Monday, January 19, 2009

Died after Repatriation from a POW Camp

1. St John's Parish Church, Cleator Moor, Cumbria
Where Jackie Mossop's funeral took place (Sep. 1944)
2. Headstone of Rifleman John George Mossop
[St John's Churchyard, Cleator Moor, Cumbria]
At the end of October 1943 Rifleman John George Mossop (known as Jackie) of 33 Bowthorn Road, Cleator Moor, Cumberland was repatriated from a German Prisoner of War Camp. After a long spell in a military hospital in N.W. England he was eventually declared incurable and sent home to die. After three weeks at home, Jackie Mossop passed away on Thursday 7 September 1944.

Jackie Mossop's funeral service took place two days later on Saturday 9 September 1944 at St John's Anglican Church, Cleator Moor (Photograph No 1 above). He was then laid to rest in the churchyard and his grave is marked by a family headstone (Photograph No 2). Despite his wartime service and death Jackie Mossop is not commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 
For additional information click on 'Comments' below.


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

The following details were transcribed from documents held by the Cumbria County Council Archives:

(1) From 'The Whitehaven News', Sep 14th 1944.
(Birth, Marriage & Death Columns)

Death Notice:

"Mossop - On September 7 1944 at 33 Bowthorn Road, Cleator Moor, John George, aged 25, eldest son of Mr and Mrs R. Mossop. Was interred at St John's Church, Cleator Moor on September 9th. (c1113)"

(2) From the St John's Church of England Burial Register (1934 - 1958), Page 46
(Ref: YPR 25/7, Reel JAC 395)

No 367: John George Mossop, 33 Bowthorn Road, Cleator Moor
Buried: Sept 9th 1944
Age: 25 years
Ceremony performed by: Rev. F.J. Buckle, Vicar
Grave Reference: BB50

(3) From 'The Whitehaven News', Sep 6th 1945.
(Birth, Marriage & Death Columns)

Roll of Honour:

"Mossop - In loving memory of a dear son and brother, Rfm. Mossop (Jackie) who died September 7 1944 after being repatriated from a German POW camp.

It is only a grave
But it still needs care
For the one we love is resting there:
The flowers that are placed upon his breast
Are placed there by those who loved him best.

Never one day forgotten by Mam, Dad, Sisters, Brother-in-Law and his little Nephew and Niece".

(At the time of posting this article, January 2009, John George Mossop is not listed as a WW2 casualty by the CWGC).

Monday, 19 January, 2009  
Blogger Boabbie said...

Hi Joseph I wonder why this brave soul who gave his life for his country is not on the CWGC register.I have an uncle who does not have a gwgc headstone but this is because he was interred in a family plot on which there was already a stone to which the commision added his name.
He is recorded,in the Roll of Honour.Are you trying to rectify this situation.

Monday, 19 January, 2009  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Rfm J.G. Mossop is not listed by the CWGC records at all. I have checked this with the CWGC and submitted such evidence as we have (newspaper cuttings, church records, statements etc).

However, I am not very optimistic that Mr Mossop will get recognised as a 'War casualty'. Apparently, it would be the MoD who would make a final decision. On top of everything else, the CWGC have a big backlog of enquiries.

As you quite rightly say, Boabbie, there are some WW1 and WW2 casualties interred in family graves with a family headstone. Usually I think these cases seem to be where a serviceman has died in the UK. The CWGC still lists the casualty on their records, unlike the case of Rfm Mossop. If he had died of wounds while still in the German POW camp he would of course have been listed in their records (I have previously posted the story of Dvr Moreton Wilson who died in a German POW camp to this Blog, for example).

I have also recently learned there were quite a number of WW1 casualties who were given 'military funerals' but buried with unrelated civilians. This happened with one of my Great Uncles who died in the UK in December 1918. He has a CWGC headstone, and I only recently found out by checking the burial records at least two other young children were buried in the same plot in the days that followed.

There are a lot of anomolies about what happened to someone who 'died of wounds' because of the war.

Tuesday, 20 January, 2009  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Jackie Mossop's repatriation in October 1943

Rifleman John George ('Jackie') Mossop was repatriated to the UK at the end of October 1943. Initially he was admitted to a military hospital. The following article appeared in 'The Whitehaven News' on Thursday 4 November 1943 (page 3):

Cleator Moor Rifleman Home From Germany

Rifleman J. Mossop (25), whose parents live in Bowthorn Road, Cleator Moor, was among those repatriated to this country. At the outbreak of war he was employed as a waiter in a London hotel.

Rifleman Mossop was serving with the King's Own when he was captured at Calais in May 1940. As a prisoner he was in seven different German camps. He is now in a north-west military hospital. His parents are now staying near the hospital.

Rifleman Jackie Mossop's obituary

In August 1944 Rifleman Jackie Mossop was declared incurable and sent home to die. Thus, the final three weeks of his young life were spent at home. He passed away on Thursday 7 September 1944. Jackie Mossop's obituary appeared in the following week's 'Whitehaven News', dated Thursday 14 September 1944 (page 3):

Cleator Moor Rifleman

His many friends in the district will learn with regret of the death of Rifleman J.G. Mossop, Queen Victoria Rifles, which occurred on Thursday at his parents' home, Bowthorn Road, Cleator Moor.

