George Clarke Musgrave

For all discussions relating to the Second, Third, Fourth & Fifth Ashantee Wars fought between 1863 and 1900.

George Clarke Musgrave

Postby AdrianM » 19 Feb 2013 08:06

I am a new member looking for any info on George Clarke Musgrave during the Ashanti expedition of 1896. He was also part of the expeditions to the Sierra Leone Hinterland, the Imperri Country and Sherbro in 1894 and to Oqua, Ashanti and Bekwai in 1895-6. He was (I think) part of the Royal Artillery detachment and he received medals for the Ashanti and Bekwai campaigns and a special medal for valour in the field in West Africa. He travelled to Africa on SS Loanda from Liverpool on 30 Nov 1895 and this journey forms the introduction to his book "To Kumasi with Scott", published in 1896. In another of his books "Under Three Flags in Cuba", published in 1899, he writes that he had previously "received an honourable discharge for injuries sustained in the Queen’s Service”, which suggests that he was wounded during his time in Africa. He also wrote a number of articles for the Strand magazine and the London Chronicle and went on to become a war correspondent reporting from Cuba (1897-98) and South Africa (1899-1900). There is also some evidence that he worked for both the UK and the US secret service.
I have all his details from Ancestry and Forces War Records but neither of these sites have any records of his military service or medals awarded (maybe because of his secret service connections?). Any information, advice or assistance in tracing any records would be greatly appreciated
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Re: George Clarke Musgrave

Postby Maureene » 19 Feb 2013 11:02

Hi Adrian

There is a WO 97 record of service on the pay website Find My Past for
MUSGRAVE George Clarke born 1874 at Folkestone, Kent

(I don't have a subscription, so can't tell you what is in it)

Ancestry has medal roll details from the National Archives, Kew. If you can't find his medals there, this may mean there is no medal roll at the National Archives, or what is there has not been digitised. You should look on the National Archives website to see whether there is a medal roll for the medals you are interested in. The WO 97 record would probably have details about medals.

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Re: George Clarke Musgrave

Postby crimea1854 » 19 Feb 2013 11:15

The man on FMP served in the RA, but only from 1893 to 1894, and never left England.

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Re: George Clarke Musgrave

Postby QSAMIKE » 19 Feb 2013 14:53

Hello Adrian......

Did a quick look in the South African casualty list and I am sorry there is no G. C. Musgrave listed....

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Re: George Clarke Musgrave

Postby Waggoner » 19 Feb 2013 21:54

I looked in Ashanti 1895-96 and could not find him listed for either the RA or RHA. Are you certain that he was artillery?

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Re: George Clarke Musgrave

Postby AdrianM » 20 Feb 2013 07:41

Thanks to all for the extremely helpful replies. I have now found his army service record on Find My Past and this shows that he served as a gunner but only from Nov 1893 to Dec 1894. He was originally a volunteer with 22nd Middlesex Rifles and he joined the RA at the age of 19 yrs and 2 months. His attestation documents show that he had received a "notice" from a Sgt Jones, 3rd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers .. (does anybody know what this means?). His short army career was ended by an accident when his leg was broken in three places by a horse. He was medically discharged with a small pesion.
After he was discharged, though, he did go to Ashanti (1895-6) and in his book "To Kumasi with Scott" he documents in great detail the departure from Liverpool on SS Loanda on 30 November 1985 with "officers and men from the Army Service Corps and Engineers, also a detachment of Artillery", and the entire expedition from landing at Cape Coast on 18 December to the surrender of Prempeh and the return trip in early February 1986.
So, my question is .. in what capacity was he part of the Ashanti expedition?
Was he there as a war correspondent? (I think that , at the age of just 21, he would have been too young for this - and he had no experience or track record)
Or could he have been there in some sort of non-service role for the army or the government?
Or was he some sort of early "Indiana Jones", seeking out and writing about his own adventures? (and if so, how did he manage to get official clearance and authority to be so intimately involved with a military action?)
Maybe somebody on the forum knows how these sort of "arrangements" were managed at the time ??
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