Moss, Fred

Fred Moss, Private 203021, 1/4th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Died of wounds 10th October 1917 in Belgium, aged 30



Fred Moss was born in 1886, the son of Emma and James Moss, a fustian cutter of Macclesfield. In 1891, four-year-old Fred was living at 5 Court 4, Fountain St, Macclesfield, with his parents and siblings James (5), and baby Rhoda (9 months). James, Fred and Rhoda were all baptised at St Paul’s Church on 8th August 1894. Fred was educated at St Paul’s School.

By 1901, Fred had left school and was working as a silk hand, and the census shows he had three more siblings: Arthur (8), Alfred (5), and one-month-old Edna.

By 1911, the family had moved to 11 Green Street, Macclesfield, but Fred went to live at 9 Pennant Street, Oldham with his aunt and uncle, William and Sarah Camps; in 1911 he was employed as a grinders labourer at a textile machine works. He later found employment at an iron works.




Before the outbreak of war, when aged 17, Fred enlisted with the Territorials in Lees, Oldham, joining the West Riding Regiment with service number 843. He was mobilised on the outbreak of war and drafted overseas in 1915. Whilst at the front he was transferred to the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and given service number 6577, but this was later changed to 203021.

Fred’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 23 November 1917:


Mr and Mrs James Moss, 11 Green St, Macclesfield, have been officially notified that their son, Pte Fred Moss, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, has died of wounds sustained in France. A letter from the sister in charge of the hospital states: “Your son was brought into this hospital suffering from a wound in the right shoulder and the back, which penetrated into his lungs. He had suffered from severe hemorrhage and though everything possible was immediately done to revive him, he did not rally at all and died at six o’clock the same evening. He was buried in a military cemetery at Nine Elms, near Poperinghe.

A native of Macclesfield, Pte Moss was 30 years of age and received his education at St Paul’s School. He went to reside with his uncle and aunt at Oldham about fourteen years ago and in civil life was employed at an ironworks there. He enlisted in the Territorials at the age of 17 and was mobilised on the outbreak of war. Private Moss went to France about fifteen months ago and whilst at the front was transferred to the Yorkshire Light Infantry.

Two brothers are serving with the colours. One, Private James Moss, King’s Own Royal Lancasters, was posted out to India, whence he was transferred to Mesopotamia. He is 32 years of age and was formerly employed by the Macclesfield Corporation. The other brother, Corporal Alfred Moss, is 22 years of age and was mobilised with the local Territorials. He took part in the landing at Suvla Bay in August 1915, and was subsequently drafted out to Egypt. He was formerly employed at the mill of Alderman P Davenport.




Private Fred Moss is buried in grave ref. III. E. 12. of Nine Elms British Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Fred Moss, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

Locally, Fred Moss is commemorated on the Macclesfield Park Green, Town Hall and St Michael’s Church war memorials.



Brother of James Moss, who served with the King’s Own Royal Lancasters; and of Alfred Moss, who served with the 7th Cheshire Regiment.


GRO (England & Wales) Index: Births
Cheshire Parish Baptism Registers: St Paul’s Church, Macclesfield
Census (England & Wales): 1891, 1901, 1911
British Army Medal Index Cards (Ancestry)
Soldiers Died in the Great War (Find My Past)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website

Macclesfield Times: 23 November 1917, 23 September 1921 (Photo supplement)

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