Burbage During the Great War
Burbage During the Great War

Arthur George Moon

Arthur George Moon (1881-1914)

 

Arthur Moon was born at Loophill in Bromham, Wiltshire in 1881.  His father, John, was a shepherd who, with his wife Caroline, had 8 sons and 4 daughters.  The family moved to Hilcott near Pewsey before the 1891 Census.

 

Arthur married Louise Simpkins in Swindon in 1909 and they had a daughter, Violet Evelyn in 1910.  At the 1911 Census they were living at 40 Cheltenham St, Swindon.  Arthur’s occupation was described as Train Examiner for the Great Western Railway. Athur worked in the Locomotive and Carriage Department and was based at Savernake Station.

 

During the Great War, Arthur, Regimental Number 5421, served with the 2nd Battalion, The Wiltshire Regiment.  The Regiment left Southampton on 5th October 1914 for France & Flanders.

 

2nd Battalion War Diary Excerpt

 

1914-10-23

Regiment. 2nd Wiltshire
Location Belgium, Beselare
Entry The enemy bombarded the whole of the trenches with heavy artillery fire doing considerable damage both in casualties and destroying trenches. During night the firing on both sides was comparatively light occasional shots only being fired. The Battalion was reinforced early in the evening by about one company of Scots Guards.
 

1914-10-24

Regiment. 2nd Wiltshire
Location Belgium, Beselare
Entry About 5.30am ( just before daybreak ) the enemy attacked in a very superior force but were driven back with heavy loss. They attacked again, and after about 2 hours of almost continuous fighting in which the enemy lost hundreds in killed and wounded, they broke through the lines having previously contrived to come around on our left through trenches that had been vacated with the exception of about 30 NCOs and men mostly from trenches on right the remainder of Battalion were either killed or captured, a large number being captured. Cpl Alderton who had escaped from trench on left of BECELARE road together with Privates Dunn Holister and Jones being apparently last to leave the trenches, gathered stragglers together and formed a rear guard to Brigade ambulances by opening out in skirmishing order. On arrival at 7th Divisional HQ he was met by Cpl Bull, and in the evening the APM took party numbering 26 back to Brigade HQ where they met Cpl Richens and 50 men which included about 12 Lance Corporals. The majority of these men had been driven from their trenches by artillery fire the previous evening. The Quarter master hearing that Lieut Macnamara was wounded visited him at the field hospital and afterwards about 4pm collected the 50 men above mentioned taking them to Brigade HQ and was informed that no news of Battalion had been received since early morning. NOTE : special mention should be made of the gallant worth of Capt Comyn, the medical officer and stretcher bearers who for the last three days and nights were continuously handling wounded or burying dead.

1914-10-25

Regiment. 2nd Wiltshire
Location Belgium, Beselare
Entry Stragglers numbering 90 ( having being joined by about 15 during night ) were marched from Bde HQ under Sgt Moss transport Sgt to 2nd line of transport where they bivouacked and were reformed under QM Lt S Hewitt and SM Waylen who heard the following day that he and Regtl QM Sgt Reeves also Clr Sgts Wells Russell and Dale had received their commission dating from the 16th inst.

 

Arthur was killed in action on 24 October 1914, age 33.

 

His service is recorded by Commonwealth War Graves Commission at the Sanctuary Wood Cemetery in Zillebeke, Belgium, on the Great Western Railway Roll of Honour, on the Roll of Honour in All Saint's Church, and the War Memorial in Burbage. 

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