The following conundrum has been haunting us for many years and even though we had another go at solving this tonight, we are still no closer to a solution.

My family stories have always suggested that my Great Grandmother Martha Lawrance (Nee Mould) had two brothers that fought in The Great War. We always assumed that by fought they also meant died as we have never been able to trace them since this time.
The name Mould has been variously transcribed as Mould, Mold and Moulds a fact that has confused the story somewhat as both Mould and Moulds families (no relation as far as we know) both lived in Peterborough around the early 1900’s. We also have Martha’s Uncle James Mould and wife Ruth living in Peterborough at the same time as her parents John Thomas Mould and wife Martha.

Something that ties in with the story of the soldier brother’s of Martha, is the list of names on the Peterborough War Memorial. The following extract from their website shows what is believed to our missing brothers, Jesse and Samuel William amongst other Mould and Moulds:-

153, Huntley Grove, 12985, Private, 6th Northamptonshire Regiment.
Killed in action 31.7.18 on the Somme, France. Buried in Heath Cemetery,
Harbonnieres, Grave VIII.B.19. near Bray-sur-Somme. 1914-15 Star.  
5, Russell Street, 18147, Private, 2nd Kings Own Scottish Borderers.
Killed in action 3.9.16 at Falfemont Farm, France.  Commemorated on
Thiepval Memorial, Panels 4a/4d.
5, Russell Street, 31812, Private, 5th London Regiment. Killed in
action 8.11.18. Buried in Cambrai East Military Cemetery, Grave II.B.14.
26, Duke Street, 12851, Private, 1st Northamptonshire Regiment. Killed
in action 23.7.16 on the Somme, France. Buried in Thiepval Cemetery,
Grave I.J.01.
26, Duke Street, 321314, Private, Army Service Corps. Died of sickness
4.11.18 in Royal Herbert Hospital, Woolwich. Buried in Peterborough
(Broadway) Cemetery, Grave 7.3.2374.

The last documented evidence we have of the brothers is on the 1911 census where they are both listed as prisoners in Lincoln Prison. Samuel William aged 30 a labourer in an Iron Works born in Langtoft and Jesse aged 26 a rope maker born in Helpstone, both single men.

In order to determine if we had the correct people, we had to look to see if there were any other Moulds with the same names. There is only one Samuel William Mould to be found in Peterborough but we have two people named Jesse Mould. The first born about 1882 was the son of James and Ruth Mould and born in Peterborough, the second born 1884 was the son of John Thomas and Martha Mould hence the brother of my Gt Grandmother Martha. John Thomas and James Mould were in fact cousins both being born of two brothers from Helpringham, Lincolnshire whose father originally came from langtoft.
Upon closer inspection the older Jesse Mould can be found on a passenger list heading for Canada, arriving on the 30th April 1906. Jesse’s Uncle Charles Mould was already living in Toronto Canada before this date and we can only assume that this is where Jesse headed for.
A Jesse Mould came back to the UK in 1947 as a first class passenger on the Cunard White Star ship Aquitania with wife Mary and daughter Joan, arriving in Southampton and  listing their onward address as 23 Windmill Street Peterborough. We cannot find a return journey but there is also a death record for Jesse Mould in Toronto Canada.
Anyway this just about proves that any Jesse Mould we find in England from 1906 onwards is most likely to be our Jesse, Martha’s brother.

OK, so on with the mystery of the Peterborough War Memorial, lets start with Jesse.

Jesse Mould can be found on an attestation record, enlisting at Litchfield  into the North Staffordshire Regiment on 12th August 1914. What is most interesting is that Jesse attested that he had previously served for 3 years and 326/365 in the Northamptonshire Regiment. If we work back the dates then we can see that around September 1911 he must have joined the army for the first time, possibly straight after coming out of prison.
The only thing on the paperwork that does not work out correctly is that the date of birth written in the margin was 2nd July 1886 and indeed on another page his age is shown as 28 years and 41 days. In reality we have found his birth registration in the september quarter 1884 and so something is not right with the listed year.

By 22nd October 1914 Jesse was discharged from the Army and his paperwork is marked with the comment “Not likely to become an efficient soldier”. This would then question why he had previously been a soldier for nearly 4 years and more so why he left the army.

