Private GEORGE MOSELEY

Service:  13th battalion Royal Sussex Regiment
Service no:  SD/4224
Date and place of birth: 3rd qtr 1887, in Midhurst district
Date and place of death: 3 September 1916, in France

Family background

George Moseley was born in 1877. He was the son of Thomas and Sarah Moseley, nee Holden, who had married in Bepton, Sussex, in 1875.

In 1891 George (4), was living with his parents: Thomas (45), general labourer and Sarah (37) and siblings: William (13), agricultural labourer, James (11) John (7) and Alice (6 months) at Quag, Stedham, Sussex.

Thomas Moseley died in 1900, aged 54.

In 1901 Sarah Moseley (48), widow was living at Minsted with her children: William (23), gardener, domestic, James (20), general agricultural labourer, George (14), general agricultural labourer, Alice (10), Charles (7) and Arthur (4).

In 1911 Sarah Moseley (58), widow, was living with her two sons: James (31), stone quarryman, and George (24), farm labourer, at Minsted Common, Stedham.

In the 1911 census William Moseley (33) was listed as a patient in Graylingwell Hospital, Chichester, Sussex. His profession was given as gardener.

John Moseley (27) was listed as a Private in the 1st Royal Sussex Regiment in India.

Alice Mosely (20) was working as a housemaid in the home of Eliza Anne Cartright at Rostrevor, Vanzell Road, Easebourne, Sussex.

Military History

George Moseley enlisted in Chichester and joined the 13th battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment.

The 13th (Service) Battalion (3rd South Down) was formed at Bexhill on 3 November 1914 by Lieutenant Colonel Lowther MP. The battalion moved to Maidstone in July 1915 and was adopted by the War Office. In September 1915 it moved to Aldershot and in October 1915 to Witley, where it came under the command of 116th Brigade in the 39th Division. The 13th battalion landed at Le Havre in March 1916.

From war diary of 13th battalion of Royal Sussex Regiment

September 3 1916

On the night of 2/3 [September] the Battalion took up its assembly positions in trenches and dug outs in HAMEL. The movement was completed by about 11pm. All men were given hot coffee and rum in the early morning of the 3rd.

At zero hours (5.10am) as the assaulting troops left their positions of assembly. C & D Companies [ …] were told off to support the 11th Btn Royal Sussex Reg, [and] moved into the following positions of readiness. C Company E of PECHE STREET in the old British front line and D Company W of PECHE STREET in the old British front line A Company […] (less one platoon which got cut off) moved into GORDON TRENCH and B Company […] moved into ROBERTS TRENCH one platoon going into LOUVERCY STREET.

At about 5.25 am C Company left the old British line E of PECHE STREET and moved forward into a hollow in NO MAN’S LAND taking cover behind a RIDGE N E of PECHE STREET which the 11th battalion had advanced. Lt Story then reorganised his party and went to LANCASHIRE POST where he got into communication with his commanding officer at KENTISH CAVE. He was informed that the 11th Btn were still in the enemy line and ordered to at once advance to their support but before he could do this further orders were received that no further advance was to take place.

On the left A Company commenced filing into GORDON TRENCH as the assaulting troops went forward – before the whole company could enter shouts were heard of ‘Retire, Retire’ and a confused mob of men from the assaulting columns came rushing back over the top into the Trench making movement almost impossible. Capt Fabian attempted to rally his men and shouted ‘Come on A company 13’ – as many men as could between themselves followed him towards the enemy’s lines – about 70 yards away from the enemy, this gallant officer had two fingers blown off his right hand but he continued to press on until shot, this time to the head and killed. The survivors took cover in shell holes and ultimately crawled back to our lines. Soon after the advance commenced a very heavy artillery barrage was opened on GORDON TRENCH and ROBERT TRENCH.

B Company which had field units [in] ROBERTS TRENCH at the commencement of the advance then went forward to GORDON TRENCH and 2nd Lieut. Hopwood took forward to the German lines as many men as he could collect, but nothing more was seen of this officer. An intense bombardment of their trenches continued for several hours causing many casualties and owing to the mixture of units and congestion in the trenches all attempts at reorganisation failed.

Capt Fabian was killed and 2nd Lt Hopwood was missing (2 other officers were killed, 2 missing and 5 wounded)

Other ranks – 8 killed, 3 died of wounds, 26 missing, 71 wounded and 15 wounded at duty

The death toll rose as others helped the wounded – total casualties, all ranks 135

George Moseley was awarded Victory and British War medals

Death and commemoration

George Moseley was killed in action 3 September 1916.

He is buried in the Knightsbridge Cemetery, France, ref no E22

He is commemorated on the Stedham War Memorial.

Subsequent family history

Alice Moseley married Frederick Tupper in 1921 in Midhurst district.

James Moseley died 8 March 1929 at the Infirmary, Easebourne. Probate was granted to John Moseley, postman and Alice Tupper (wife of Frederick James Tupper).

John Moseley died 7 February 1965 at the Cottage Hospital, Midhurst. His address was The Quag, Minsted. Probate was granted to John Moseley, public vehicle conductor.

No verifiable records could be found for the deaths of Sarah or William Moseley.

 

 

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project