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Moore, James Lorenzo (1887–1951)

by G. P. Walsh

This article was published:

James Lorenzo Moore (1887-1951), sheepdog expert, was born on 4 November 1887 at Kew, Melbourne, son of native-born parents George Watton Moore, commission agent, and his wife Octavia Frances Gordon, née McCrae. He spent some of his early years in the Hillston-Hay districts of New South Wales and was for a time overseer on a station at Wyalong before moving to Tasmania, where he imported and bred working sheepdogs.

Describing himself as a 'sheep grazier' and claiming experience as a school cadet, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Pontville on 27 August 1914. His war service was brief. He joined 'C' Squadron of the 3rd Australian Light Horse at Gallipoli on 29 September 1915 and ten days later fell ill with tuberculosis. In January 1916 he returned to Australia and was discharged medically unfit in Tasmania in July.

By February 1917, 'late 3rd L.H.', Moore had re-formed his kennel at St Leonard's and, claiming that his dogs had won more than sixty trials overseas and in Australia, was advertising Scotch border collies, kelpies and barbs for sale. His first sire was The Gaffer (Boss) sired by Moss of Ancrum, bred by Tom White of Victoria and for which he paid Arthur Collins £100. Moore imported many notable champions from England and Scotland, including Macpherson's Moss, Brown's Shep, Brown's Nell and Cayley of Thornhill.

In 1920 Moore demonstrated his dogs at work for the Prince of Wales and Field Marshal Sir William Birdwood and in 1921 became a life member of the International Sheep Dog Trial Society. On 12 April 1922 at Launceston he married Charlotte Lucia Cargill; they were divorced in December 1947. In 1923 he moved to Melbourne where he worked as a manager and in conjunction with his friend H. J. Smith relocated his 'Tasmanian Kennels' at the Nook, Kyneton. By 1929 he had kennels in Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia, New South Wales and New Zealand.

Moore wrote (probably with assistance) many authoritative articles on the breeding and training of sheepdogs, chiefly for the Pastoral Review and the New Zealand Loan Quarterly Magazine. In 1929 he published The Canine King: The Working Sheep Dog with a preface by Birdwood. Moore was no A. P. Terhune and though the book failed to live up to the extravagant claims of its editor, Frank Russell, it contained a wealth of knowledge and rare entertainment according to C. J. Dennis. In 1931 Moore made The Master of the Flock, a talkie film demonstrating the capabilities of his dogs. He gained wide repute as breeder, dog and trial judge and publicist, especially for the border collie sheepdog. He was a keen supporter of field trials and from 1920 urged the establishment of a working sheepdog stud book. He always bred from broken stock.

In 1932 he went to South Africa and H. J. Smith carried on the kennel in Moore's name. On his return in 1939 he was general manager of the South African Fruit Canners' Council. An active worker for incapacitated ex-servicemen, Moore was president in 1945-51 of the Gallipoli Legion of Anzacs of Victoria. He died childless on 3 March 1951 in Melbourne and was cremated. His second wife Edna May, née Pearce, whom he had married at Cairns Memorial Church, Melbourne, on 19 March 1948, survived him.

Select Bibliography

  • Pastoral Review, 16 Mar 1921, 16 Jan 1926, 16 Nov 1931, 15 Apr 1939, 16 Oct, 16 Nov 1940, 16 Apr 1941, 16 Mar 1951
  • New Zealand Loan Quarterly Magazine, Mar, June 1924, Mar 1925
  • New Nation Magazine, 1 Dec 1931
  • Argus (Melbourne), 5 Mar 1951
  • Australasian (Melbourne), 10 Feb 1917, 4, 31 Aug 1918, 18 Jan, 1 Feb, 25 Oct 1919, 10 Jan, 21 Aug 1920, 9 Apr 1921, 15 Sept, 6 Oct 1923, 24 May 1924, 22 June 1929, 10 May 1930, 2 July 1932.

Citation details

G. P. Walsh, 'Moore, James Lorenzo (1887–1951)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/moore-james-lorenzo-7636/text13331, published first in hardcopy 1986, accessed online 23 September 2021.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, (Melbourne University Press), 1986

View the front pages for Volume 10

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