Eric Francis Moisson
Mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services
Royal Army Service Corps
Eric was born in 1913 the younger brother of Philip, by three years . Their father died when they were 11 and 14. As young men both joined the Westminster Dragoons, a territorial yeomanry regiment, where Eric was known as 'Fruity' and Phil as 'Willy' . They were both being commissioned into the Royal Army Service Corps very early in the war. Philip was married in April 1939 and went to the 'WD's' summer camp but did not return home until long after Dunkirk.
The photo shows the two of them in the back garden of their home in Wimbledon Park; Eric is on the left slightly shorter than his brother. It is probably just as well that they did not know what the future held.
Above is a copy of a letter from Eric to Phil 8 December 1941. 'Ned' was Eric's shortened name for Phil’s wife 'Eluned' who came from a Welsh family.
Eric was at the fall of Singapore and taken prisoner. To the right is an extract from the Wimbledon Borough News of 3 April 1942 reporting that Eric was missing 'in Malaya'.
Below is the regulation note from Eric to his mother sent from No 4 Camp, Thailand; it is believed that this was the first notification which his family received that Eric was alive. It is recalled that Eric’s Mother said that the reference to 'Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all' caused consternation amongst the Japanese as they were convinced that it was some form of coded message and Eric was duly punished.
During this time Phil had landed on the Normandy beaches and was amongst the first to enter Belsen Concentration camp and was on duty at the War Trial there.
Eric was mentioned in despatches because of his efforts in maintaining morale in the PoW camps. One of Eric’s morale boosting efforts was a fictitious clock store, which he of course owned. Each POW had to imitate a particular type of clock: Big Ben, St Clement Dane's, alarm clock, cuckoo clock and so on. This apparent simple form of entertainment gave his fellow PoW’s something to take their minds off the conditions in which they were barely surviving.
In a letter from Ted Sherring . The nephew of Eric writes:
"In 1986 whilst we were living in Woking I had a call one night from a Mr Ted Sherring . He had been Eric's sergeant whilst they were prisoners. He had come back from a reunion of POW's and was wondering what had become of Eric and remembering that he had worked in Croydon thought the Surrey telephone book was a good place to start to try to find him".
Sgt E. R. Sherring (S/174705) was also mentioned in despatches.
Eric went to Australia as a "ten pound pom" in about 1949 and returning to his pre-war occupation worked in shipping where it seems much of his business was conducted with the Japanese.
Eric died in 1963 of Hodgkinson's disease. and although married never had any children.