MOSS, Alfred

No.41495, Private, Alfred MOSS
Aged 24

13th Battalion,(West Ham Pals) Essex Regiment
formerly No.23315, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Sunday, 22nd April 1917

Alfred Moss was born in Gazeley (Newmarket Q3-1882 3B:489), baptised in Gazeley (All Saints) on 6th November 1882, son of Isaac and Maria MOSS (née KILDY).

1891 census...Aged 8, he was at Mill Road, Gazeley, with his widowed other Maria [33] laundress, born Colchester; his brothers Isaac [12], Alexander [10] and sister Rosaline [6]. All the children were born in Gazeley. Also there were lodgers Elizabeth SWAN [25] and her children Gertrude [4] and Theodore [2]. His father had died earlier that year and his mother married Edward BILLIMORE in Q4 that year

1901 census...Aged 18, a farm labourer, he was still at Mill Road, Gazeley with his mother, step father Edward BILLIMORE [45] horse keeper, born Gazeley, and his brothers Isaac ( farm labourer) and Alexander (platelayer) and a boarder, Robert OUTLAN [35] labourer, born Gazeley.

1911 census...Aged 28, single, a maltster, he was boarding at 70 Henry Street, Burton on Trent with Gazeley born Edward COCKERTON and his wife Alice and their children. His mother was still at Mill Road, Gazeley with her husband Edward BILLIMORE and her children, Rosalie and Isaac.

His elder brother, Isaac died on the Somme in 1916 see here

He enlisted in Newmarket.
The 13th Essex (West Ham) battalion were 'enjoying' a quiet spell in the front preparatory to the attack on Oppy Wood. the 22nd April was the middle of this spell when a total 14 were killed over 11 days. That all came to an end when they lost 126 on the 28th. From the History of the Second Division we learn that:-
A new front trench within 300 yards of the Oppy line had been dug by the Brigade on the 20th, but a gap had been left in the centre between the two battalion sectors. The right sub-sector of the line was held by the 2nd South Staffords, and the left by the 13th Essex Regiment, the 1st King's were in close support, and the 17th Middlesex in reserve.
The battalion raided was the 13th Essex. About 9 p.m.,preceded by a heavy barrage, the enemy sent over two strong raiding parties against both flanks of the new forward trench. The Essex sent up an " S.O.S." to the artillery, who promptly opened fire. The enemy had, however, succeeded in getting round the left flank of the new trench, and had captured some men of the Essex Regiment, marching them back to his own front lines. Another company was immediately sent forward and reoccupied the trench, finding in it a wounded German officer of the 76th Bavarian Regiment. A number of enemy " other ranks " were also wounded. The Essex Regiment lost in this affair 5 other ranks killed, 3 wounded, and 22 missing. The enemy's barrage was particularly heavy.

photo: Rodney Gibson

Alfred Moss is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, bay 7.

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details