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Albert Coss

Born:
26 Shevat 5660 (26 January 1900)
Died:
8 Adar II 5760 (15 March 2000)

Basic Information

Unique reference:
COS4216
Gender:
Male

Birth

Date of birth:
26 Shevat 5660 (26 January 1900)
Place of birth:
Leeds

Death

Date of death:
8 Adar II 5760 (15 March 2000)
Died in combat?:
No
Place of death:
Dublin, Ireland

Places

Addresses

Family Home:
Kennilworth Road Dublin, Ireland (1997)
Retirement Home:
Jewish Home of Ireland Leinster Road, Rathmines, Dublin
 < Close personal journey map
Personal Journey map
Albert Coss
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Enlisting at 15, 1915

Conversation
While working as a messenger boy in Leeds Albert saw the famous recruitment poster of Lord Kitchener and, despite being only 15 years old at the time, decided to lie about his age and enlist in the British Army. In his own words "I thought: have a go, Joe. I didn't give a damn about anything." he later recalled "I was a fool. I wanted excitement, I wanted something to do"

Boy Soldier in Arras, 1915

Conversation
At just 15 years old Albert was posted in the trenches of Arras, seeing Germany's first use of the chlorine gas in the war. He described the experience fighting in the trenches as "terrible" adding "You got used to them. But you never knew when you were going to slip into a shell-hole full of water. I was there for part of the summer and part of the winter. The winter was terrible. But there were dug-outs where you could get a cup of tea or go in for a rest. Otherwise you were out on the firing step all the time." - The Irish Times interview

Age Discovered

Conversation
After nearly a year serving with the King's Royal Rifles in Arras Albert's parents informed the army of his real age and he was sent back home to England and discharged. In spite of his horrifying experiences on the front in Arras, Albert once again lied about his age, and possibly his name, to re-enlist, this time in the Royal Artillery, and once again sent to the front in Belgium and France where he fought until the end of the war, staying in the army till 1922.

Oldest Veteran in Ireland, 15 March 2000

Conversation
Living to be 100 years old and settling in Dublin, Albert survived to be the last First World War Veteran living in Ireland, and is believed to be the penultimate British WW1 Veteran in the World. In recognition of his courageous service during the war Albert was awarded the Legion d'honneur by the French ambassador to Ireland, Mr Henri de Coignac in January 1999, the event was reported upon by the Jewish Chronicle as well as Irish National Papers.

Family

Spouse

Millie Leopold (female)
Other surname / Maiden name:
Coss
Place of marriage:
Belfast
Country of marriage:
Northern Ireland

Children

Rose Moss (female)

Military Record

Military service:
British Army
Military record no.:
111145
Date enlisted/conscripted:
1915
Date discharged/death:
1922
Rank at discharge/death:
Dvr.
Assignments
Regiment:
King's Royal Rifles
Battalion/unit:
13th Battalion
Campaigns:
Battle of Arras, 1915
Regiment:
Royal Artillery
Battalion/unit:
C/160th Bde
Posting:
France and Belgium
Medals:
Legion d'honneur

Roll of Honour

COSS

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London Jews in the First World War - We Were There Too

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