Main CPGW Record
Place of Birth: Sutton-in-Craven, Yorkshire
Service No: 267094
Regiment / Corps / Service: Duke of Wellingtons (West Riding Regiment)
Battalion / Unit: 2/6th Battalion
Division: 62nd (2/West Riding) Division
Date of Death: 1917-05-03
CWGC Grave / Memorial Reference: Bay 6.
CWGC Cemetery: ---
CWGC Memorial: ARRAS MEMORIAL
Non-CWGC Burial: ---
Local War Memorial: CROSSHILLS, YORKSHIRE
Local War Memorial: KILDWICK, YORKSHIRE
Local War Memorial: SUTTON-IN-CRAVEN, YORKSHIRE
James Mosley was the son of Edward and Mary Ann Mosley, née Cleminson. Edward was born at Farnhill, Yorkshire and Mary at Cartmel, Lancashire.
1901 Sutton-in-Craven, Yorkshire Census: 14, Gordon Street - James Mosley, aged 4 years, born Sutton, son of Edward and Mary A. Mosley.
1911 Crosshills, Yorkshire Census: 13, Campbell Street - James Mosley, aged 14 years, born Sutton, son of Edward Mosley (married).
The British Army Service Record for James Mosley exists but may be incomplete.
Data Source: Local War Memorial
Entry in West Yorkshire Pioneer Illustrated War Record: ---
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Private James MOSLEY
Regiment / Corps / Service Badge: Duke of Wellingtons (West Riding Regiment)
Divisional Sign / Service Insignia: 62nd (2/West Riding) Division
Soldiers Died Data for Soldier Records
Residence: Glusburn, Yorkshire
Enlisted: Keighley, Yorkshire
Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)
Battalion: 2/6th Battalion
Died Date: 1917-05-03
Died How: Killed in action
Theatre of War: France & Flanders
Notes: [Place of Birth given as Sutton Mill]
CWGC Data for Soldier Records
Nationality: United Kingdom
Service Number: 267094
Regiment: Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)
Unit: 2nd/6th Battalion
Died Date: 1917-05-03
Additional Information: Son of Edward and Mary Mosley, of 23, Croft St., Glusburn, Cross Hills, Keighley, Yorks.
View Additional Text For Soldier Records
THE HISTORY OF THE 62nd (WEST RIDING) DIVISION 1914-1919 Volume 1, by Everard Wyrall (John Lane the Bodley Head Limited Vigo Street, London, W.)
THE BATTLE OF BULLECOURT:
3rd – 17th May, 1917.
During the three weeks following the first attack on Bullecourt on 11th April, the 62nd Division was engaged in trench warfare, and in preparing for another attack on the Hindenburg Line which had been ordered to take place on various successive dates and subsequently postponed, until it was definitely decided that Bullecourt should again be attacked on the 3rd May…
In the centre of the Divisional front, the troops of the 186th Infantry Brigade reached their allotted places by 3-30 a.m., though during the evening of the 2nd, the enemy’s artillery had caused considerable trouble – all forward telephone and telegraph wires having been cut and communication interrupted. The Signallers, however, repaired them and communication was re-established. The 2/5th Duke of Wellington’s (Lieut.-Col. F.W. Best) were on the right, the 2/6th (Lieut.-Col. S.W. Ford) on the left: the 2/7th Battalion (Lieut.-Col. F.G.C. Chamberlin) was in rear of the 2/5th and the 2/4th (Lieut.-Col. H.E. Nash) in the rear of 2/6th.
Three Companies of the 2/8th West Yorks. were formed up in rear of the 2/4th and 2/7th Battalions Duke of Wellington’s Regt., the remaining Company of the 2/8th having been detailed as a carrying party was in rear of the three Companies. The 213th Machine Gun Company supported the 186th Brigade.
On the left of the Divisional front, held by the 187th Infantry Brigade, the 2/4th Battalion York and Lancs. Regt. (Lieut.-Col. F. St. J. Blacker) was on the right, the 2/5th King’s Own Yorks. Light Infantry (Lieut.-Col. W. Watson) with two Companies of the 2/4th Battalion (Lieut.-Col. R.E. Power) of the same Regiment in rear of the two front line battalions, and the remaining two Companies of the 2/4th K.O.Y.L.I. were in rear of the 2/5th Battalion, detailed for ‘carrying’ duties. The 208th Machine Gun Company was in support.
