Australian dress register ID:291
Owner:Museum of the Riverina
Owner registration number:BGS2011.81
Date range:1916 - 1919
Place of origin:Australia
Charles Cecil 'Charlie' Moss was one of only four young men to enlist from Wallacetown during World War I (Wallacetown is situated in the Wagga LGA, approximately half way between Wagga and Junee). The objects, photographs and paper based material (particularly the handwritten lists of mail received and sent) are very ordinary, yet valuable artefacts of World War I. The brief notations on some of the embroidered cards (and postcards) reveal the youth and optimism of Charlie Moss that he would return home and wanted some mementoes of his wartime adventure. Charlie enlisted in the Australian Army at the age of 19, and during his time spent on the battle fields of Europe, appears to have had his family back at home uppermost in his mind. He collected and sent them all trinkets and gifts from the places he visited including souvenir silk handkerchiefs, embroidered cards and other textile pieces.
His army jacket is the only piece of his uniform that remains, along with a well worn patch of the 24th Battalion (the red and white diamond) and his ID tags. Associated with Charlie's jacket is one of the most poignant and special pieces in the Moss collection - the fragile talisman that was either worn pinned in his jacket, or carried by him during his time at the Front. Made from a very fine piece of fabric (probably cotton) which is cut in the shape of Australia. Green leaves have been stitched around the edge, and a purple forget-me-not embroidered at centre left. 'FOR / AULD / LANG-SYNE' has been written in purple across the centre. A wreath of evergreen extends up both sides of the map. A gold 'lace pin' is attached through the fabric at the top, and is set with a green stone.
Charlie's uniform jacket is a memento of Charles Moss the man, who was expected to fight and survive harsh wartime conditions. It is in stark contrast to the keepsakes that he sent home to his family from the Front; pieces which exude his boyish excitement, particularly evident in the pencil inscriptions he includes on a number of the items where he often asks his mother to put them aside as his for when he returns home. Author: Michelle A. Maddison, 17 March 2011.
Khaki green woollen World War I uniform jacket, worn by Private Charles Cecil 'Charlie' Moss of the 24th Battalion.
There are four pockets on the front of the jacket, all are of the 'patch' pocket style, and have fold down flaps which are secured with a small wooden button.
A belt is fastened around the middle with a single metal ring to secure the ends.
The back of the jacket has a pleated pattern.
Jacket has the red and white insignia patch on each shoulder, and a braided cord around the right arm at the shoulder.
The curved 'Australia' badge is pinned to each of the epaulettes on the shoulders while the 'Rising Sun' Motif metal badge, with the words 'Australian / Commonwealth / Military Forces' is pinned to the right hand side of the collar.
Also on the left breast there are two ribbons for medals awarded.
History and Provenance
Births, deaths, marriages, children or family information
Charles Cecil Moss was the third child of six born to Charles Hosker Moss and Jane (nee Twitt). The Moss children were Rose (married name Pearse), Henry, Charles, Eva (never married), Lena and Marguerite ('Greta', married name Barry). Charlie married Eloise Alice Crengrove and they had three children: Charles, Laurence Henry and Joan Eloise. Charlies second marriage was to Lucy, and they had a son Barry.
Do you have any stories or community information associated with this?
Charlie was wounded three times during World War I; 22 May 1917 - admitted to the 3rd Southern General Hospital in Oxford, England - suffering from gunshot wound left shoulder, mild. 10 November 1917 - wounded again. 30 July - 18 August 1918 - admitted to the 16 Gen. Phila. USS Hospital - sick.
In the book "The Red and White Diamond: The Official History of the 24th Battalion Australian Imperial Force" by Sgt. W.J. Harvey, M.M., 1920, Charlie is visible in a photograph printed on page 316.
Charlie sailed from Sydney on 31 October 1916 on the troop ship "Argyleshire", and arrived back in Melbourne on 7 September 1919 on the troop ship "Takada". He then travelled overland by train and was discharged in Sydney.
Charles returned home to his father's Wallacetown property, but was subsequently allotted a block of land through the Government scheme for returned soldiers. In 1926, Charlie's occupation is listed as being a farmer at "Araglen", Harefield.
