Corporal William John Moore


William John Moore was born on 21 October 1895 at Bushmills, County Antrim, the first of nine children of labourer (later coachman then motor driver) William Moore and his wife Agnes (née Graham). The family moved to Belfast around the turn of the century. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 8 Somerton Road with his parents and five siblings, and working as a grocery apprentice.

Moore enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 1 March 1915 (No.1457). He gave his civilian occupation as 'valet'. He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France on 17 November 1915 with F Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 33rd Division.

On 31 December 1915 Moore was attached to headquarters of the 33rd Division.

In June 1916 F Squadron combined with C Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps.

Moore was disciplined the following month for neglect of duty whilst on horse guard.

In August-September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and its men were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Moore, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Moore was issued regimental number 41240 and posted to A Company. On 3 October he was made acting corporal. He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917, and perhaps also during the retreat from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918, and the fighting around Mt Kemmel the following month.

At the beginning of May 1918 Moore suffered an injury – a contusion of his left elbow. Evacuated to the UK, he was admitted to the Endell Street Military Hospital in London. He remained there for a week before returning to Ireland. There, however, he suffered a severe attack of diarrhoea, being treated in the Belfast Military Hospital and Bangor Cottage Hospital until discharged on 26 August.

He was then posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, at the Bawdsey Camp in Suffolk. While there he was disciplined for being absent from guard mounting parade.

On 18 September 1918 Moore deserted. No further information has been discovered about him, but it appears that he was not apprehended.