The taping and forming up operations were carried out without serious casualties and were completed by 3-30 a.m., but Lieut.-Col. F. St. J. Balcker, D.S.O., commanding the Hallamshires, was wounded on the forming up line.
Shortly after two o’clock in the morning the moon disappeared and the night turned to inky blackness, but fifteen minutes before Zero all was ready for the attack. At this period the enemy put down a very heavy barrage on the 185th Infantry Brigade, which gradually spread along the whole front.
At Zero the creeping barrage opened on the enemy’s position and the assaulting troops began to move forward immediately. But now an unexpected difficulty presented itself: the warm weather had baked the ground hard and as the shells fell, churning it up, clouds of dust filled the air, and with smoke from the guns, and the smoke bombs, the objectives were hidden from the advancing troops, and there was much loss of direction.
The 2/5th West Yorks. on the left of the 185th Brigade front speedily captured the enemy’s first line trench, the wire entanglements having been well cut. The 2/6th Battalion, however, was not as fortunate: Colonel Hastings’ Battalion had been met by very heavy machine-gun fire which caused many casualties, and in the smoke and confusion sheared off towards the left, overlapping the right of the 2/5th Battalion. Meanwhile the latter had pushed on towards the centre of the village and had established two posts, one at U.27.b.6.8. and the other at U.21.d.5.0. At this point touch was lost with the 2/6th Battalion, though it was eventually established about the church. A pigeon message timed 5-15 a.m. from an officer of the left Company of the third and fourth waves of the 2/5th Battalion which reached Divisional Headquarters stated that the writer was in the communication trench at U.21.d.5.5. with about forty of his men.
On the left of the 185th Infantry Brigade, the 186th had accomplished only part of its task. The 2/5th Duke of Wellington’s found the wire cut and no difficulty was experienced in reaching the second German trench of the first objective. Here touch was obtained with the left of the 185th Brigade, and maintained for several hours until broken by enfilade machine-gun fire from both flanks. But the 2/6th Duke of Wellington’s found the wire uncut and their attack was held up. Hostile shell-fire and the rear waves closing in on the leading waves, added to the confusion and all that could be done was to occupy some shell holes in front of the enemy’s wire. An attempt was then made to cut the second belt of wire, but again machine-gun fire from the north, and the enemy’s activity with bombs frustrated this endeavour and finally the shell-holes were established as posts.
The 2/5th Duke’s had by this time established themselves in the enemy’s front line trench from U.21.d.1.0. to U.20.d.2.4. and had been reinforced by the 2/8th West Yorks.
Similarly on the left of the 186th Brigade, the 187th had met with success – and failure. The 2/5th York and Lancs. Regt. reached its first objective without difficulty, but the 2/4th Battalion was hung up by the thick wire entanglements which were insufficiently cut. In seeking to find a way through the Battalion moved off to its left and became intermingled with the 2/5th Battalion, whose right flank was ‘in the air.’ At about 4-20 a.m. Lieut.-Col. W. Watson, commanding the 2/5th K.O.Y.L.I. was killed as he was gallantly rallying his men and leading them forward.
For a while no reports from the right flank of the attack were received at Divisional Headquarters, and nothing could be ascertained as to what was taking place in the village of Bullecourt. At 6-50 a.m. the situation was so obscure that the protective barrage was ordered to remain on the second objective until a further advance could be organized. A little later (at 7 a.m.) the situation of the 185th Brigade appears to be as follows: Posts had been established at U.21.d.5.5. with a certain number of men further east along the Support line at U.21.d.5.9., U.27.b.6.8. and at the church (U.28.a.0.9.): the whole of the German front line trench as far east as U.27.b. had been occupied. Touch was maintained with the 2/5th Duke of Wellington’s Regt., on the western side of the village and in the trench running south from the Crucifix. But of the 2/6th West Yorks. little was known, and all attempts to communicate with or reach the probable position of the Battalion, failed. Large numbers of men of the Battalion – dead and wounded – were found in front of the German wire. A Company of the 2/7th West Yorks. was sent forward to try to reach their comrades of the 2/6th, but the men were met by a murderous machine-gun fire which swept the line of the advance and after having suffered heavy casualties the Company withdrew to the Railway Embankment.
