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Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Moore, John Charles (1887–1918)

by Matthew Dicker

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, (MUP), 1986

John Charles Moore (1887-1918), soldier and mechanic, was born on 2 June 1887 at Waterloo, Victoria, third son of Thomas Macedon Moore, miner, and his wife Mary Jane, née Robinson, both Victorian born. He was schooled at either Waterloo or Beaufort near Ballarat, then worked in Melbourne for Massey Harris & Co. as a mechanic.

Having served in the Australian Military Forces in the 64th Battalion, Moore enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 6 June 1916 and joined the 5th Reinforcements for the 60th Battalion. He was made acting corporal in July after attending an instructional school at Geelong and embarked for overseas service on 25 September. He arrived in England on 11 November and was sent to the 15th Training Battalion. In France by late December, he joined the 5th Division Base Depot, reverting to the rank of private.

After short periods acting at higher rank Moore joined the 60th Battalion as a private near Delville Wood on 8 February 1917. He was promoted corporal that month and sergeant on 5 May and in mid-May saw action in the battle of Bullecourt where he won the Military Medal for bravery under fire. Sent to an officers' training school at Cambridge, England, in September, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 60th Battalion on 23 January 1918. He was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry as the officer in charge of one of two raiding parties at Wytschaete on 13-14 March; single-handed, Moore took an enemy post, capturing four prisoners. When the raiding party withdrew he remained behind with two of his men to bring in the wounded under very heavy machine-gun fire.

Soon after his promotion to lieutenant on 1 April Moore fought in the 2nd battle of Villers-Bretonneux and was awarded a Bar to his M.C. For four days he organized resistance to German attacks, arranging for the removal of wounded, the continuance of supplies, the collection of intelligence and the accurate directing of artillery fire.

On 8 May Moore was detached by Brigadier General H. E. Elliott to the 15th Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery to help counter difficulties caused by the issue of inferior 'blue ring' mortar ammunition. He was serving with the 15th Battery when he was killed on 4 July 1918 in the battle of Hamel during a heavy German bombardment. He was buried in the British cemetery at Méricourt, France.

Moore had married Ada Jane Hendy Cooper on 31 May 1916 at Bendigo, Victoria; there were no children of the marriage.

Select Bibliography

  • C. E. W. Bean, The A.I.F. in France, 1918 (Syd, 1942)
  • London Gazette, 17 July 1917, 10 May 1918, 13 Sept 1918
  • Bendigo Advertiser, 14 May 1918
  • Ballarat Courier, 16 July 1918
  • Bendigo Independent, 20 July 1918
  • records (Australian War Memorial).

Citation details

Matthew Dicker, 'Moore, John Charles (1887–1918)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1986, accessed online 19 September 2020.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, (MUP), 1986

View the front pages for Volume 10

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