18 September 2004

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Medal entitlement of Major General Arthur Moore,
3rd Bombay Light Cavalry

  • Victoria Cross
  • Companion, Order of the Bath ( CB )
  • India General Service Medal ( 1854-95 )
    • 1 clasp: "Persia"
  • Indian Mutiny Medal ( 1857-58 )
    • 1 clasp: "Central India"
  • King Edward VII Coronation Medal ( 1902 )

The Victoria Cross and other orders and campaign medals awarded to Major-General Arthur Moore were sold at auction on the 17th September 2004 by the London autioneers Dix Noonan Webb for the sum of £150,000. The group was purchased by a private buyer. The VC group was part of the Brian Ritchie Collection of HEIC and British India Medals.

In 1856 Lieutenant Arthur Moore landed with the 3rd Bombay Light Cavalry south of Bushire at the start of the Persian Campaign and subsequently took part with the advance guard in the capture of the fort at Reshire. Thereafter, he participated in the march to and from Boorzgoon and distinguished himself at the battle of Khushab, winning the Victoria Cross in the celebrated charge by a squadron of his regiment which broke the square of the Persian Infantry.

The charge was vividly described by an officer in a letter to a Calcutta newspaper: "When Forbes, who commanded the 3rd Bombay Light Cavalry, gave the order to charge, he and his adjutant, young Arthur Moore, placed themselves in front of the 6th troop which was the one directly opposite the nearest face of the square. The other Moore ( Arthur's elder brother Ross ), Malcolmson, and Spens came behind, riding knee to knee. In spite of steel, fire, and bullets, they tore down upon the nearest face of the Persian square.

As they approached, Forbes was shot through the thigh and Spens' horse wounded, but unheeding, they swept onward. Daunted by the flashes, and the fire, and the noise and crackle of musketry, the younger Moore's horse swerved as they came up. Dropping his sword from his hand and letting it hang by the knot at his wrist, he caught up the reins in both hands, screwed his head straight, and then coolly, as if riding a fence, leapt him at the square. Of course the horse fell stone dead on the Persian bayonets, so did his brother's horse ridden with equal courage and determination behind."

Following Moore's heroic charge the barrier of the Persian's square was broken and through the entrance poured the avenging troopers of the 3rd Bombay Cavalry. On and over everything they rode, till, getting clear out, they reformed on the other side, wheeled, and swept back. Out of 500 Persian soldiers of the 1st Regular Regiment of Fars, who composed that square, only twenty escaped.

For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 3 August 1860 ], Battle of Khoosh-ab, Persia, 8 February 1857, Lieutenant Arthur Moore & Lieutenant John Grant Malcolmson, 3rd Bombay Light Cavalry.

"On the occasion of an attack on the enemy led by Lieutenant-Colonel Forbes, CB, Lieutenant Moore the Adjutant of the regiment, was perhaps the first of all by a horse's length. His horse lept into the Persian square and instantly fell dead, crashing down his rider and breaking his sword as he fell amid the broken ranks of the enemy. Lieutenant Moore speedily extricated himself and attempted with his broken sword to force his way through the press; but he would assuredly have lost his life had not the gallant young Lieutenant Malcolmson, observing his peril, fought his way to his dismounted comrade through a crowd of enemies, to his rescue, and giving him his stirrup, safely carried him through everything out of the throng.

The thoughtfulness for others, cool determination, devoted courage and ready activity shown in extreme danger by this young officer, Lieutenant Malcolmson, appear to have been most admirable, and to be worthy of the highest honour."

Arthur Moore was invested with his Victoria Cross by GOC Bombay, Lieutenant General Sir W. Mansfield, in India, on the 18th October 1861.

John Malcolmson was invested with his Victoria Cross by Queen Victoria in Windsor Castle, on the 9th November 1860.

Arthur Moore also served with distinction during the Indian Mutiny in the Central India Field Force under Sir Hugh Rose, and was present at the siege and capture of Rathgahir, and took part in many other battles. For his services in the suppression of the Mutiny he was twice mentioned in despatches. From 1859 to 1861 he again held the Adjutancy of the 3rd Bomby Light Cavalry, and was briefly placed second in command when the regiment adopted the silladar system.

Upon Arthur Moore's retirement in June 1891 he was made Brevet Colonel and given the honoury rank of Major-General. General Moore, VC, CB, died of heart failure whilst suffering from influenza at his residence in Dublin on 25 April 1913 and was buried in the Mount Jerome Cemetery.


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Iain Stewart, 17 September 2004