Moses, James John Hamlyn

Methodist Local Preachers, class leader, Sunday School teacher, temperance worker and politician, born 14 August 1873 at Dartmouth, the son of a shipwright. Educated at the town’s Board School, at nine he became a part-time worker as a newspaper boy, and worked full-time from thirteen. Two years later, the year he became a Methodist, he began an apprenticeship as a shipwright and in 1896 he started working at HM Dockyard, Devonport. In 1897 he married Agnes Ferris. He was admitted as a local preacher in 1891 and in 1934 his membership was in the Plymouth (Cobourg Street) ex-PM circuit.

Originally a Liberal, he joined the Labour Party in 1918, becoming its local leader. In 1911 he was elected to Devonport Borough Council, in 1914 to the Greater Plymouth Council, and served as an alderman from 1921 until 1945. He was mayor in 1926-7. He stood unsuccessfully for the Plymouth Drake constituency in 1923 and 1924, gained the seat in 1929, lost it in 1931, and failed to regain it in 1935; he was Plymouth’s first Labour member and the first royal dockyard worker to sit in Parliament. He was also on the executive committee of the Ship Construction and Shipwrights’ Association. He died on 28 May 1946.

  • ‘Mr J.J.H. Moses’, The Times, 30 May 1946, p. 6
  • The Methodist Local Preachers’ Who’s Who 1934, p. 369

See also

Entry written by: DCD
Category: Person
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