Albert Reginald Moore

Second Lieutenant Albert Reginald Moore of the 2/8 Battalion of the West Yorkshire regiment  was killed 12th April 1917 aged 24.

The son of Thomas and Grace Moore he was born in Leytonstone on 4th September 1892, and at the time of the 1911 Census  resided at 46 Manor Road, Romford, Essex with his two brothers Thomas and Frank and sister Grace. Albert was the youngest of the four siblings, and was recorded as a scholastic student aged 18. His father, Thomas was a railway accounts clerk, his brother, Thomas was a bank clerk (23), Grace was a domestic nurse (22) and Frank (20) who followed his father into being a railway clerk.

Early Life

Albert’s education provided an interesting discourse as he was recorded as attending Mawney Road Elementary School Romford until the age of fourteen.

He went on to Brentwood School as a day scholar (admitted 19th Jan 1906) where he joined the third year, remaining there until the end of the Sixth Form (leaving 29th July 1910). The fees for the latter were paid for in totality by Essex County Council, for the duration of three years or longer if necessary, indicating that performance would result in continuation until time of leaving Brentwood. In completing this he must have shown himself to be a successful scholar.

Mawney Road Elementary School, Romford   (courtesy of Mawney Foundation School, Romford)

Mawney Road Elementary School, Romford   (courtesy of Mawney Foundation School, Romford)

Albert Moore gained the following public examinations whilst in the School: Oxford Junior Local, 1908 (Religious Knowledge, Arithmetic, History, English, Geography, Mathematics, and Heat [this last was a sub-section of Science]). The Junior examination was originally for boys under the age of 15; in 1867, girls were allowed to sit the examination for the first time. Oxford Senior Local 1909 (Exemption from London Matric.) The Senior examination was originally for boys under the age of 18; in 1867, girls were allowed to sit the examination for the first time. In 1888, the age limit was removed. Successful candidates in the Senior examination were entitled to be called an ‘Oxford Associate in Arts’; this title is mentioned in the first regulations and Annual Report, 1858

Whilst at Brentwood he was recorded as playing for the 1st XI cricket team.

 (photo courtesy of the Brentwood Archive)

Brentwood Archive has him leaving the school to join Winchester Training College in September  1910 to complete the two year course to become a teacher, which he began in 1911. In the time between leaving school and beginning his course at Winchester, Albert was a pupil teacher at Parklane Boys’ School in Hornchurch, Essex. In 1910 he took the Archbishops’ Entrance Examination for which he was classified Class 2.

Winchester Training College

Winchester training College was his next stop for a two year course in becoming a teacher. Central to the ethos of the College at this time was The Volunteer Company, which had been the norm for nearly thirty years. The College Company numbered the full compliment of the student body, some 56 students. They followed a regime of summer camps, training and when the Chief Inspector for Training Colleges arrived they assessed a range of academic attainment and professional skills, so the pressure was always on to succeed and not let the group down. It may well have been this training that gave rise to his joining up when war was declared.

According to Martial Rose’s book, A History of King Alfred’s College Winchester 1840-1980, the weekday routine began with students being woken at 6.15am, and by 6.45am students were attending their first lecture of the day. Each day followed a routine which was, on the face of it, designed to keep all students at work right the way through until 10.30pm with lights out.

Information on the College provides some background into the students’ lives at the turn of the century. The Wintonian 1910-1914 reveals that Albert Moore was awarded  a medal and certificate in swimming, and he attended  the first reunion of the London area alumni from the 1911-13 group of students. At this time the Winton Club met not only in Winchester but in a few places around the country.

At the end of his two year course, Albert was graded by the college with B in Reading, Teaching, Drawing, Science and Physical Training, and D in Music. He was also awarded the College Education Prize.

The War

When he left in 1913, from the research he went back to his old school to teach and gain experience at Mawney Road Elementary School. One wonders how many of us actually did that as either our first job, or just to have the experience of teaching in an environment that we knew and possibly felt safe in.

