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Lieutenant Colonel

William Oliver Matless Mosse

Europeans (India)

Royal Munster Fusiliers

Died 10 October 1918

Aged 58

William Oliver Matless Mosse was born on 3 March 1860, in India. Originally commissioned into the West Cork Artillery in March 1879 as a second Lieutenant. He joined the Indian army serving with the 114th Mahrattas. He became a lieutenant in October 1891 a major in 1900 and Lieutenant Colonel in 1904. He also found time to marry Ellen Eliza Grimsdale and they had three children, Charles, Kathleen, and Doris. After Mosse retired from the army the family returned to England settling in Hurstpierpoint in Sussex.

He played in one first class match for the Europeans against Hindus in the final of the Bombay Triangular Tournament played at the Gymkhana Ground, Bombay on 21 September 1908. He scored twenty-seven and zero and took one wicket for nineteen. Europeans winning by 119 runs.

Between 15 August 1917 and his death on 10 October 1918 he served with the 1st Garrison Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers. His son Lieutenant Charles Oliver Robins Mosse (1891-1965) wrote an interesting account about the reaction of people in London the day war was declared, which is now held in the Imperial War Museum,

‘Things getting more exciting daily. Peter came back with a complete sequence of “special” editions of “The Star”, “Evening News”, etc. and the house is littered with them. The town is all excited about German and French mobilization and the war between Russia and Austria. The general feeling is violently anti-German but around Trafalgar Square there were several people dishing out printed pamphlets headed “Reasons why England must not go to war”.

‘In the evening [we] went to a place called “Eliza comes to stay” at a theatre on the Strand. The noise of newsboys and shouts of the crowd made it impossible to fix one’s attention on the play. At about 11pm terrific bursts of cheering could be heard from the street outside, echoing and resounding from Trafalgar Square to Westminster and Buckingham Palace. We left the theatre as did everybody I think and walked down to Buckingham Palace through considerable crowds. At the palace there was a crowd of several thousand collected in the hopes of hearing the King speak from the balcony; the cheering was such as I have never heard before nor expect to hear again. It was known that war had been declared against Germany.

‘We returned home at about 12.30; our party was split up in the crowds and we had no small difficulty in getting back; the shouting continued in the streets and the crowds did not disperse till early morning. One of the most memorable nights in history.’

Diary of Lieutenant Charles Mosse, 120th Rajputana Infantry, 3-4 August 1914.

Colonel Mosse died together with his wife on 10 October 1918, died together with his wife when RMS Leinster, a mail boat, was sunk by a German U-boat just outside Dublin Bay. Of the 77 crew and 694 passengers 501 died. Most were military personal including many nurses.

Mosse’s body was one of the few recovered and he is commemorated in Grangegorman Military Cemetery grave reference CE. Officers. 20.

Mosse left his first wife in India, running away with another woman (The bounder) causing a major scandal at the time.

​Try as I might just cant find a photo of him. Can you help. Many thanks

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Are you a member of Ancestry ??

This member


has a private family tree with a picture which says 'portrait'.

Before you get too excited, I have seen this before, have contacted the member, and the 'portrait' has turned out to be a census return, the word

'portrait', covering all.

This said, nothing ventured etc,



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You might bet a better response if you correct the thread title (use Advanced Options) as COLN MOSSE isn't his name

Either Lt Col Mosse or WOM Mosse.

....and if you copy a "piece" from another site, it is a courtesy to show the link http://www.nam.ac.uk/microsites/ww1/stories/lieutenant-charles-mosse-2/#.VLKfz2J_uSo

(and the possible link in Comments to the Ancestry Tree maker...)

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His will is on FindMyPast - click if you have sub

Worth trying Irish Times and Irish Papers online tiosee if there was an obituary, which often have photos

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