THE VICTORIA CROSS AND CAMPAIGN MEDALS AWARDED TO MAJOR MONTAGUE MOORE, ROYAL HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT, HAVE BEEN ACQUIRED BY THE LORD ASHCROFT VC COLLECTION.
2011

The Victoria Cross, campaign medals and commemorative medals awarded to Major Montague Moore, 15th Bn, The Hampshire Regiment, have been acquired by the Michael Ashcroft Trust the holding institution of the Lord Ashcroft VC Collection. Montague Moore's VC group had been on a long loan to the Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum in Winchester and will now go on display in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery in the Imperial War Museum, London.



( select to enlarge )

Medal entitlement of Major Montague Moore VC,
15th Bn, Hampshire Regiment

  • Victoria Cross
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 ) + MiD Oakleaf
  • King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )
  • Croix de Guerre ( France )


Montague Moore's letters to his father give a good description in which he found himself. On the night of 20th / 21st August 1917 the Germans bombed his small party but were driven off. In the morning the British put down a barrage on his position believing everyone had been killed. Later that morning Moore realised there was no sense in staying where he was and retreated to his own lines, to the astonishment of the General and his own Commanding Officer who had given him up as dead long ago.

On the 21st September the Germans failed to get through so the whole German advance was held up, mainly because the Germans knew Moore and his men were there but uncertain as to his strength and were not prepared to take the risk for a full scale attack. According to the Divisional General this saved the whole Division. If the Germans had advanced the British barrage would have just missed them and the whole line would have been lost.


For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 8 November 1917 ], East of Ypres, Belgium, 20 August 1917, Second Lieutenant Montague Shadworth Seymour Moore, 15th Bn, Hampshire Regiment.

For most conspicuous bravery in operations ( near Tower Hamlets, East of Ypres, Belgium ) necessitating a fresh attack on a final objective which had not been captured. 2nd Lieutenant Moore at once volunteered for this duty and dashed forward at the head of some 70 men.

They were met with heavy machine gun fire from a flank which caused severe casualties, with the result that he arrived at his objective – some 500 yards on – with only a Serjeant and four men. Nothing daunted, he at once bombed a large dug-out and took twenty-eight prisoners, two machine guns and a light field gun. Gradually more officers and men arrived, to the number of about 60. His position was entirely isolated as the troops on the right had not advanced, but he dug a trench and repelled bombing attacks throughout the night.

The next morning he was forced to retire a short distance. When opportunity offered he at once reoccupied his position, rearmed his men with enemy rifles and bombs, most of theirs being smashed, and beat off more than one counter-attack.

2nd Lieutenant Moore held this post under continual shell fire for thirty-six hours until his force was reduced to ten men, out of six officers and 130 men who had started the operation. He eventually got away his wounded, and withdrew under cover of a thick mist.

As an example of dashing gallantry and cool determination this young officer’s exploit would be difficult to surpass.

Montague Moore was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 21st November 1917.


Following the end of the First World War Montague Moore's fighting was not over. In May 1919 he was serving with the 2nd Bn, Hampshire Regiment, part of the 238th Special Brigade of the North Russia Relief Force, despatched to Archangel ostensibly to assist the withdrawal of Allied troops threatened by Bolsheviks. The Force included eight holders of the Victoria Cross.

  • Brigadier General George Grogan VC
  • Colonel Henry Douglas VC
  • Lieutenant Colonel John Sherwood-Kelly VC
  • T / Lieutenant Colonel Charles Hudson VC
  • Captain Archie White VC
  • A / Captain Alfred Toye VC
  • 2nd Lieutenant Montague Moore VC
  • T / 2nd Lieutenant William White VC

In March 1921 Montague Moore was posted to the 2nd Bn, King's African Rifles, in Tanganyka Territory, formerly German East Africa. The posting proved a turning-point in his life. He retired from the Army in 1926 and joined the Tanganyika game department eventually becoming the country's chief game warden. Moore died on 12th September 1966 at Kugenzo, Kenya, and his ashes scattered in the Nairobi National Park.

Acquisitions

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Iain Stewart, 20 February 2012