Rifleman Mossop, aged 25, joined the Army at the outbreak of war, having previously been employed as a waiter at a London hotel. During the fighting at Calais in 1940 he was captured. As a result of the hardships he endured in various prison camps, his health broke down and he was repatriated 12 months ago and taken to hospital. Three weeks ago he was sent home incurable.

Rifleman Mossop was an old boy of Montreal School and was keenly interested in Rugby football.

His funeral service, which took place on Saturday at St John's Church, was attended by many friends. The Rev. F.J. Buckle officiated with Mr W. Franklin at the organ. The coffin, draped with the Union Jack, was borne to the graveside by members of Cleator Moor Home Guard. The numerous floral tributes included a wreath from his family and one from the teachers and children of Montreal School.

Saturday, 16 February, 2013  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Headstone transcription

Rifleman Jackie Mossop's final resting place is in St John's Churchyard, Cleator Moor, Cumbria (previously Cumberland).

The family tribute to Jackie Mossop can be found on the headstone marking the grave while the epitaph can be found on the vase holder (Photograph No 2).

The memorial on the headstone reads as follows:

In Cherished Memory of
Beloved son of
Repatriated Prisoner of War
Died Sep. 7th 1944
Aged 25 Years.

The epitaph on the vase holder reads as follows:

Brave, Unselfish, Loving
"Called to a Higher Service"

Family Notice

Rifleman Jackie Mossop's family also placed the following acknowledgement in the 'Family Notices' section of 'The Whitehaven News' (Thursday 14 September 1944, page 7):


Mr and Mrs R. Mossop and family, 33 Bowthorn Road, Cleator Moor, desire to THANK the Rev. F.J. Buckle, Dr. Robertson, Nurse Davidson, Mrs Strickland, Mrs Toomey, the children of Montreal Schools, and all kind neighbours and friends for their kind expressions of sympathy and floral tributes in their sad bereavement.

Rifleman John George Mossop, the eldest son of Mr Railton Mossop and Mrs Hannah Mossop (nee Stephenson) is remembered on the Cleator Moor 'Roll of Honour'. Jackie Mossop's sacrifice, and that of his family, has at least been remembered by the good citizens of his hometown of Cleator Moor.

May he rest in peace!

Sunday, 17 February, 2013  
Anonymous John Linstead said...

Thank you so much for everything you have found out about Jackie Mossop. Have you managed to gain any additional info on his prisoner status? I have been trying to find details about him myself and am therefore incredibly grateful for what you have found on this and other sites. I am his sister Olga's grandson and hoping that is sufficient for me to have submitted a request to the MOD for his service records from which I am hoping to find the POW camp and more helpful gain more information. If I hear anything else I will let you know.

Thank You

Sunday, 31 January, 2016  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...


Thank you very much for your comments and the additional details about your Great Uncle, Jackie Mossop. Unfortunately your uncle is still not commemorated as an official war casualty by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. I did try to get them to reconsider this but with no success.

Not being a 'next of kin' the official documentation I can access, specifically the service record / POW record and medical details regarding repatriation and subsequent discharge make it almost impossible to get the Commission to recognise your uncle as a war casualty. I have just looked again at the British Government website regarding applying for a service record for a 'Next of Kin'. There is a also a fee to pay (currently £30).

This is a link to the relevant Government website page:
Applying for someone else's service record (incl. Next of Kin)

Go to the section headed 'Fill in a Request form' and then click on "next of kin's records". That is the form you would need to complete to apply for your Great Uncle's service record. This form also gives a list of what is regarded as a "next of kin" and nephew / niece is one of them. So it looks like you would be able to apply as a "next of kin".

The service record should give official confirmation of most of what I have found out from secondary sources, such as the church registers and newspaper reports, such as about your Great Uncle's time as a P.O.W. and reason for medical discharge. If you do apply for the service record and would like to share the information with me when it arrives I would try to submit your Great Uncle's details to the CWGC again to try and have him officially recognised.

As I indicated in the article above, your Great Uncle Jackie Mossop is remembered in the Cleator Moor 'Roll of Honour', which I compiled on behalf of Cleator Moor Town Council. Even if the CWGC do not recognise his sacrifice he will always be remembered in his home town.

Tuesday, 02 February, 2016  
Anonymous John Linstead said...

Thanks again for your comments

I am in the process of applying for his Service Records but am awaiting a copy of his death certificate as that is also required.

I did find some additional details through the forces war records website. That confirms what you have found about him being in the King's Royal Rifle Corps 1st Battalion, Queen's Volunteer Reserve. It also shows his Service Number which i saw you had been looking for. It was 6847168. He was initially reported missing to the war office on 17/06/1940 which was then amended to him being listed as a POW on 12/08/1940.

The final entry on that site is for 05/11/1943 where he was "Reported to War Office Casualty Branch for the 24 hours ended 09:00." At that point he is listed as part of the 7th Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, presumably because his other battalion was wiped out in 1940.

I am very grateful that you have him remembered in the Cleator Moor Roll of Honour and would be more than happy to share any further information that his Service Record uncovers.

Thank You

Tuesday, 09 February, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have now received Jackie's service records from the MOD and have written to Geneva with regards to his time as a POW. His service records indicate that he was returned as a POW as we knew and that it was a result of TB which was attributable to his time in the forces. It also lists his character as exemplary. I also have a copy of his death certificate showing that he indeed died of pulmonary tuberculosis soon after his release from the military hospital in Ormskirk.

I am happy to either attach copies of his record to you via email or send them to you. What would be your preference?

Thanks Again


Sunday, 20 March, 2016  

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