Between 1929 and 1939 he was on various ships including HMS Victory 1 and 3 (Viceroy), Excellent, Suffolk and Courageous.
1940 HMS Dolphin and HMS Excellent as Petty Officer. He became Temporary Acting Gunner in December 1940. He was put on the retired list in November 1947.
Reports between 1942 and 1947 from his commanding officers were complimentary without being full of praise :
"a good, sound and hard working officer. Very good personal appearance"; "a good field training officer. Sets a high standard. A hard working, loyal and pleasant mannered Warrant Officer"; "very assured and keen. His technical knowledge is sound but his practical application is unimpressive, has charm of manner and finds conversation easy, a pleasant mess mate, keeps himself physically fit"; "a generally sound and conscientious Warrant Officer with a good grasp of his specialist duties. Is rather slow at teaching (?) decisions though these are usually correct. Is particularly good in his dealings with outside departments"; "a capable Gunner with good ability for taking charge and an effective leader"; "professionally reasonably satisfactory. Inclined to be stupid and outside wartime (?) matters shows little judgement. Due to the recent death of his wife has requested service at home so that he can look after his family. Quite a pleasant messmate."; "sound, cheerful and loyal. Popular messmate. Hardworking. Interested in games"; "sound, reliable and conscientious. No outstanding qualifications but has carried out his duties entirely satisfactorily".
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