A small article in the Express & Star of 3 August 1914 entitled “Wolverhampton Reservists leave” tells of Police Constables Moss and Boyer, both Naval Reservists, who have received their papers and left to join their respective stations. The article goes on to state that around 20 members of the Wolverhampton Police Force were eligible for servce in the event of Army Reservists being called out. The Chief Constable’s Report Book corroborates this statement, listing the 18 men (including Moss and Boyer) who have been called up by 5 August 1914.
P. C. Boyer will be examined in a separate post. P.C. Moss reappears in the Express & Star on 13 October 1914, following a letter he wrote to Police Constable Williamson. Moss has become a Gunner in the Royal Navy, but has come to Plymouth for a period of time to recuperate. He writes:
They tell you nothing of what you are going to do, or where you are going to. One week you are at one place, and all of a sudden you are steaming off, and only the captain knows where he is going. All the crew have to do is ‘wait and see’, like Mr Asquith says.”
He tells of spending time in the Atlantic watching the trade routes, and capturing ships loaded with nitrate and grain etc. He also “described the work as monotonous, and says he has lost about two stone.”
From what he has seen of the Deadnought battleships, he is confident that they can defeat the Germans, as the “H. M. S. Tiger, the latest Dreadnought, can fire, at one time, seven tons of steel, which will penetrate 24in. of armour-plating at seven miles.”
I have been unable to track any further history of P. C. Moss, as without his first name it is difficult to pin down his birth details or his military service history. He did, however, survive the war and presumably rejoin the police force, as there is a note in the Chief Constable’s Report Book on 7 July 1919 to the effect that P. C. Moss has tendered his resignation, and had his superannuation of £16/5 returned to him.