Repeated attempts by the 186th and 187th Brigades to penetrate the enemy’s positions were frustrated, and at noon the little party of the 2/5th Duke’s and 2/8th West Yorks., were bombed out of their portion of the trench and were forced to take shelter in shell holes south and south-west of Bullecourt. The advance by the 2/5th K.O.Y.L.I., under Major O.C. Watson, at first progressed, but was eventually checked by heavy machine-gun fire and a continuous H.E. barrage.
At mid-day the situation was as follows: about fifty men per battalion of the 186th Infantry Brigade had found shelter on the Railway Line U.26.c. and d., the remainder of the Brigade was in the Sunken Road in U.27.a.5.8. and U.20.d.9.4.: of the 187th Brigade elements were in the Sunken Road in U.20.b. and in shell holes in U.20.c. and d.: the Company of 2/5th West Yorks. (185th Brigade) which had been driven out of the western side of Bullecourt, had also reached the Railway Line, the 2/7th West Yorks. were also at U.27.c. and d., on the Railway Line: but there was still no news of the 2/6th West Yorks.
Just after 5 o’clock in the evening orders from Divisional Headquarters to the three Infantry Brigades contained instructions to the Brigadiers to make every effort to reorganize their battalions on the line of their original fronts, in their own sectors: the 7th Division was to take over the front held by the 185th Infantry Brigade as soon as possible. The same orders stated that the VIIth Corps had taken Chérisy and the 2nd Australian Division (on the right of the 62nd Division) was in occupation of the Hindenburg Line from U.23.c.8.1. to U.22.d.6.3.
The failure of the 62nd Division to capture Bullecourt was due largely to a fault which certainly cannot be charged to the gallant troops who stormed the village and the Hindenburg Line in the vicinity. Neither could the Divisional Staff, which had laboured to make all arrangements as complete as possible, be blamed. It was due principally to an error in tactics which had so often failed in the earlier years of the war – notably at Festubert in 1915. The Australian Division on the right of the 62nd Division did not launch its attack side by side with the 2/6th West Yorks., the flanking battalion of the West Riding Division. There was a gap – a fatal gap – in the line of attack between the Colonials and the Yorkshiremen, the former having decided to attack the first objective frontally, only as far to the left as U.23.d.6.3., and then bomb down the Hindenburg Line westwards to the left boundary where touch was to be gained with the 185th Infantry Brigade. Thus some hundreds of yards of the enemy’s positions (unfortunately that portion which was very strongly defended by machine-guns) was left free to enfilade the 2/6th West Yorks. as that Battalion advanced: which indeed happened. In all justice to the Australian troops it must be noted that they reached their objective, but before they got there the West Yorkshiremen had been cut up and of those brave fellows who had penetrated the village the greater number had either been killed, wounded, or taken prisoner, only a hundred survivors getting back to their own trenches.
The inky blackness of the night, which caused much confusion during the forming-up operations, also contributed to the failure of the assault, many of the troops losing themselves and being entirely ignorant of the direction of the enemy’s trenches.
The enemy was in considerable strength, the 49th Reserve Division and the 27th Division was holding the Hindenburg Line between Fontaine and Riencourt (inclusive). The latter had with it the 1st Musketeen (Automatic Rifle) Battalion.
Many deeds of gallantry were witnessed during that attack, and the Division emerged from its first set battle sorely tried and tested and badly mauled, but with many proofs of its fighting qualities… The casualties of the 62nd (W.R.) Division on the 3rd May were: 116 officers and 2,860 other ranks, killed, wounded and missing…
The 62nd had been ‘Blooded’!
At dusk on the 3rd, the 185th Infantry Brigade was relieved by the 22nd Infantry Brigade (7th Division), only the 2/7th West Yorks. remaining in the line under the command of the General Officer Commanding 7th Division.
