Maria Musgrave, Lady Musgrave (b. 1931)
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Maria Musgrave, Lady Musgrave (b. 1931)


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Track 1: Maria Musgrave (née Cambanis) is of Greek origin, and she explains that she met her husband Richard in London. After their marriage in 1958, the couple lived in County Meath. Richard’s father Christopher served in the First World War, and Maria explains that before the war, Christopher was in Argentina with his father, James Musgrave, building the railways there. Christopher returned to England, and he and his younger brother Frank enlisted with the Royal Engineers. She recalls a story, told to her by Richard, about his grandfather James who won a large sum of money which was used to buy ambulances for the war effort. She talks about a letter from Christopher to his mother, explaining that he had been wounded in the battle of Loos and she says that many photographs of Christopher exist. Maria knew Frank Musgrave, and describes him as a very handsome and gentle man and she heard about Christopher from his son Richard and his wife Kathleen Chapman. Christopher and Kathleen’s other son Michael (Maria’s brother-in-law) died at Anzio during WWII. Maria explains that both James and Christopher were engineers in Argentina. Michael served in the Irish Guards and his commanding officer was John Kennedy. He is buried in Rome. Track 2: A letter written to his mother in Argentina by Christopher (right) when he was recuperating at his aunt’s house at Dawlish in England is discussed and read. The letter describes a German dugout in the trenches, amongst other things. Maria reflects on the Great War, and explains that from 1941 she herself lived in German-occupied Greece during WWII, and remembers the food shortages at that time. She remembers how touched her husband was by Christopher’s letter, as he was fond of his father and he had also lost a brother in war. Track 3: The origin of the Musgrave name and title is discussed, as is the reason why James Musgrave and his family went to Argentina, where her husband Richard was born. She explains that Christopher Musgrave and his wife Kathleen were also active in WWII. Christopher’s strong connection with the Boy Scout movement in Northern Ireland is mentioned, and Maria explains that though there was no conscription in Northern Ireland, Richard enlisted in WWII and served in India. After their marriage, Maria explains, the couple lived near Drogheda and Richard’s business was making dried-grass pellets for animal feed, using grass grown at Dublin Airport. She says that the title was something which her husband inherited and something in which he did not have an interest, and she explains that the entail had been broken before his inheritance. She feels that the allegiance of the Anglo-Irish was to Ireland, and she refers to Elizabeth Bowen’s books in this context. The Musgrave home in Northern Ireland, Norwood Tower, which Christopher inherited from a Henderson relative, is discussed.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The Irish Country House and the Great War


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

11.76 MB, 16.93 MB, 13.42 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



The Musgrave family's service in WWI

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore