Horndean widow's desperate plea to D-Day Story museum 

Harold Muston, 20, was a rifleman with the 6th Airborne Division in the Second World War and was killed during the unit's final raid on March 24, 1945, in Germany
Harold Muston, 20, was a rifleman with the 6th Airborne Division in the Second World War and was killed during the unit's final raid on March 24, 1945, in Germany

A DETERMINED widow has taken on her husband’s mission to immortalise his big brother who was killed battling Nazis in the Second World War.

Disabled Rita Muston has launched a desperate plea to Portsmouth’s D-Day Story museum to heed her husband, Brian’s dying wish.

Rita Muston, 82, of Merchistoun Road, Horndean, holding a picture of her and her late husband, Brian, 86 Picture: Tom Cotterill

Rita Muston, 82, of Merchistoun Road, Horndean, holding a picture of her and her late husband, Brian, 86 Picture: Tom Cotterill

He wanted the Southsea attraction to tell the story of his older brother and D-Day veteran, Harold Muston, who was killed just two months before the end of the war in Europe.

Harold, who grew up in Blackbrook Road, Fareham, was part of the Sixth Airborne Division during the pivotal raid on June 6, 1944.

He survived the Normandy landings and continued to fight through the war. However, the brave rifleman was killed on March 24, 1945, during the division’s final mission of the war.

Codenamed Operation Varsity, it saw hundreds of Allied troops parachuting into Germany in an assault over the Rhine River. Harold was killed as he jumped.

Brian Muston, 86, whose dying wish was to have his brother's memory immortalised in the D-Day Story museum

Brian Muston, 86, whose dying wish was to have his brother's memory immortalised in the D-Day Story museum

Brian kept a picture of Harold close to him along with book about D-Day and his brother’s unit that he treasured.

However, the 84-year-old became too ill to pass on his book and photos to the museum.

Now Rita, of Merchistoun Road, Horndean, is taking up the mantle. The 82-year-old great-grandmother of three said: ‘I’m determined to get this up there.

‘I never got to say goodbye to him before he went and I made a promise to try and get this in for his brother.’

The plea comes ahead of the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the just months before what would have been the 65th wedding anniversary of Rita and Brian.

Since the museum’s revamp this year, the D-Day Story has put a greater emphasis on the tales of those who were involved in the war - from the soldiers, sailors and airmen, to the military and families.

Rita hopes her family’s story will be enough to be considered as worthy of inclusion.

She added her husband had never forgotten the last memory of his brother.

‘Harold came home on leave before he died,’ she said. ‘He came back to his home in Fareham where they had an outside toilet.

‘Brian remembers coming out of this as Harold was leaving to go to barrack.

‘Harold just said to him: “Cheerio old boy, I won’t be seeing you again”. He was right, it was like he had a premonition.’

Harold was the third oldest son of six children and Brian was his youngest brother. Brian died of renal failure in January 2016.

Portsmouth City Council's museums and visitor service manager Dr Jane Mee said: ‘We would be absolutely delighted to hear from Rita and certainly very interested to see the artefacts and memorabilia that she owns. I'd like to encourage Rita to reach out to us through the D-Day Story in Southsea, and look forward to seeing what moments from history she has in her possession.’