The remnants of the 2/5th, 2/6th and 2/8th West Yorks. were withdrawn to caves in Ecoust, to reorganize: on the following day they marched to Ervillers. The 186th and 187th Brigades remained in the line, the 62nd Divisional front now extending from the Mory – Ecoust – Bullecourt Road (inclusive) to the left of the Vth Corps boundary, Judas Farm – Sensee River, to along the road at T.24.a.9.4. – U.14.c.2.9…
The final attack on Bullecourt began on the 12th May when the 185th Infantry Brigade assisted the 7th (British) and 5th (Australian) Divisions, by attacking the enemy’s strong point at the Crucifix.
The 2/7th Battalion West Yorks. was detailed for this operation, the 185th Trench Mortar Battery and one Section of the 212th Machine-Gun Company co-operating. Two Companies of the Battalion – B and C – attacked the Crucifix at Zero (3-40 a.m.) pus 26 minutes, but for a while no information of the situation of the attacking troops was obtainable. The 91st Brigade (7th Division) had reached the centre of the village, capturing a few Germans, but here very heavy machine-gun fire held up any further advance. About 6-30 a.m., however, an aeroplane report was received at 62nd Divisional Headquarters which stated that men of the 2/7th could be seen well dug in at the Crucifix. But from this period onwards, throughout the day, nothing could be ascertained, it being impossible to gain touch with the gallant West Yorkshiremen holding the post at the Crucifix. Possibly one of those isolated fights to a finish which were not uncommon in the War, but of which no authentic records are in existence, took place. For at 8 p.m. another aeroplane reported that the Germans once more held the Crucifix. At 10 o’clock that night patrols which attempted to reach the post were driven back, thus confirming the aeroplane report. Subsequently a few odd men returned through the lines of the 1st South Staffords (7th Division), having lost their way, but of the two officers and thirty-one other ranks who were known to be holding the Crucifix none returned nor was any further information gained concerning their fate. Five killed, thirty-one missing and thirty-two wounded were the casualties suffered by the 2/7th West Yorks. in this affair…
View Craven Herald Articles
13 July 1917
GLUSBURN – A MILITARY MEDALIST
During the week Mr. Edward Mosley, Croft Head Terrace, Glusburn, has received a letter from the Acting Adjutant of the 23rd Division, informing him that his son, Lance- Corporal John Mosley, of the York and Lancaster Regt., has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the field…
His younger brother, Pte. James Mosley, of the Duke of Wellington’s Regt., has been officially reported missing since the severe fighting on the 3rd of May. He was previously a clerk for Messrs. John Horsfall and Sons, giving up his work to fight for King and Country.
View West Yorkshire Pioneer Articles
25 May 1917
GLUSBURN SOLDIER REPORTED MISSING
Mr. Edward Mosley, of Croft Street, has received unofficial information that his younger son, Private James Mosley, of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, has been wounded, and is missing. The last communication received by the father was dated April 30th. Private. Mosley joined the forces in February, 1916, and went out in January last. Prior to enlisting he was employed at the firm of Messrs. J. C. Horsfall and Sons as junior clerk. Hopes are entertained that he might have been picked up, and is separated from his own regiment temporarily. Private J. Mosley is very highly respected in the district, being of a very genial disposition. He made friends with all whom he came into contact. His elder brother, John Mosley, is also in France.
01 June 1917
MISSING SOLDIER – Mr. Edward Mosley, of Croft Street, has received a communication from Lance-Sergeant Wesson stating definitely that his younger son, Private James Mosley, of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, has been missing since the 3rd of May. The first intimation received by the father was unofficial and stated that his son was wounded and missing. The letter received is as follows:– “It is with the deepest regret that I write these few lines to inform you that your son, James, has been missing since May 3rd. He is very much missed by his comrades, as he was a man you could trust and rely upon. He was No.1 in my Lewis Gun Team, and I feel his loss very much. He will be hard to replace. I should have wrote to you sooner, but have not had much chance. We get the order not to write about anyone for 10 or 12 days, as men kept coming in. If in the future I hear more news of him I will inform you. Lance-Sergeant Wesson.” Hopes are still entertained that Private James Mosley may be a prisoner of war, and he will eventuality arrive home safe and well. He is connected with he Ebenezer Sunday School, and is the first connected with the place to be reported missing.
