Early in 2013 Jason Lovett contacted royaldublinfusiliers.com to inform us of a rather unusual and interesting find. While digging up a path in his mother’s garden in Wickford, Essex he happened upon what appeared to be a small piece of metal. Further inspection revealed it to be a First World War Victory Medal in remarkable condition and with the name of the recipient still legible on the rim. It read ‘25592 Pte. W. Moss R. D. Fus.’ Without any idea of who Private Moss was or how the medal ended up buried underneath a garden path Jason asked us to investigate further and attempt to reunite the medal with the family of the recipient. The following is the results of that research.
William Moss was born in 1894 in Enfield, Middlesex, the son of James and Alice Moss. His father was a wood carver, originally from Birmingham, while his mother had also been born in Enfield. At an early age William and his parents moved closer to London and to Hackney where they lived at 58 Eleanor Road.
They stayed in the same area for the next 15 years moving also to the nearby Penn Street and later to 1 Arlington Street (now Arlington Avenue) near New North Road where William was living with his mother when the war began. By this time William, aged 21, had followed the career path of his father as a wood carver, after a period working as a butcher. He volunteered for service with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers on 11 December 1915 and was posted originally to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion and later to a service battalion on the Western Front the following year. Unfortunately very little detail of his exact military service can be ascertained. William was transferred to the Royal Irish Regiment late in the war with the service number 40738. He survived and was discharged from the army following the armistice. He was also awarded the British War Medal in addition to the Victory Medal that has been found. The current location of the latter medal is unknown. The paper trail for William Moss goes cold following the First World War.
Interestingly his last known address is within 30 miles of where the medal was found. Is it possible that he retired to this area or that a descendant lived there at some time ? Unfortunately the mystery of the medal in the garden has not yet been solved. However, if anybody has anymore information about William Moss or is even related to him, we would be extremely grateful if they could get in contact and facilitate the return of the long lost medal.