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2 MARCH 2010 - MUSEUM ACQUIRES MILITARY CROSS
  The Museum Trustees are delighted to have been presented with the Military Cross awarded to 2nd Lieutenant (later Captain) MH Mosley, The Rifle Brigade.

The presentation took place at a special ceremony in the Museum on 26 February 2010 during which the Military Cross was handed over to the Chairman of the Trustees, Lt-General Sir Christopher Wallace, by Captain Mosley’s 7-year old great-great-nephew, Teddy Ridley. The ceremony was attended by a number of family members and friends, including Captain Mosley’s nephews,  Simon, Adam and Giles Ridley.


 

Michael Henry Mosley was born on 28 March 1912, the only son of the Right Reverend Henry Mosley, Bishop of Southwell, and Mrs Mosley, of Hannington, near Basingstoke. He was educated at Shrewsbury School and Trinity College, Oxford. He initially trained to be a doctor but subsequently elected to study theology and become a priest. He was on the point of taking Holy Orders when the Second World War began. He immediately decided to join the Army.

Mike Mosley was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in The Rifle Brigade on 23 March 1940 and in October joined the 2nd Battalion (2 RB) in North Africa.

The action for which he was awarded a Military Cross as a 2nd lieutenant (Second Supplement to The London Gazette, 6 May 1941, published 9 May 1941) took place at Sidi Saleh on the night, 6/7 February 1941, during a battle which led to the surrender of the Italian army in Cyrenaica.

 

The citation reads:

This officer was in command of a mobile patrol consisting of two platoons and one section Bofors guns. For three hours he engaged and harassed an enemy column of 200 M.E.T. with guns and tanks and despite heavy fire, succeeded in bringing it to a standstill and forcing the surrender of the entire column. The daring and initiative shown by this officer in repeatedly engaging a strong column throughout its length of three miles at various points undoubtedly convinced the enemy that much larger forces were opposing them.

Mosley was promoted lieutenant on 23 September 1941 and to acting captain on 20 November. In July 1942 he assumed command of B Company 2 RB. He took part in the battle of El Alamein and was present during 2 RB’s famous ‘Snipe’ action on 27 October.

On 2 November 1942, Mosley was killed in action, aged 30, by a burst of automatic fire from enemy tanks during a fierce engagement in the early stages of Eighth Army’s break-out from El Alamein.

Mike Mosley is remembered as one of the ‘stars’ of the desert, a daring leader, a fine commander, a man of outstandingly high character and, above all, a man who cared greatly for his men.

His body lies buried in a joint grave shared with Rifleman Tom Wade under a jacaranda tree in the dusty but peaceful Commonwealth War Graves cemetery at El Alamein. He was unmarried.

 
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