06 July 1917
GLUSBURN SOLDIER AWARDED MILITARY MEDAL
The first Military Medal which has been awarded to a Glusburn soldier has been won by Lance-Corporal John Mosley, elder son of Mr. Edward Mosley, of Croft Street. The award has been granted for devotion to duty, which is characteristic of Lance-Corpl. Mosley from his youth up. On leaving the Council School, where he showed himself a youth of ability under the tuition of Mr. A.D. Kemp, he became a student at the Glusburn Technical Institute. Later be became an apprentice to overlooking at the firm of J.C, Horsfall and Sons, and continued his studies in the textile department at the Bradford Technical School in the evenings, where he again proved himself a very painstaking student. Shortly after his 21st birthday he joined the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, and for some time was station6d at Blyth, where he served as instructor. He was afterwards drafted into the York and Lancaster Regiment, and went out to France in May last. He took part in the great offensive in June, and on writing to his father he remarked:– “I have come through without a scratch.” Lance-Corpl. Mosley was a young man of fine physique, standing six feet and of good build. It is hoped that he may return dome at no distant date to enjoy the honours he has won. The younger brother, Pte. James Mosley, of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, has been posted missing mince the 30th of May, but hopes are entertained that he may be a prisoner of war. He, too, was a fine young man of good promise. The following certificate has been received by Lance-Corpl. Mosley:–
“Lance-Corporal J. Mosley. Conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. This N.C.O. did most excellent work in the final objective during the offensive of June 7th, 1917, in the Mount Sorrel Sector. He kept together and controlled the men of his post. He not only kept them together, and alert, but went out under heavy gun-fire to attend the wounded, displaying great courage and coolness which did much tp steady those around him. Military Medal. Lieut.-Colonel.”
27 July 1917
MOSLEY – July 20th, Mary Ann Mosley, of Croft Street, G1usburn, in her 48th year.
[Mother of Pte. James Mosley.]
01 March 1918
DEATH OF PTE. JAMES MOSLEY
Mr. Edward Mosley, of Croft Street, Glusburn, has received official intimation that his younger son, Pte. James Mosley, of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, who was reported missing on May 3rd, 1917, and about whom the fullest inquiries have been made is regarded as having been killed on that date, or has since died. The letter received also contains a message of sympathy from the King and Queen. The information received by the father regarding the fate of his son has been feared for some time, though some hope was expressed generally that he might be a prisoner of war. Pte. Mosley is the younger of the two sons of Mr. Edward Mosley, who both joined the forces in 1915. His death has been received with deep feelings of regret. He was a young man who was held in highest regard by everyone who met him. He was of a buoyant, cheerful disposition. He was apprenticed to the wool-sorting trade at Messrs. J.C. Horsfall and Sons, but for some time before joining the forces in February, 1915, he had been junior clerk in the office. From leaving the Glusburn Council School at the age of 13 years he had been a regular student at the Technical Institute. He went out to France in January, 1917, and took part in the Battle of Bullecourt, where it is supposed he laid down his life. He was in the Lewis Gun Section, and was last seen alive by some of his pals, going forward alone, carrying his Lewis Gun and ammunition, his fellow-gunners having all previously fallen, either killed or wounded. He was connected with the Ebenezer Sunday-school and church. The deceased attained his 21st birthday in January last. His brother, Sergt. John Mosley, of the York and Lancaster Regiment, gained the Military Medal some time ago. He has been in several engagements, but so far has come out without any wound. He is at present in Italy.
01 March 1918
MOSLEY – Reported missing May 3rd, 1917, now presumed dead, Pte. James Mosley, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, son of Mr. E. Mosley, of Croft Street, Glusburn, aged 21.
05 July 1918
CRAVEN AND THE WAR
Sergeant J.G. Mosley, D.C.M., Wounded
Mr. Edward Moslsy, of Croft Street, Glusburn, has received a postcard from his son, Sergt. J.G. Moseley, D.C.M., which states:– “1 have received a compound fracture in the left leg just above the ankle as my share of the Austrian attack. I am likely to be out of action for some time.” Sergt. Mosley is the elder of the two brothers who joined the forces in 1916. He was some time in France, where he gained the D.C.M., and went to Italy with the first contingent. For some time before the recent Austrian attack he was acting as instructor, also as sergeant major. His brother, Pte. James Mosley, was killed in France early in 1917.
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