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Hurst Infant School, 1893
Hurst Infant School, 1893
image: CD-Rom of Hurst
Royal Scots Fusiliers leaving Gosport
Royal Scots Fusiliers leaving Gosport
Previous: Charles Moore
Next: Arthur Neville

Moore, David John

David John Moore
1914 Star
1914 Star
Victory Medal
Victory Medal
British War Medal
British War Medal
Serjeant David John Moore (9388)
Died of Wounds on Saturday 8th May 1915
Second Battle of Ypres, aged 29
Son of Michael & Susan Moore
Father's occupation: Army pensioner
Born 18th September 1886 at Kildare
4 sisters, 3 brothers, position in family: 4
Relatives: Brother of 9387 Pte Alfred Charles Moore & 9026 Corpl Tom Moore
Infant School:Hurst Infants
Senior School:Hurst Boys
Admitted:21st May 1894
Age on admission:7
Left school:18th September 1899
Age at leaving:13
Local address: Davis Street, Hurst
Pre-war occupation: Gen. Labourer; Farm worker; Soldier
Enlisted:Reading, Before WW1
Regiment:Royal Scots Fusiliers
Battalion:1st Bn.
Went overseas:Friday 14th August 1914
Died:Saturday 8th May 1915
Cause:Died of Wounds
Action:Second Battle of Ypres
Battalion at:St. Eloi
Commemorated:Grave at Voormezeele Enclosures No.1 and No.2

John Moore was born in Curragh, County Kildare, Ireland on 18th September 1886 to Michael and Susan Moore, and was the fourth of eight children. John's father was an agricultural labourer and originated from County Kerry in Ireland. The family lived in Davis Street, Hurst and John attended Hurst Infants School. At the age of seven he became a pupil in Hurst Boys School and continued his education until the age of thirteen.

His father, Michael Moore (also known as John Moore), was an army pensioner. He had served for nearly 23 years, with long term postings in Malta, Gibraltar and South Africa. He married their mother, Susan Smith of Stratfield Turgis, while serving in the Eastern Cape and was awarded the South Africa medal, with the 77-78-79 clasp for his involvement in campaigns, including the 1879 Zulu War.

Nothing is known of John's life immediately after school until the time when he signed up as a regular soldier along with his younger brother Charles. The brothers were allocated consecutive service numbers, indicating that they enlisted together and probably shared similar experiences of serving in the overseas outposts of the British Empire prior to the First World War.

A soldier normally signed up for twelve years and could then apply to extend that period. He was obliged to complete five or seven years in the colours after which he could choose to join the Reserve. Soldiers in the Reserve returned to civilian life but were paid a retainer and undertook to attend training annually and return to the army in the event of war. With the outbreak of the First World War a general mobilization was signalled and all of the reserves reported back to their units.

It is not known whether John was a regular soldier at this time or in the Reserve, but he was certainly in 1st Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers from the time of mobilization. The Battalion had returned to base at Gosport on 30th July 1914 in anticipation of the mobilization order that was circulated on 4th August. Over the next few days around 750 reservists reported for duty and the Battalion numbers swelled to its full complement of around one thousand soldiers.

On 13th August the Battalion received orders to board trains for Southampton and crossed to Le Havre in the troopships Martaban and Appam to join 9th Brigade, 3rd Division. After two days in rest camp the Battalion took trains eastwards to Landrecies and after a seven mile march they reached 9th Brigade's billets at Noyelles-sur Sambre. John was now part of the original British Expeditionary Force of six divisions that was famously referred to by the Kaiser as 'General French's contemptible little army'. They had been sent to France hurriedly to join up with the French 5th Army and block the German advance through Belgium that threatened Paris.

The Brigade pushed forward over the next three days and the continuous marching in very hot dry weather took its toll on the men, particularly the reservists who were unaccustomed to such vigorous exercise. By the time they crossed the Belgian border, the Medical Officer had already sent back twenty-three men. 1st Battalion reached Ghlin at 1.00 p.m. on 22nd August and at this point the British outriders encountered the German cavalry. The Battalion was ordered to withdraw and dig in to create a defensive line along the canal bank from Jemappes to Mons. The action that followed became known as the Battle of Mons; the first British engagement of the war.

Overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of the German army, the British Expeditionary Force fell back in a controlled retreat in which 1st Battalion covered 175 miles in 13 days, fighting in various rearguard actions along the way, including the Battle of Le Cateau on 26th August. When the German advance was halted at the Marne, 1st Battalion advanced and took part in the Battle of the Aisne before being sent north to fight at the Battle of La Bassee. John's brother Charles was killed on 24th October 1914, by which time the Battalion had been reduced to seventy men from the original 1000 who had sailed to France.

In November 1914 the Battalion took part in the First Battle of Ypres, participating in the counter-attack at Herenthage castle which stopped the Germans in front Ypres.

In 1915 the Battalion was deployed on the Ypres salient and in early May they were in the trenches near Hill 60 to the south-west of Ypres. The Battalion War Diary describes the events:

4 May 1915
Enemy “whizz-banged” and rifle grenaded trench T1 also supporting trenches. Casualties 4 wounded, 1 killed. New trench in rear T2 completed, also communication trench from T3 to right of Lincolns dug. All ranks provided with respirators against gas attack.
5 May 1915
Hill 60 reported rushed by Germans after 15 minutes gas attack. Casualties 2nd Lt. J Orr-Ewing wounded in hand by whizz-bang. 12 men wounded, 2 men killed.
6 May 1915
Battalion relieved by Royal Fusiliers and returned to huts in Dickebusch. In huts in Dickebusch.
Casualties up to 12 Noon — 1 man wounded
7 May 1915
Relieved 5th Fusiliers at St. Eloi.
2nd Lt.s Blatherwick and Johnston Browne and 6 men wounded. 1 man was killed during relief.
8 May 1915
Casualties up to 12 Noon — 2 officers and 6 men wounded, 1 man killed.
9 May 1915
Casualties up to 12 Noon — 2 died of wounds, 2 wounded.

John Moore was one of the men wounded during this period, probably during the relief at St.Eloi, and he died of his wounds on 8th May 1915. He now rests nearby in a Commonwealth war grave in Voormezeele Enclosures cemetery with two comrades from his Battalion who died on the same day. John was twenty-nine years of age and had served on the Western Front for less than nine months. His younger brother Alfred Charles Moore also died in the First World War.


John Moore at Voormezeele Enclosures No.1 and No.2
Voormezeele Enclosures No.1 and No.2
Rest in the Lord

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in morning
We will remember them.
Lawrence Binyon