MUSSON Harold Methven

Known information

Harold Methven Musson, a former pupil of Oakham School, was awarded the Military Cross for bravery during the First World War. He was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, the son of Christopher Joseph and Kate Musson (nee Methven). He was sent to England to be educated and was at Oakham between 1899 and 1902. He became a rancher in Argentina before war broke out. He returned to England to enlist and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant with the Royal Field Artillery, serving with D Battery 149th Brigade. According to the Supplement to the London Gazette of 17 July 1917, Harold won his MC: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during a raid. He was acting as FOO [Forward Observation Officer] and established himself close to the objective. When the advance was held up he went forward under heavy fire and joined the infantry, and returned with information of their position. Throughout he sent in most valuable information.”  149th Brigade took part in the Battle of Messines and the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). At some point Harold was wounded but there is no clue in the brigade's war diary when this happened. It might have been in August during which the diary says three officers were killed and eleven were wounded, or almost 50 per cent, an unusually large tally. The diary records: "Having taken part the attack of July 31 [at Zillebeke], the Bde remained in action defending the line until August 10th." Later in the month it took part in two barrages on the nights of the 26/27 and 31/1 near Wytschaete. In September the diary says casualties only amounted to four Other Ranks. However he was injured, Harold was evacuated back to a hospital on the Channel coast where he died on 26 September 1917, aged 33. He left a wife, Constance M Musson, who after the war was recorded as living at 79 Belsize Park Gardens, Hampstead, London. He is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery, France, grave XXVIII.A.9, and is remembered in Oakham School Chapel, as well as in St Andrew's Church in central Buenos Aires, Argentina.

We're grateful to Harold's grandson Jim Kennard for extra detail including the following: "His widow, my grandmother, was my dearest friend as a child so I suspect he was quite a chap. Harold had two daughters, my mother Renee and her sister Nancy, who was born around the time of his death. Nancy died in a plane crash in Ghana in 1947 where she now rests. My mother married another AngloArgentine and we lived there to 1963. My two sisters and I, and our children, are all that exists in Harold's line. My grandmother never remarried. Harold had a younger brother Eric who also fought in WW1 but survived and spent the rest of his life in Argentina. He does have family who live on there. 

The portrait of Harold Musson and the photograph below of his medals and "widow's penny" are courtesy Jim Kennard

The photograph of him in the school cricket team is courtesy Oakham School

Do you know something about Harold Methven that hasn't been mentioned?
You can add any new information and images as a contribution at the bottom of this page.
  • H M Musson
  • Oakham School Chapel
  • Oakham School Memorial 4
  • Harold Musson's medals and
  • Etaple Military Cemetery JS9
  • Etaple Military Cemetery JS1
  • H M Musson JS5
  • H M Musson JS4
  • H M Musson JS1
  • H M Musson JS3

User contributions

Born 1884.Oakham School 1899-1902: Rugby and Cricket Colour; school photos to come.Grave photo attached.
By BN on Tuesday 17th June '14 at 5:14pm
HMM's date of birth was 20 October 1883, born in Montevideo, Uruguay.
By JimK on Friday 26th September '14 at 8:28am
Should also have MC after his name, having been awarded such for his bravery in July 1917 when manning a forward observation post. The citation will be in the documents I sent through previously.Thank you for taking the time to remember and honour his life and his death, a fantastic job.
By JimK on Friday 26th September '14 at 8:30am
He was a fine polo player and is going to feature in my book Polo and the Great War.
By tharkin56 on Tuesday 29th September '15 at 7:59pm
A picture of Mr Musson's headstone
By John Stokes on Tuesday 20th September '16 at 5:06am
A Rutlander, living in Belgium

Rutland and The Battle of the Somme

More than 90 Rutland soldiers died in the Battle of the Somme which lasted from 1 July 1916 until the middle of November. Today they lie in cemeteries across the old battlefield in northern France or are remembered among the 72,000 names on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. By using our interactive map, you can find out what happened to them.

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