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Second Lieutenant Archibald Moore




Archibald Moore was born on 2 August 1889 at Ballycowan, Ballylesson, County Down, the third of six children of dairy farmer William Henry Moore and his wife Mary Gibson Moore (nee Allen). Educated at Malone National School, Belfast, by 1911 Moore was living with his family at Ballycarn, Drumbo, County Down, and working as a draper's apprentice.

Moore enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Larne on 4 September 1914 (No.1132). He was promoted to acting lance corporal on 1 November 1914, corporal on 21 August 1915, lance sergeant on 4 March 1916 and sergeant on 25 November 1916.

On 1 May 1915 he embarked for France with D Squadron of the North Irish Horse. He transferred to C Squadron on 5 September that year.

On 9 January 1917 he applied for a commission and on 9 March reported for duty at the No.7 Officer Cadet Battalion at Fermoy. On 27 June that year he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Royal Irish Rifles. Initially posted to the 20th (Reserve) Battalion, soon after he was sent to France where he joined the 13th (Service) Battalion.

On 14 November 1917 the 13th Battalion was amalgamated with the 11th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, and on 10 February 1918 the new unit was disbanded to form the 22nd Entrenching Battalion.

Moore was with the 22nd when the German Spring Offensive began on 21 March 1918. He was reported as wounded and missing on 26 March, but later his death was accepted.

Lance Corporal Jim O'Neill of Ballyboyland, Ballymoney, Co Antrim later stated:

On the 26th March 1918 I was attached to No 13 Platoon the 11/13th R. Irish Rifles. On that date 2/Lt Moore who had charge of the platoon took us to the village of Punchy or Fonches a few hundred yards in front of our lines in order to try and retake it. We had to retire and when doing so Mr Moore was shot through the heart. A stretcher bearer, Rfn Harry Grant, belonging to the same platoon was beside Mr Moore at the same time as myself. We had several other casualties at the time in the village street & had to leave them where they were on our retirement. I had known Mr Moore for 2 or 3 months at the time. The date was the 26th March 1918 & the place was the village of Punchy or Fonches, when shot. Mr Moore dropped & died on the spot.

Rifleman Wolfe of Carmeen Gatehouse, County Armagh stated:

Mr. Moore was my platoon officer XIII. He was killed on March 26th or 27th when D. Coy. attacked a village to the right of Harbonnieres. We took the village and held it about an hour and then were put out by a counter-attack. I saw Mr. Moore lying in the middle of the road in the village quite dead, and he was left behind when we retired.

Captain Findlay of the 22nd Entrenching Battalion, recalling the actions of the time, recalled that:

On the night of 23rd March the enemy shelled Misery, and we received orders early next morning (I think from Corps) to proceed to Gillancourt and later to dig in on a line from Rainecourt to Rosieres. The enemy attacked on our left flank during the afternoon which was unprotected and took Rainecourt and Framerville; in the evening a Staff Colonel brought up 2 battalions of the D.L.I. and counter-attacked and re-took Framerville with heavy losses to themselves and our left company which joined in the attack – Moore one of my subalterns was killed in this attack.

The Northern Whig and Belfast News-Letter of 9 May 1918 reported:

MOORE.– Second-Lieut. Archibald Moore, wounded and missing, believed killed, joined the ranks of the North Irish Horse in 1914, and after a year and nine months' service in France was recommended for a commission. He was gazetted from the Cadet School, Fermoy, to the Royal Irish Rifles in June, 1917, and went to the front again in the following August. He was the second son of the late Mr. William Moore, Newgrove, Ballylesson, and Mrs. Moore, Hillmount, Antrim Road, Lisburn. He was a fine athlete, winning while connected with Ulsterville Harriers the Marathon Championship of Ireland and many trophies and medals. In France ... [he was awarded a silver cup for "first in" in a Divisional cross-country race] presented by Major-General Haldane, D.S.O.

As he has no known grave, 2nd Lieutenant Moore is commemorated on Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France, Panel 74.



Memorial images Copyright © Phillip Tardif with all rights reserved as set out in this Use of Material policy. Image of Moore sourced from South Dublin Libraries: Our Heroes site.