The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

John Henry Moore

MOORE, John Henry

John Henry Moore was born on 15 January 1894 to James Moore and Harriet Emilia Wassmann. He was the second child, and the eldest son of nine children, all born in Queensland. James Moore had been born in Coole, Co Westmeath, Ireland into a large Protestant family who emigrated to Australia, probably in the early 1880s. When John Henry enlisted in the army in 1916 the family was living in Planter Creek beyond the town of Yaamba, which is about twenty miles from the town of Rockhampton. When John’s brother James looked for leave to go home from his training camp in Brisbane he described “a homestead about 120 miles the other side of Rockhampton”. He detailed the journey as “30 hours by train, 52 hours by coach and 14 hours by buggy”, altogether 192 hours, or four days, each way.

Both John and James, just a year younger, enlisted together on 1 November 1916 into the 1st Machine Gun Battalion. Both gave their occupation as ‘Well Sinker’ and their religion as Methodist. After training in Brisbane they left Melbourne in May 1917 and arrived in Plymouth in July. On 1 January 1918 they were in Camiers in France and in March both were wounded from mustard gas, and were brought back to hospital in England. It was the following June before John Moore was sent back to France, where he was again wounded in action in September 1918, suffering a fractured jaw. He was brought back to hospital in England and was discharged on leave on 4 October, which he apparently passed in Ireland.

John Henry Moore

John Henry Moore travelled on RMS Leinster on 10 October and survived the sinking. He was taken to the King George V Hospital in Dublin, where he was reported as suffering from influenza. He was transferred between several hospitals in England during the next two months, finally returning to Australia on 24 December. The Australian Red Cross wrote to him in August 1919 asking for his help in identifying Australian personnel missing since the sinking, but he replied that he had no information.

Back in Australia, he resumed his job as ‘Well Sinker’ and continued living with his family. He married Agnes Mary Smith in 1925 and they had three children, Clarence 1927, Graham 1930, who died in 1933, and Jean 1933. From the Electoral Registers it appears that the whole family moved to Marlborough, north of Rockhampton and John became a Butcher. He died in 1953 and is buried with the family in the North Rockhampton Cemetery.

Photos source: Greg Shannen



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