Charlie died on September 13 1969, at the age of seventy-two. He is buried in the Wesleyan Section of Wagga Cemetary. His name appears on the arch in the Victory Memorial Gardens in Baylis Street, Wagga Wagga.
How does this garment relate to the wider historical context?
This costume was worn by a man local to the Wagga Wagga district (Local Government Area), Charles ('Charlie') Cecil Moss, who enlisted in the Australian Army on September 8th 1916, at the age of nineteen (although family members who are still alive believe he was much younger and lied about his age).
This costume relates to the wider history of the First World War, to Australia's involvement in the war, and specifically to the local aspect of a man from Wagga Wagga enlisting to serve his King and Country.
Where did this information come from?
Information came from original accession notes, family members (particularly Mrs Muriel Watts, Charlie's niece) and from research, and from the objects themselves.
This garment has been exhibited
In 2007, Charlie's uniform jacket was exhibited at the Museum of the Riverina's 'Wagga at War' gallery, part of the Botanic Gardens Site permanent exhibition space.
Place of origin:
Charles Cecil 'Charlie' Moss, Private 6088, B Company, 24th Battalion.
World War I
Australia, Great Britain and Europe (the Western Front).
Australian Soldiers in the First World War.
Trimmings / Decoration
Two metal curved military 'Australia' badges are pinned to each of the epaulettes on the shoulders of the jacket.
On the right hand side of the collar is the Australian Military 'Rising Sun' motif metal badge, which depicts a crown in the centre, and beneath reads: 'Australian / Commonwealth / Military Forces.'
Two ribbon bars above left breast pocket for medals received, both have vertical stripes.
Light brown cord braid on right shoulder loops under the armpit and is secured beneath the epaulette.
There are two tucks on each sleeve by the cuff.
On the right sleeve there is an embroidered service patch sewn on, with four stripes.
Fibre / Weave
Australian Army Khaki Green.
Felt badges on sleeve and shoulder.
- Natural dye
- Synthetic dye
The jacket has straight sides with four pockets on the front, a belt around waist, and various pleats across the back to allow for extra layers to be worn beneath for warmth in the winter months.
Five wooden buttons down front of jacket, smaller wooden buttons on each front pocket and also on sleeve cuffs. A belt is fitted around the waist to secure the jacket, and it fastens with a metal buckle.
- Hook and eye
|Hem circumference||1350 mm|
|Front neck to hem||720 mm|
|Front waist to hem||350 mm|
|Back neck to hem||810 mm|
|Back waist to hem||360 mm|
|Sleeve length||610 mm|
|Neck to sleeve head||200 mm|
|Cross back||420 mm|
|Underarm to underarm||480 mm|
|Convert to inches|
Military Uniform, mass produced, to clothe the Australian Soldiers during the First World War in Europe. Thick woollen jacket for protection against the European winters. Dull khaki green colour to allow the soldiers to blend into their surrounds, and so not produce such an obvious target to the enemy.
Other related objects
The Moss collection is the largest wartime collection in the Museum's permanent holdings, comprising approximately 110 items associated with the wartime experiences of Charles Cecil 'Charlie' Moss. In addition to this, there is also a small collection of items which are associated with Charlie's eldest sister, Rosina Grace (Pearse), including the top tier of her 1910 wedding cake (under original glass dome), parasol which was part of her wedding outfit and framed photograph of the wedding party.
The wartime items of Charlie's include silk embroidered cards, his medical cards from the front, including one that was tied to his toe in hospital, handwritten lists detailing the contents of parcels received while he was on the front, photographs, tickets, trench art pieces, coins, paper money, his Service New Testament (a gift from his sisters), his Service Pay book, and other miscellanies.
The Museum also has a framed photograph of Charlie's parents, Charles Hosker Moss and Jane (nee Twitt). This photograph was taken around the time that Charlie was overseas, and the insignia of the 24th Battalion is visible pinned to the front of his mother's blouse (pictured below).
Jacket has a few holes, possibly moth damage, most noticable is below the left hand side breast pocket where there is a hole which is 15mm at its widest and 30mm in height. There is also a hole on the right hand side breast pocket, which is 25mm across the pleated middle section.
There is yet another hole on the left sleeve, which is very small. The pocket on the left hand waist is faded at the bottom and shows signs of wear.
Three small holes, where the woollen jacket was most likely eaten by moths.