b. 15/04/1882 Sligo, Ireland. d. 05/01/1946 Sligo, Ireland.
Martin Joseph Moffat (1882-1946) was born in Sligo, Ireland, on 15th April 1882. He was the son of Martin Moffat, who hailed from Altamount, County Mayo, and Bridget McDonagh. Martin had a sister called Bridget.
Martin joined the 6th Battalion, Connaught Rangers, and served with them in France from December 1915. In early 1918, he was transferred to the Leinster Regiment, and by mid-October, he and his new comrades were involved in fierce fighting near Ledeghem, Belgium.
On 14th October 1918 near Ledeghem, Belgium, Private Moffat was advancing with five others across the open when they suddenly came under heavy rifle fire at close range from a strongly held house. Rushing towards the house through a hail of bullets, Private Moffat threw bombs and then, working to the back of the house, rushed the door, killing two and capturing 30 of the enemy.
Martin was gazetted for the Victoria Cross on Boxing Day, 1918, and following his demobilisation, he returned to Ireland and his native Sligo. He married Annie, and they had a son, Joseph, who tragically died aged just 3 on 17th September 1933. Tragedy struck again, when on the morning of 5th January 1946, Martin drowned, aged 61, whilst swimming near Sligo. He was buried in the family grave in Sligo Town Cemetery with his son, and later his wife (who died in 1963) and her sister Ellen (died in 1984) were also buried in the same plot.
Martin’s medal group including the VC, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal 1914-20, Victory Medal 1914-19 with Mentioned in Despatches oakleaf, King George VI Coronation Medal 1937, Belgian Croix de Guerre and the Decoration Militaire (Belgium) were purchased at auction at Christie’s, London in 1991 by Michael Ashcroft and are now displayed in the Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: SLIGO TOWN CEMETERY, COUNTY SLIGO, IRELAND.
Martin Moffat's medals including VC on the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London