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The Great War (1914-18): Grantham GNR Men’s Roll of Honour

Above: troops assemble outside Grantham Railway Station in 1917. (Grantham Matters website)

The following list is transcribed from a Roll of Honour document which is kept in the Local Studies collection at Grantham Library.  The men's Christian names and ages are not on the document but they have been found in other sources, usually reports and notices in The Grantham Journal newspaper or online family history resources.

If you believe you are related to one of the men listed we will be glad to share any relevant resources - please use the Contact Form on this page.


THE GREAT WAR

Roll of Honour

Names of Great Northern Railwaymen from

  GRANTHAM   Station or Depot who have lost

their lives in the service of their Country.

NAME.Age.Name of Regiment or Ship to which attached.Rank.Date and Particulars of Death.Grade in Railway Service.
Tom SWAIN29Lincolnshire RegimentDrummerKilled Sept 1914Fitter's Labourer
John Thomas Herbert SEARSON23Somerset Light InfantryPrivateKilled 28th Apl. 1915Cleaner
Joseph BONDLincolnshire RegimentPrivateDied 31st Mar. 1915Washerout
Albert WIGGINTON19Lincolnshire RegimentPrivateKilled 28th Nov. 1915Shed Boy
Walter WILKINSON19Machine Gun CorpsPrivateKilled 12th Oct. 1917 Porter
John Francis MUSSON31Coldstream GuardsLance Sergeant Killed 24th Nov. 1917Fitter's Labourer
Charles Alfred MASON238th North Staffs RegimentPrivate Killed 30th Dec. 1917Fireman
Frederick Arthur WORTH19Durham Light InfantryPrivate Killed 30th Mar. 1918Cleaner
Herbert Arthur MUSSON184th Durham Light InfantryPrivate Killed 24th Apl. 1918Messenger
George James HALL206th Royal West KentsLance Corporal Killed 21st Sep. 1918Cleaner
Elisha HEDWORTH42Royal EngineersPrivateDied Nov. 15th 1918Shed Labourer

Note : in column 5 'Killed' is taken to mean that the man died in combat; 'Died' appears to signify that he passed away in hospital as a result of injuries sustained on the battlefield.


Below are extracts from a tribute to Sergeant John Francis Musson MM of Barrowby, who  was killed at the Battle of Cambrai and whose name appears 6th on the Roll.

The Grantham Journal, Saturday 22nd December 1917:

Sergt. John Musson had served eight years with the Colours [3rd Bttn. Coldstream Guards] previous to the outbreak of hostilities and, being on the Army Reserve, was called up immediately and sent to France, and with the exception of a few days' leave, went through all the campaign...

The following letter relative to the death of Sergt. Musson has been received by his sister:

Dear Miss Musson,

It is with the deepest regret that I am writing to you to inform you of your brother's death in action.  Your brother died most gallantly in an attempt, only aided by one other man - a Sergeant in the same company - to re-take a machine gun which had been lost by some men of another Regiment.  The two men went back and held off the Germans while the Machine Gunners regained their gun, and in the melee which ensued you brother was shot down...

Sergeant Kermode (his companion) has been recommended for the DCM* in consequence of this feat, a recommendation in which your brother, had he lived, would have shared. His loss is greatly felt by the Company to which he belonged, both by the men and officers, and I am sorry that his Commanding Officer (Captain Lloyd) who has been killed since, was unable to write to you himself, as I know he intended to do. 

Sergt. Kermode has been wounded since, and may be in England by now.  Should you wish to see him and get further details please let me know, and I will do my best to find out what hospital he has gone to, and will write and send the address.

With deepest sympathy.

Yours sincerely,

J.C. Hayes, 2nd Lieut.

* The Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) was established in 1854 by Queen Victoria as a decoration for gallantry in the field by 'other ranks' of the British Army. It is the oldest British award for gallantry and a second level military decoration, ranking next below the Victoria Cross.  Until 1979 the DCM could not be awarded posthumously .

Sergeant John Musson is commemorated at the Cambrai Memorial in France.  Here is a link to his page on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website.


Sergeant William Francis Kermode MM, who accompanied John Musson, duly received his DCM.  Here is the citation relating to the action in which John Musson was killed:

13335 Cpl. (L./Sjt.) W. F. Kermode, M.M., C. Gds. (Peel, I. of Man).

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.  He, being in charge of a flank post, when some machine gunners were compelled to retire to his post, together with another N.C.O. led them back, and though armed only with a revolver killed the leading two of the enemy party and held up the remainder of the party, thus allowing the machine gunners to recover their gun, which they had left behind, and also covering their retreat.  Later, he returned to the same spot, under close range machine-gun and rifle fire, in order to recover some equipment.  This N.C.O. has on all occasions displayed the greatest enthusiasm and energy in the fulfilment of his duty.

(Supplement to The London Gazette, 28th March 1918)

William Kermode DCM MM survived the war and he died at the age of 70 in 1963.

Lt. John Carolin Hayes MC, who wrote to John Musson's sister, died on 19th November 1918.  He is buried at the Ste. Marie Cemetery at Le Havre.


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