b. 14/08/1892 Bacchus Marsh, Australia. d. 28/02/1986 Barwon Heads, Australia
Rupert Theodore Vance “Mick” Moon (1892-1986) was born on 14th August 1892 at Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, Australia. His father, Arthur, was from Hampshire, England, and was a clerk and land agent. He joined the Devon Volunteers and lived in Crediton for some years. He married Ellen “Nellie” Dunning on 5th February 1884 at St Olave’s Church, Exeter. Arthur and Ellen emigrated to Australia shortly afterwards, where he became an inspector at the Collins Street Branch of the National Bank of Australasia, Melbourne. Rupert was one of five children with brothers called John and Arthur, and sisters Constance and Dorothy.
Rupert spent his childhood in Maffra, Gippsland, Victoria. He was educated at Kyneton Grammar School, Victoria and worked as a bank clerk at the National Bank of Australasia, Melbourne and at branches at Kyneton, Casterton, South Melbourne, Bairnsdale, Maffra and Geelong. He had served in the Militia and enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces on 21st August 1914 and was posted to Broadmeadows Camp, Melbourne. He embarked Melbourne with A Squadron, 4th Light Horse Regiment as a trumpeter on HMAT A18 Wiltshire on 20th October. They arrived in Egypt on 10th December and moved to Mena. He was posted to Gallipoli on 15th May. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in November, and returned to Egypt, arriving on 27th December.
He transferred to Regimental HQ and was appointed provisional acting sergeant trumpeter at Heliopolis on 20th January 1916 and provisional sergeant trumpeter on 9th February. He was then promoted to Sergeant on 6th March and embarked for France, arriving at Marseilles on 17th June with II ANZAC Mounted Regiment.
On 9th September Rupert was commissioned and transferred to 58th Battalion. He went on leave to England on 7th January 1917 and joined 5th Australian Division School of Instruction on 18th February, returning to his unit on 28th March. He was then promoted to Lieutenant on 6th April.
On 12th May 1917 near Bullecourt, France, Lieutenant Moon's immediate objective was a position in advance of a hostile trench, and then against the trench itself, after the capture of which it was intended that his men should co-operate in a further assault. Although wounded in the initial advance, he reached the first objective, but was again wounded in the assault on the trench. He nevertheless continued to inspire and encourage his men and captured the trench, but was again wounded when consolidating the position. It was not until he was severely wounded for a fourth time that he agreed to retire from the fight.
Rupert was admitted to 8th Australian Field Ambulance and was transferred to No 29 Casualty Clearing Station at Grevillers and 20th General Hospital at Camiers on 14th May. He was evacuated to Reading War Hospital, Berkshire aboard HMHS Pieter de Coninck from Calais on 26th May and was transferred to 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham on 28th May. Rupert received his VC whilst recuperating on 3rd August 1917 at Buckingham Palace from King George V. Rupert returned to Australia on 10th January 1918 on SS Corinthic. He arrived in Sydney, New South Wales on HMAT A14 Euripides on 1st May, transferred to the armed merchant cruiser HMS Teutonic at New York on 14th June and disembarked at Liverpool on 2nd July.
He was posted to the School of Musketry at Tidworth, Hampshire on 17th July and embarked at Southampton on 14th August, landing at Le Havre. He rejoined his unit on 19th August, but was detached to 60th Battalion and was posted to Fourth Army School of Instruction in France on 3rd October. He rejoined 58th Battalion on 3rd November. He was granted the honorary rank of Captain and returned to Australia on 3rd August 1919. His appointment in the AIF was terminated on 4th October 1919 and he transferred to the Reserve of Officers.
Rupert resigned from the National Bank of Australasia on 1st December 1919 and worked in Malaya as an assistant manager of a rubber plantation. He returned to Australia and worked as a bookkeeper and jackeroo on a property near Corowa, New South Wales, before returning to the National Bank of Australasia. After holding posts at various branches, he became an accountant with the Geelong firm of Dennys Lascelles Ltd, wool brokers. He became its managing director in 1948 and retired in 1960. He married Susan Alison May “Sammy” Vincent on 17th December 1931 at St George’s Church, Geelong. They had two children – Moira and Michael.
Rupert served in the Volunteer Defence Corps during World War II and was appointed Captain in 6th Victorian Battalion on 9th September 1942. He was Assistant Staff Captain of South West Group from January 1943 to September 1944. He was one of ten VCs presented to Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh at Melbourne Cricket Ground on 25th February 1954. He attended the VC Centenary Celebrations at Hyde Parkn on 26th June 1956, travelling with fellow Australian VCs. He was one of seven VCs who attended the funeral of William Dunstan VC in March 1957. He was one of 17 Australian VCs at the opening of the VC Corner at the Australian War Memorial in 1964 by the Governor General, Viscount De L’isle VC.
Rupert died at Bellarine Private Hospital, Whittington, Victoria on 28th February 1986. He was the last but one surviving Australian VC from the Great War; William Joynt outlived him by nine weeks. He was given a full military funeral on 4th March at All Saint’s Anglican Church, Barwon Heads, Victoria. He was buried in the Church of England Section, Mount Duneed Cemetery, Victoria. In addition to the VC, he was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal 1914-20, Victory Medal 1914-19, George VI Coronation Medal 1937, Elizabeth II Coronation Medal 1953 and Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal 1977. His medals are held at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL, CANBERRA.
BURIAL PLACE: MOUNT DUNEED CEMETERY, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA.
Rupert "Mick" Moon's medals including VC courtesy of Memorials to Valour website
Moon's grave is marked with the red circle
The Rupert Vance Moon Memorial Garden in Mount Duneed Cemetery, Victoria
War Illustrated, 21st July 1917