Image of Jesus College war memorial

James Prior Moffitt, Captain Durham Light Infantry

​James Prior Moffitt came to Jesus College in October 1911 from Bede Collegiate School in Sunderland with a Scholarship of £40 for History.

Born: Sunderland on 2 June 1892

Fell in action: 3 December 1917

His intention, however, was to take orders and become a clergyman, and after achieving a high second class in Part I History he became the “Lady Kay Theological Scholar” in 1913. He attained his BA in 1914.The Lady Kay Scholarship was endowed by Sir Edward Ebenezer Kay, the son-in-law of a former Master, Dr William French (1820-1849) in memory of his wife Mary Valence Kay (nee French) in 1890. The scholarship was to be given to any person pursuing a course of theological study or research in the University who had already obtained a first or second class in any Tripos and declared the intention of seeking Holy Orders in the Church of England. 

Moffitt appears to have taken an active part in College life, although he may not have felt flattered by the following poetic offering from Chanticlere:

R.I.P.

Beset with troubles gastronomic
He died of Pressure Economic
This is not in priest or prophet
But in the Gospel of St M*ff*tt.

(May Term 1913, p15)

He also attained colours as the goalkeeper for the “soccer” team. He was described as “a thoroughly sound goal-keeper. Perhaps at his best in clearing before a mob of charging forwards” (Chanticlere, Lent Term 1914, p 41).

He was killed in action in December 1917 having served from the beginning of the war.

You can email us on ww1-project@jesus.cam.ac.uk, go to our First World War homepage, or find us on Lives of the First World War.

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