Private James Richard Moody

James Richard Moody joined the British Army in Newhaven at the outbreak of the First World War. He would lose his life in the conflict.

Levi and Annie Moody, residents of 1 Lansdowne Place, Lewes, had two sons in the years before the First World War; James and Boaz. After war was declared in 1914 both brothers joined the British military and were deployed overseas.

James was assigned to the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment and was sent to France. On 25 September 1915 he took part in the opening day of the Battle of Loos.

The battle was a British contribution to a joint offensive with the French and its strategic aim was to break through the German lines in the Champagne and Artois regions of France. It was also one of the first battles to see the notable use of men from ‘Kitchener’s New Armies‘.

When the British attacked on 25 September 1915, they discovered that, similar to the Battle of Aubers Ridge earlier in the year and the Battle of the Somme that would come in 1916, their artillery preparation had not been adequate in destroying German positions. Losses on the first day of the attack were significant and when the offensive came to a halt on 15th October, the British had sustained over 61,000 casualties.

The 2nd Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment had lost 481 men during their part of the battle. Private James Richard Moody was among them, having fallen during the initial attack on 25th September aged 26.

He was survived by his younger brother Boaz who would later serve in the 9th Battalion of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He too, however, would lose his life in the conflict. Private Boaz Charles Moody was killed in action on 25th October 1918, just under three weeks before the end of the war. He was 20 years old.

James’ body was later laid to rest at Dud Corner Cemetery near Loos, whilst his brother was buried at Awoingt Cemetery near Cambrai.

Both men are also commemorated on a plaque at Kingston Parish Church, East Sussex.

This story was submitted following information generously provided by Roy Payne, whose Aunt was a sister to both James and Boaz Moody.