b. 09/10/1896 Worthing, Sussex. d. 12/09/1966 Kiganjo, Kenya.
Montague Shadworth Seymour Moore (1896-1966) was born at 13 Montague Place, Worthing, Sussex on 9th October 1896. He was known as “Monty”. His father, Frederick William Moore, was a Queen’s (India) Cadet at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He was commissioned in The King’s (Shropshire Light Infantry) on 25th August 1883 and later became a barrister at law. He married Gertrude Anne Seymour Guscotte on 27th February 1889. Monty had a sister, Evelyn Seymour Moore. She sadly died aged just 35 in 1938.
Monty was educated at Wykeham House School in Worthing, Bedford School 1906-1913 and privately for a year at the Army coaching establishment, Stirling House, in Bournemouth, also attended by the future Lieutenant William Leefe Robinson VC RFC. Monty was trained at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst from March 1915 and was commissioned in 3rd (Reserve) Battalion on 16th August 1916. He went to France on 20th September 1916 and was briefly attached to a brigade HQ before joining 15th Battalion. He was posted to 1st Battalion in January 1917 but returned to 15th Battalion in time for the attack on Messines in June 1917. He was wounded in the leg by shrapnel, evacuated to England and returned to the front in September 1917.
On 20th September 1917 near Tower Hamlets, east of Ypres, Belgium, Second Lieutenant Moore volunteered to make a fresh attack on a final objective and went forward with some 70 men, but they met such heavy opposition that when he arrived at his objective he had only one sergeant and four men. Nothing daunted he at once bombed a large dug-out, taking 28 prisoners, two machine-guns and a light field-gun. Gradually more officers and men arrived, numbering about 60 and he held the post for 36 hours beating off counter-attacks, until his force was reduced to 10 men. He eventually got away his wounded and withdrew under cover of thick mist.
The VC was presented by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 21st November 1917. He returned to the Battalion to train drafts from a Yeomanry unit and was later employed as a bombing instructor at the Divisional Reinforcement Camp. He was then awarded the French Croix de Guerre on 16th November 1917. He was appointed Acting Captain on 3rd February 1918 while an assistant instructor at a school of instruction and later served as ADC to Lieutenant General Sir John Du Cane, commanding XV Corps. He was promoted to Lieutenant 16th February 1918 and posted to Fifth Army Infantry School. He took his trainees into action during the German March 1918 Spring Offensive.
After the war, he served in 2nd Hampshire Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John Sherwood-Kelly VC, in 238th Special Brigade, commanded by Brigadier-General George Grogan VC, in North Russia. The Battalion also served in Ireland. He transferred to 1st Battalion, which served in Constantinople, in the Army of the Black Sea 1920-1921. He was attached to 2nd Nyasaland Battalion, King’s African Rifles at Tabora, Tanganyika Territory from 4th August 1921 and was promoted Temporary Captain in the King’s African Rifles on 12th June 1924. He returned to the Hampshire Regiment as a Lieutenant in August 1926.
He returned to Britain and married Audrey Yolande Penn nee Milton in 1933. They had a son, Montague Charles P Moore, born in 1936 in Newton Abbot, Devon. Monty and Audrey eventually settled in the Serengeti Game Reserve at Banagi Camp. She wrote “Serengeti”, published in 1938, which influenced preservation of wildlife. Monty became Tanganyika’s Chief Game Warden in 1944, a post he held until 1951 when he retired to Kenya.
Monty died on 12th September 1966 in Kiganjo, Kenya of renal failure. He was cremated at Langata Crematorium, Nairobi and his ashes were scattered by his son in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, and at Hyena Dam, Nairobi National Park. In addition to his VC, he was awarded the British War Medal 1914-20, Victory Medal 1914-19 with Mentioned in Despatches oakleaf, George VI Coronation Medal 1937, Elizabeth II Coronation Medal 1953 and French Croix de Guerre with Bronze Palm. The VC was on loan to the Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum, Winchester until withdrawn by the family in 2011. It was purchased privately by the Ashcroft Trust and displayed in the Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: LANGATA CREMATORIUM, NAIROBI, KENYA.
Montague Moore's medals including VC at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum.
Replicas of his medals at the Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum
Royal Hampshire Regiment Memorial, Winchester, Hampshire
War Illustrated, 1st December 1917
A letter written to his mother (Image provided by Mark Sanders)
13 Montaque Place, Worthing, Sussex (Steve Lee)