John, a Cockney by virtue of being born within the sound of Bow Bells, was born on 14 September 1930 and had vivid memories as a boy of the Streets of London and London trams, etc.

SSgt JD Musson
SSgt JD Musson

He was evacuated to Ancaster in Lincolnshire during the war and remained there on leaving school and worked as a farm labourer until enlisting into the Army in Lincoln on 10 January 1948.

After initial training with 100 PTC, he was allocated to the RAC and posted to Catterick (of which we all have fond memories) to the 8th RTR one of the Training Regiments of that time. He consequently joined 1 RTR in Germany in July 1948 until he was re-badged to the 4th Hussars and sailed to join the Regiment in March 1949 aboard the troopship the MT Dunera.

In April of 1949, John had an unfortunate accident which involved phosphorous and was badly burnt, spending the next eight months in and out of various hospitals in Malaya and eventually BMH Singapore. Eventually, he returned to duty with the Regiment and sailed home with them to Tidworth in December 1951.

John was posted to Korea in June 1952 but only made it to Japan and stayed there with Command District Battle School until returning to the UK in May 1953 and posted to Warcop Ranges until rejoining the Regiment in August 1957 in Hohne BAOR and re-badged QRIH in October 1953.

During this period at Warcop John married Mary. John served with the Regiment until they left Germany in June 1961 when he then spent some two and a half years at FVRDE Kirkcudbright until rejoining the Regiment in Malaya in December 1963.

He served in Borneo during the Indonesian confrontation which tried to destabilise the formation of Malaysia. The Regiment was then posted to Wolfenbuttel in BAOR and then Tidworth followed by Bovington and John stayed with the Regiment and during which time he attained the rank of staff sergeant.

He was discharged to the Reserve on 13 June 1970.

During his service John was awarded the GSM with Clasp Malaya; United Nations Service Medal with Clasp Korea; GSM with Clasp Borneo and Clasp Malaya Peninsula, LS and GC with Gratuity.

On leaving the Army John was employed by the Bracknell District Council in the post of cleansing service manager until his retirement just before his 65th birthday. His hobbies were wood turning and he was a keen fly fisherman. He was also a very keen gardener growing both flowers and vegetables and a very devoted family man.

John and Mary had three children, Steven who tragically died in an accident in Germany in 1959 and two daughters, Karen and Gaynor. Sadly Mary pre-deceased John in 1979.

John met Janice some 26 years ago and they married in May 1984. Janice has a son Simon and a daughter Tracey and between the extended family, they have seven grandchildren.

John underwent extensive heart surgery two years ago and was diagnosed with cancer a matter of weeks before his death on 25 June 2007 aged 77.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. A short history of The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars
  3. Malaya and Borneo 1962-64