Parents describe heartbreak after losing three sons to tragedy

Parents describe heartbreak after losing sons aged 40, 37 and 36, in three separate tragedies after one fell down stairs, another drowned at sea and third died in motorbike crash

  • Arthur and Christine Mosley, both 67, mourned deaths of Robert, Peter, Phillip
  • Tragedy struck first in 2015 when Robert, 40, died after falling down the stairs 
  • Last year Peter, 37, drowned after jumping from a fishing boat and swept away
  • In July Phillip, 36, was killed in a horror motorbike crash weeks after passing test 

A grief-stricken mother and father have opened up about their enduring struggle after losing all three sons in separate heartbreaking circumstances.

Arthur and Christine Mosley, both 67, from Hull, mourned the deaths of Robert, Peter and Phillip in just five years. 

Tragedy struck first in 2015 when Robert, 40, died after falling down the stairs in a mystery which continues to prey on the family to this day. 

Last year Peter, 37, drowned after jumping from a fishing boat before being quickly swept away. His body was later found 25 miles off the coast of Bridlington.

And almost exactly a year later, as the couple and their last surviving son were preparing to commemorate the anniversary of Peter’s death, Phillip, 36, was killed in a motorbike crash. 

Mr Mosley said: ‘People often ask us how we cope. We put on a brave face when out and about but at home we struggle.

‘We have our good days and bad days but we hadn’t even got over the death of Robert to be honest. 

‘Some people don’t want to talk to us because they just don’t know what to say.’



Arthur and Christine Mosley, both 67, from Hull, mourned the deaths of Robert (left), Peter (middle) and Phillip in just five years

The family, from Hull, do fundraising in memory of their sons, and pay tribute to the immense support of loved-ones and the wider community 

The couple try to stay busy and enjoy spending time in their caravan in the East Yorkshire seaside down of Withernsea, where Peter and Phillip lived.

They also do fundraising in memory of their sons, and pay tribute to the immense support of loved-ones and the wider community. 

But they still agonise over the murky circumstances surrounding the death of father-of-one Robert – who may or may not have been pushed.

Recalling the events of 2015, Mrs Mosley said: ‘Robert came home for the day and then went round to a friend’s house in west Hull where they had a few drinks.

‘Later he was found dead at the bottom of the stairs. There was an inquest but no one could determine whether he had fallen or was pushed.

‘It is awful not knowing exactly what happened. He died in August that year but we didn’t get the body back until November. He left behind a daughter who was 17 years old at the time.’ 

‘He was a lovely lad and everyone adored him,’ she said. ‘He brought his daughter up in her early years which people admitted.

‘He did like a drink and had some issues. But he would do anything for me and his dad.

‘He lived in Withernsea with Peter who helped him as best as he could. He would get Robert to help out at the boat compound.’

Robert (pictured as a child) died after falling down the stairs in mysterious circumstances 


Tragedy struck first in 2015 when Robert, 40, (left) died after falling down the stairs in a mystery which continues to prey on the family to this day. Last year Peter, 37, (right) drowned after jumping from a fishing boat before being quickly swept away

Peter, a hugely popular figure in Withernsea who had been a lobster and crab fishermen for 16 years, died on July 5 last year.

While at sea off the coast of Tunstall, his Misty Blue fishing boat suffered mechanical trouble and was forced to hail for assistance.

To pass the time, Peter decided to go for a dip and jumped into the water shouting ‘Geronimo!’

But the strong swimmer was quickly pulled out of reach of the boat and disappeared from sight. His body was found three weeks later 25 miles off the coast of Bridlington.

Ms Mosley fondly remembered the ‘gentle giant’, a father-of-two to baby daughters.

She said: ‘He had a similar nature to Robert and all three were big, strong lads.

‘He had two young girls. At the time Frankie was 15 months and Peggy just three months.’ 

Mr Mosley added: ‘He had been a fisherman for 16 years, catching lobster and crab among the coast,’ he said.

‘Everyone wanted to work with him because of his attitude and experience.

‘He loved the job and knew everything about the sea. That’s what made what happened so difficult to understand and was such a shock.

‘If anyone wanted help he would be there and would make the pots for people. He was my rock and we loved him to bits.’ 

Peter, a hugely popular figure in Withernsea who had been a lobster and crab fishermen for 16 years, died on July 5 last year

Ms Mosley added: ‘Everyone recognised Peter as he could always be seen walking his Jack Russell Missy. She is with us now.’  

The third tragedy to rock the Mosley family happened on July 2 this year, when Phillip was killed after a collision in Anlaby Road in the early hours.

He was riding a Lexmoto Titan 125cc motorcycle, but was thrown from it and suffered fatal injuries.

Phillip had only recently passed his test after buying the bike to ease the load from his parents from having to take him to work.

Mr Mosely said: ‘Phillip had just got a job at King George Dock. He was living with us and we were giving him a lift in but he wanted to buy the bike and relieve the burden on us.

‘He only passed his test a couple of weeks before he died. He was off to his partner’s at the time.

‘I was lying on the settee when we got a visit from the police. I thought Phillip was in bed at the time but the police told me he had died.

‘Phillip had never got over Peter’s death. We were doing events around Peter’s death at the time as it was a year since he passed away.

‘After Phillip died we have just been trying to keep ourselves going.’

Peter (left) and Phillip Mosley as schoolboys. They died just one year apart aged 37 and 36 in tragic circumstances 

He added: ‘Phillip sailed all over the world to fish. He spent 15 months in New Zealand and also fished round Africa.

‘He was really nice and popular and everyone knew him, although he could be a bit of a nuisance when he had a drink.

‘He was a very good rugby player when he was younger and played for Humberside and Yorkshire.

‘Phillip didn’t go back to sea after Peter died. He just couldn’t do it anymore.’

On Friday night the family, including their sister, held an event at Brownies Bar in Anlaby Road during which cheques for £1,115.50 were each presented to the Royal National Lifeboat Institute and the Fishermen’s Mission.

The money was raised by Mr Mosley’s sister-in-law and nephew who embarked on a sponsored cycle ride to Withernsea.

A further £195 was raised for the auction of rugby shirts which will go towards a bench which will be installed outside the boat compound in Withernsea in memory of Robert, Peter and Phillip.

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