Muspratt, Keith Knox (1897-1918)
Sherborne School, UK, Book of Remembrance for former pupils who died in the First World War, 1914-1918.
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Credit: Sherborne School Archives, Abbey Road, Sherborne, Dorset, UK, DT9 3AP.
Details: Keith Knox Muspratt (1897-1918), born 22 December 1897, youngest son of Dr Charles Drummond Muspratt, M.D., and Mabel Muspratt (nee Knox) of Tantallon, 11 Madeira Road, Bournemouth; brother of Terence Petty Muspratt (1895-1918) www.flickr.com/photos/sherborneschoolarchives/9342534130/...
Attended Wychwood preparatory school, Bournemouth.
Attended Sherborne School (School House) September 1911-August 1916; 6th form; Prefect; given a commission as a cadet officer; trained at Hendon, chiefly in his holidays, he took his flying certificate before he left school, and he received his commission and joined the R.F.C. within a week of leaving Sherborne. He obtained his 'wings' the following November, and was employed as an instructor before he was 19, being afterwards appointed to a testing squadron.
WW1, Captain in the Dorsetshire Regiment, attached to the Royal Flying Corps. Went to France in May 1917. Awarded the Military Cross in September 1917. Killed in a flying accident on 16 March 1918 at RAF Martlesham Heath, Suffolk, aged 20.
Bournemouth (Wimborne Road), B. 5. 37 N. Cemetery, B. 5. 37 N www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/362451/MUSPRATT,%20KE...
Resurrection chapel, St Peters, Bournemouth.
Sherborne School: War Memorial Staircase; Book of Remembrance; no.21 Memorial Pew in the School Chapel. Dr Muspratt and Miss Muspratt made donations towards the Sherborne School War Memorial in memory of Captain T.P. Muspratt, M.C., and Captain K.K. Muspratt, M.C.
An obituary for K.K. Muspratt appeared in 'The Shirburnian', March 1918: 'Lieut. Keith Knox Muspratt, M.C., Dorset Regiment, attached R.F.C., who was killed on March 16th in Suffolk while flying, was the youngest son of Dr. C.D. Muspratt, of Bournemouth, and was aged 20. He was educated first at Wychwood, Bournemouth, and went in 1911 to Sherborne School, where he remained till the end of the summer term, 1916. He was a school prefect, played football for the School House, and was an active member of the O.T.C., in which he was given a commission as cadet officer. Training at Hendon, chiefly in his holidays, he took his flying certificate before he left school, and he received his commission and joined the R.F.C. within a week of leaving Sherborne. He obtained his 'wings' the following November, and was employed as an instructor before he was 19, being afterwards appointed to a testing squadron. He went to France last May, and in September was awarded the Military Cross. In the account of the award in the 'Gazette', which appeared in 'The Times' of March 12th, it was stated: 'He set a magnificent example by his skill, gallantry, and initiative.' The above extract from 'The Times' is a brief, but eloquent, summary of the career of one of the latest and youngest of her sons whom Sherborne proudly mourns. She mourns them all with equal pride and love: as our Sherborne poet (as we may surely call James Rhoades) has written:
'And he that was greatest among them is even as he that was least;
They were men in the might of their manhood, or boys in the beauty of youth,
But they held all as dust in the balance to battling for freedom and truth.'
But Keith Muspratt was so recently a boy among us, so familiar and dear to many of us who are still here at School, that one special word of loving remembrance may fitly be added to the brief chronicle on behalf of boys and masters. Tam cari capitis! no boy of sunnier aspect, more debonair, was ever at Sherborne School. He passed through school life blameless, beloved by young and old. He was so happy and insouciant that graver heads might be pardoned if at times they feared he took life too easily for future credit or solid work: yet there was a quiet confidence and a fearlessness about him which always assured one at least who knew him well that he would rise to his opportunities. The persistancy and success of his experiments, as a mere boy, in studying aviation was in itself good warrant for such a faith; and the brilliancy of his all too short career as an airman in France was proof enough. The youngest of three brothers here, all of a courage to match their distinguished military lineage, he leaves his two elder brothers in the thick of the fighting in France and Mesopotamia. His days have been few, but very far from evil. May theirs continue as fair and far longer for the comfort of their family and friends.'
Supplement to the London Gazette, 7 March 1918 (awarded the Military Cross on 18 October 1917):
'T./2nd Lt. Keith Knox Muspratt, Gen. List and RFC
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He showed great initiative throughout the offensive operations, and seldom failed to become engaged with enemy aircraft when on offensive patrol. He destroyed several hostile machines. He took part in over forty offensive patrols, the majority of which entailed very severe fighting at low altitudes under heavy fire, and he set a magnificent example by his skill, gallantry, and initiative.'