This leaves us with another problem, who is George (Jesse) Mould and why is he on the Peterborough Memorial.

The Peterborough Memorial records gives us the following:-
MOULD, GEORGE (JESSE), 5, Russell Street, 18147, Private, 2nd Kings Own Scottish Borderers. Killed in action 3.9.16 at Falfemont Farm, France.  Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Panels 4a/4d.

The address of Russell Street ties in with the right area of Peterborough as this is around the corner from Bright Street, a previous home of both the Mould and Lawrance families, but we only have the memorial listing with this address.
There is no Jesse Mould listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission registers but we do find George Mould with the right regimental number and regiment to tie in with the Peterborough Memorial information;
 Initials: G
 Nationality: United Kingdom
 Rank: Private
 Regiment: King’s Own Scottish Borderers
 Unit Text: 2nd Bn.
 Date of Death: 03/09/1916
 Service No: 18147
 Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
 Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 4 A and 4 D.
 Taken from Commonwealth war graves commission

The above information also ties in with the Medals Roll of the Great War in that;
 Medal card of  Mould, George
 Corps: King’s Own Scottish Borderers
 Regiment No: 18147
 Rank: Private

The next official record we can look at is the Soldiers Died In The Great War, entry for George Mould;
 Name:     George Mould
 Birth Place:     Helpastone, Lincoln
 Residence:     Pontefract, Yorks
 Death Date:     3 Sep 1914
 Enlistment Location:     Peterbourg, Yorks
 Rank:     Private
 Regiment:     King’s Own Scottish Borderers
 Battalion:     2nd Battalion.
 Number:     18147
 Type of Casualty:     Killed in action
 Theatre of War:     Aldershot

As you can see this final record has one or two facts that would indicate that this could be our Jesse but quite a few that don’t work especially the one about the death in 1914 when this should be 1916.

Samuel William Mould does not appear to have any attestation record available via normal sources. It could be that any record was destroyed in the blitz, what is known as the burnt records.
Unfortunately that only leaves us with three source records for Samuel William Mould.

The first record we have seen above is the listing for the Peterborough War memorial that would indicate that Samuel William was living at the same address as Jesse.
The listing would indicate that Samuel William Mould was a Private in the 5th London Regiment and killed in
action 8.11.18.
So if this is taken at face value then Samuel William and George (Jesse) should be brothers. Unfortunately the only listing for a Samuel William Mould on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site is as follows:-

SAMUEL WILLIAM;  Lance Corporal 318122 08/11/1918  28 London Regiment
(London Rifle Brigade) United Kingdom II. B. 14. CAMBRAI EAST MILITARY

If we look at extra information from the CWGC then the following statements throws an even darker shadow on the validity of the information from the Peterborough Memorial.

 Initials: S W
 Nationality: United Kingdom
 Rank: Lance Corporal
 Regiment: London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade)
 Unit Text: 5th Bn.
 Age: 28
 Date of Death: 08/11/1918
 Service No: 318122
 Additional information: Son of William H. Mould; husband of Louisa Mould, of 14, Wade St., Poplar, London.
 Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
 Grave/Memorial Reference: II. B. 14.

 The Medals Roll tells a similar Story with Samuel William Mould of the 5th London regiment, the 21st London Regiment etc., with several regimental numbers ending up with the last entry as 318122.

I thought that Samuel William would have been easier to prove than Jesse and all was going well until the bombshell of a father and wife’s name has appeared on the CWGC site. A quick check tonight on cannot throw up a Samuel William being born to a William H Mould in London and so this is another line that will need to be investigated in order to prove or disprove the family history of Samuel William Mould of the London Regiment.

Well as you can see, there appears to have been some transcription errors plus some jumping to conclusions over the years and in reality very little in the way of concrete, documented, proof that the Peterborough War Memorial is correct. 

I would like to say that in all probability the family story stand and that My two Gt Gt Uncles were both killed in the Great War, but are they really the ones listed on the Peterborough Memorial.

I guess we will probably be discussing this point for many years to come, who knows we may have to wait until the release of the 1921 census to really discover our missing relatives.