When war was declared in 1914, he joined the Artists Rifles as a Private 4177 where he was trained before being posted on to other regiments, the Headquarters was in Euston Road, London and bearing in mind he was in Romford it was the most obvious place to go.  His medical form on enlistment tells us that Albert was 5ft 11in tall, with a chest measurement of 35in and expansion of 4in. He had good eyesight and fair physical development. From the Rifles he was posted to the 4th Hampshires, and then on to the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince Of Wales Own) 2nd/8th Battalion (Leeds Rifles) (T.F.) as Second Lieutenant from 26th November 1915. In April 1916 Albert was admitted to Tidworth General Hospital for an operation to cure a varicocele. Although the operation was successful, Albert needed until the end of August 1916, before the Medical  Board that had been convened to examine his case, was able to declare him once more fit for general service. His Medal Roll confirms that he was not in the frontline until 1917 as the 2/8th Battalion did not arrive in Le Havre until January of that year. The battalion was part of the 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division and in the three months  that Albert was alive he took part in some of the major offensives of 1917, the Ancre, Hindenburg Line and the second battle of Arras. From research the Division was involved in the first attack on Bullecourt April 11th 1917, which was a very costly operation and cost Albert his life. The plan was for the attack to centre on Bullecourt with tank support and send the Germans back to their support trenches. As with the best laid plans this didn’t happen as expected with the Germans adopting a more elastic defence method, which allowed them to absorb the attack.

It appears Albert was killed to the west of the town and remained there for some time until the War Graves Commission decided that an exhumation was needed to allow him to be buried some miles to the SW at the HAC cemetery at Ecoust-St.Mein, Plot 5 Row C Number 1.

Albert had not left a will but after the war, probate was retrospectively granted and his estate, totaling £228 1s 6d, was sent to his father as his next of kin.

 

Researcher and Author: John Westwood

Sources

Ancestry (2018). Home page. [online] Available at: www.ancestry.co.uk [Accessed 2018].

Brentwood School (2018). Archives. [online] Available at: http://www.brentwoodschool.co.uk/archives [Accessed 2018].

Commonwealth War Graves Commission, (2018). Home page. [online] Available at www.cwgc.org/ [Accessed 2018].

Lidgitt, P. and Naylor, P. Cemetery photographs.

The Mawney Road Foundation School (2018). Home Page. [online] Available at: http://www.mawney.havering.sch.uk/ [Accessed 2018].

Rose, M. (1981). A history of King Alfred’s College, Winchester 1840-1980. London: Phillimore.

Vickers, J. University of Winchester Chapel Memorial Rail image.

 

University of Winchester Archive – Hampshire Record Office
Reference code Record
47M91W/ P2/4 The Wintonian 1899-1900
47M91W/ P2/5 The Wintonian 1901-1902
47M91W/ P2/6 The Wintonian 1903-1904
47M91W/ P2/7 The Wintonian 1904-1906
47M91W/ P2/8 The Wintonian 1905-1907
47M91W/ P2/10 The Wintonian 1908-1910
47M91W/ P2/11 The Wintonian 1910-1914
47M91W/ P2/12 The Wintonian 1920-1925
47M91W/ D1/2 The Student Register
47M91W/ S5//5/10 Photograph of 5 alumni in Mesopotamia
47M91W/ Q3/6 A Khaki Diary
47M91W/ B1/2 Reports of Training College 1913-1914
47M91W/ Q1/5 Report and Balance Sheets 1904- 1949
47M91W/ R2/5 History of the Volunteers Company 1910
47M91W/ L1/2 College Rules 1920
Hampshire Record Office archive
71M88W/6 List of Prisoners at Kut
55M81W/PJ1 Managers’ Minute Book 1876-1903
All material referenced as 47M91W/ is the copyright of The University of Winchester. Permission to reproduce photographs and other material for this narrative has been agreed by the University and Hampshire Record Office.