MASSIE, John Hamon – Gresford War Memorial

Written and researched by Mavis Williams

John Hamon Massie D S O in the UK, De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, Volume 1, 1914-1919 more or less tells John Hamon’s story:-

MASSIE, John Hamon, D.S.O.,Major, Royal Garrison Artillery, yr. s of Edward Richard MASSIE, of Coddington, Cheshire, and Annefield, Gresford, North Wales, formerly Lieut.78th Highlanders, by his first wife, Baroness Olga Marie, d/o Baron von WESSENBERG-AMPRINGEN and grand-daughter of Henry Baron von WESSENBERG-AMPRINGEN, formerly Austrian Ambassador at St. James’, and grandson of Admiral Thomas Leche MASSIE; b. Eaux Chaudes, Basses Pyrenees, France, 10th June 1872; educ. Stubbington House (Mr. M. FOSTER), and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; gazetted 2nd Lieut, 1st May 1892; promoted Lieut. 1st May 1895; Capt. 19th Jan 1900, and Major, 15th February 1913; served in Chitral, 1895, with the Relief Force (medal with clasp); and in the South African War, 1900-2, attd. to the Transport Department; took part in the operations in the Orange Free State, Feb. To May, 1900; operation in the Transvaal in May and June, 1900, including actions near Johannesburg and Diamond Hill; operations in the Orange River Colony, May to 29th Nov, 1900 to March 1902, and those in the Orange River Colony, March to 31st May 1902 (mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette, 17th Jan. 1902), Queen’s medal with four clasps and King’s medal with two clasps, D.S.O.); was Instructor at the Royal Military Academy from 1 Jan. To 11 Sept. 1904; Commander of a company of Gentlemen Cadets there from 12 Sept. 1904 to 31 Dec. 1908, and Staff Capt. School of Gunnery, Shoeburyness, Nov. 1910 to Aug. 1914; went to France with the Expeditionary Force, 9 Oct. 1914, and died in the Field Ambulance, near Ypres, 15 Nov. following wounds received in action on the 13th, when in command of the 26th Battery, Heavy Artillery.   Buried in Ypres Cemetery.   Major MASSIE m at Southsea, co. Hants, 3 Sept. 1903, Maria Margaret elder dau. of Major-Gen. Ernest Archibald BERGER, Late 10th (The Lincolnshire) Regt.; s.p.

I can add a little more about his early childhood, bless him.   His mother Olga Maria von Wessenberg Baronin von Wessenberg-Ampringen died in 1878, when he was about 5 years old and he is seen on the 1881 census living with his paternal grandparents at 3, Stanley Place, Holy Trinity, Chester, Cheshire age 8.    The head of the household was his grandfather Thomas Leche Massie 78, with his grandmother Charlotte Hester, 55, and their daughter Maud Cleopatra age 31 and unmarried.   There were 5 servants in the household.

By the 1891 census, John Hamon was at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich as a Boarder, Single, age 18, a Gentleman Cadet  born France, (British Subject).

On this census his father Edward was living back with his parents, Thomas Leche 88, and Charlotte Esther (sic), 75 and his sister Maud Cleopatra, there were 7 servants, 2 of whom were living at 1, Stanley Place.

The 1901 census show his father , a visitor at  Ashton House, Ashton, Cheshire, in the house of Frederick W. HAYES, 41, his wife Violet A. , 3 daughter and 1 son was Edward R. MASSIE, Visitor Widr. 55 Living on own means, born Chester and Visitor Willoughby H.H. SITWELL, 45 and married.    13 servants and 1 Governess.

John Hamon Massie was to marry in the September Quarter of 1903 to Maria Margaret Berger in Portsmouth (Portsmouth  Vol. 2b, Page 1079) and on the 1911 census he is seen at The Barracks, Shoeburyness, Essex on the 8th April 1911 a Captain, age 38, married, in the Royal Garrison Artillery and  born France (Resident).

John Hamon Massie in the UK, British Army Lists, 1882-1962 – Military year 1912, this source gives his date of birth as 10th June 1872 and his Rank then as a Captain.

John Hamon’s father Edward Richard remarried to Margaret Maxwell Lyte at Marylebone (Vol. 1a, Page  1299) in the September Quarter of 1904, so John Hamon would have met his Step-mother.

The 1911 census shows them living at Minera Hall, Wrexham, Denbighshire (18 rooms), Edward, 65 and his wife Margaret Maxwell Massie tell us that they have been married 6 years and 2 children had been born to them, both still living.   Also in the household were the children, Barbara, 4 and Margery, 3, both born at Minera, and Margaret’s sister, Agnes, Maxwell, Lyte, 39 and 7 servants.

In 1927, age 81, Edward Richard Massie is seen returning from Batavia, Indonesia, arriving on the 12 th March 1927 at Southampton disembarking from the ship “Rembrant.”   Arriving with him is Margaret, age 51 , Barbara, 20 and Margery, 19, all giving their address as Annefield – Gresford, N. Wales

John Hamon’s father’s Will:- MASSIE, Edward Richard of the Barn, Frensham, Farnham, Surrey, died 14th April 1935.   Probate Chester 29th October to Dudley Frederick Oliphant DANGER, Gentleman and William JOmes Lewes RICHARDSON, Solicitor.   Effects £24084 16s 10d.

John Hamon Massie in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995:-  MASSIE, John Hamon a Major Royal Garrison Artillery, H.M. Army died 16th November 1914 on Active Service in France.   Probate London 5th February to Maria Margaret MASSIE, Widow.   Effects £817 12s 2d.

J H Massie in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tell us that his sole Legatee was his widow and Excecx. Mrs Maria Margaret MASSIES.   Probate, No balance at Agents also £60 13th September 1919.

John Hamon Massie in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 tells us that his rank was Major, he died of Wounds and he was awarded the D.S.O.

On the Major John Hamon Massie  in the Global, Find A Grave Index for Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current on Ancestry, a photograph has been added by: laurinlaurin espie, 9/21/2016 – Many thanks to her.


Researched and compiled by Mavis Williams

Pic by John Davies 19/04/2014

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