MOSS, ELI 1787 L/Cpl “D” Company 4th Battalion 1st (N.S.W.) Bde 1st Australian Div.
AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE
Born Leyland Enlisted and Living Australia
Killed in Action France / Flanders 5th May 1917
Ref: ‘C.W.G.C.’ and Family Information.
Eli Moss’s name appears on the following memorials:-
War Memorial, Church Road, Leyland United Reformed Memorial, Hough Lane, Leyland
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
With no known grave, Eli Moss is commemorated on the:-
VILLERS-BRETONNEUX MEMORIAL, FRANCE
No next-of-kin information. Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands in Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux, on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.
No newspaper account of Eli Moss’s death has been found.
FAMILY INFORMATION: From items loaned by Harry Ashurst, the property of his late wife Mary, niece of Eli Moss.
Eli was the son of Thomas and Mary Moss of 79 Towngate, Leyland and was born August 25th, 1889. He was, therefore 27 years of age at his death. The items loaned were:-
1) The bronze plaque that was sent to the families of every man who fell in the Great War, together with the accompanying letter (printed form) headed ‘Buckingham Palace’:- ‘I join with my grateful people in sending you this memorial of a brave life given for others in the Great War.’ George R.I.
2) A scroll with, at the top, the Royal Coat of Arms:-
“He whom this scroll commemorates was numbered amongst those who, at the call of King and Country, left all that was dear to them , endured hardness, faced danger, and finally passed out of the sight of men by the path of duty and self-sacrifice, giving up their own lives that others might live in freedom.”
‘Let those who come after see to it that his name be not forgotten.’
L/Cpl Eli Moss 4th Bn A.I.F.
3) Letter from the Commonwealth Offices, Australia House, Strand, London, W.C.2 and headed
‘Commonwealth of Australia’. This letter accompanied the 1914/15 Star which had been issued to ‘the late 1787 L/Cpl E. Moss’. The letter is dated April 25th, 1921.
4) A membership card of the Leyland P.S.A. Brotherhood. The card shows Eli’s attendance and payment of one and a half-pence every week from Sunday Nov. 5th, 1911 to Sunday Apr. 28th, 1912. (P.S.A. = Pleasant Sunday Afternoon).
5) Pension Book and letter. Inside the book is the name and address of the pensioner, Eli’s mother, Mary Moss, 79 Towngate, Leyland. Claim No. A2558 Pension Advice No. 3616.
“I beg to advise that a War Pension has been granted from 27.7.17 payable in advance.” The first instalment payable was due on “Pension Thursday”, August 2nd, 1917 and the pension was for One Pound per week paid fortnightly.
6) Form No. 11 The Commonwealth of Australia Dr. to Mrs M. Moss, 79 Towngate, Leyland, Lancashire. London Voucher No. 379 Reg. No. 79. To payment of allotment authorised by No. 1787, Moss, E., 4th Battn., for the period from 17.3.15 - 25.6.15 inclusive 101 days @ 3s per diem = £15.3s.0d.
7) Letter from the Public Trust Office, Sydney. I neglected to photo-copy this item, but apparently Mrs Moss had had to send four items to the Trust Office in Sydney in order to settle Eli’s estate: the four items were:- I – Military Certificate of Death; II – Certificate of Birth of deceased; III – Certificate of Marriage of deceased’s parents; IV – Certificate of Death of deceased’s father.
8) A duplicate of the cheque for the amount of Eli Moss’s estate – £42. 9s. 9d. This was made out to Mary Ross (in view of the error, this may have been the original cheque for which a duplicate was issued). The covering letter was dated July 8th, 1918.
9) A photographic ‘Souvenir’ containing 8 photographs of ‘Liverpool Encampment’ addressed to Mrs H. Hunter, 16 Towngate, Leyland (Eli’s sister). Liverpool is some 15/20 miles inland from Sydney. Also, a letter from Eli to ‘Mary and Harry’ from ‘Argreak’, Bathhurst, N.S.W. dated Friday August 14th, 1913: this suggests that Bathurst was Eli’s home town.
10) A duplicated type-written copy of a letter from a comrade of Eli to Mrs Moss:-
Dear Mrs Moss, France 5/7/17.
It is with the deepest of sympathy that I write you these few lines. I would have written before only I have been in England these last two months, and never learnt of Eli’s (or Ernie as everybody knew him) death, and I can tell you it was a shock for me as Ernie and I were just like Brothers , and I just thought the world of him, because we have been together a long time now and I knew what a man Ernie was. I am just telling you the truth, perhaps you do not know how much Ernie was thought of, as I know he would not praise himself up when writing home. I suppose he told you that he was recommended for the D.C.M., that was when I left about March 16th..
Well I may tell you Mrs Moss that Ernie was one of the most popular men in the Battalion, and also one of the bravest that ever left Australia, and I can tell you he is missed now, when we were in the thick of it and men were getting knocked everywhere, it was the same old cry always, as soon as they were hit – stretcher bearers – where is Mossie, you little know the work Ernie has done, some of the finest that has ever been done, and although Ernie has gone his name will ever be green amongst the old boys of “D” Company, he certainly was one of the coolest and most level headed men I ever saw under shell-fire, and was frightened of nothing, perhaps you do not know but Ernie could have been a Sergeant any time he liked, but he is like myself never would take them.
I could keep on telling you about Ernie all night, for I never tire of talking about him, as he was one of the finest chaps I ever met, not only myself says this but there are scores to back me up.
After Ernie returned from England off leave, he gave me the photo of himself and sister, I sent it home, and if I return shall ever keep it, because he was as a Brother to me, we shared food, money and blankets, also hardships for a long time now.
My address is Pte 3999 R. R. Kable, “D” Coy, 4th Battalion.
Well Mrs Moss I think I had best conclude this missive now, trusting you are all enjoying the best of health. Words are but poor vehicles in expressing one’s thoughts, but you quite understand how I miss Ernie. Anything you wish to enquire about regarding Ernie I should be too pleased to oblige if I can.
(Signed) Roy Kable.
Note:- Eli Moss’s parents address given above – 79 Towngate – is in the old numbering of Leyland; it became No.60 in 1936. It stood in a row of cottages opposite Spring Gardens and the George IV Inn: the row was demolished in the late 1960’s.
‘I have listed above all the items loaned to me relating to Eli Moss as they form one of the best collections that I have come across so far. The collection included two photographs of Eli which, unfortunately, I did not copy at the time and now may not be available.’
Moss, Eli. W. E. Waring 2003