MOSS, William

No.J/22017, Boy 1st class, William MOSS
Aged 17

H.M.S. Bulwark, Royal Navy
Killed by means other than disease, accident or enemy action on Thursday, 26th November 1914

William Moss was born on 26th December 1896 in Kennett (Newmarket Q1-1897 3B:525) and baptised on 21st March 1897 in Kennett. He was the son of William and Ann MOSS (nee WATKINSON) later of The Barracks, Little Livermere, Bury St Edmunds.

1901 census...Aged 4, he was at Kennett End, Kennett with his father William MOSS [50] horsekeeper born Kentford; his mother Ann [39]; sisters Emma [16], Lily [8] and Dorothy [6] and brothers John William [15] a labourer, Ernest [13], Frederick [10], James [2] and Percy Reginald [5 months]. All except his father were born in Kennett

1911 census... Aged 14, a farm labourer, he was still at Kennett End with his parents, sisters Emma Elizabeth and Dorothy and Winifred Kate [7] born Kennett, and brothers Ernest and Frederick who were farm labourers, and brothers James, Percy Reginald and Cedric Bertie [7] born in Kennett. There were also two uncles, George and James WATKINSON.
Ann had borne 13 children but one had died. By the time of his death his family had moved to Little Livermere, hence his name on the memorial here.

Little is known of his service record.
On 26th November 1914 Winston Churchill made the following statement in Parliament:-
"I regret to say I have some bad news for the house. The Bulwark battleship, which was lying in Sheerness this morning, blew up at 7.35 o'clock. The Vice and Rear Admiral, who were present, have reported their conviction that it was an internal magazine explosion which rent the ship asunder. There was apparently no upheaval in the water, and the ship had entirely disappeared when the smoke had cleared away. An inquiry will be held tomorrow which may possibly throw more light on the occurrence. The loss of the ship does not sensibly affect the military position, but I regret to say the loss of life is very severe. Only 12 men are saved. All the officers and the rest of the crew, who, I suppose, amounted to between 700 and 800, have perished. I think the House would wish me to express on their behalf the deep sorrow with which the House heard the news, and their sympathy with those who have lost their relatives and friends."

© Commonwealth War Graves Commission

William Moss is commemorated on the Naval Memorial at Portsmouth, panel 3
and on the Kennett memorial

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