CWG: Leading Stoker Percy Moore

Leading Stoker Percy Moore

Percy Edwin Moore was born on 14th April 1889, one of nine children to farrier Charles Moore and his wife, Eliza. Both of Percy’s parents were from West London, and the family was raised on the border between Kensington and Hammersmith.

When Percy left school he found work as a builder’s labourer, but he was drawn to bigger things and, in 1909, he joined the Royal Navy as a Stoker 2nd Class. His service records show that he stood 5ft 6ins (1.68m) tall, had light brown hair, brown eyes and a fresh complexion. He had a scar above his right eye, and a tattoo on each arm.

Percy’s sense of adventure seemed to have been kindled in his earlier years; the tattoo on his right arm was a depiction of Buffalo Bill Cody, the American showman who brought the Wild West to England in the early 1900s. Young Percy’s interest was obviously piqued early on.

Stoker Moore’s first posting was on board HMS Acheron. In the years leading up to the war, he served on six further vessels, returning to HMS Pembroke – the Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham, Kent – in between voyages. During this time, he was promoted to Stoker 1st Class for his work.

It was during one of these pauses, in August 1913, that he married Annie Eliza Wells, a labourer’s daughter from Kensington. There honeymoon was brief – just five days after they married, Percy was back at sea.

When war was declared, Stoker Moore was assigned to the battleship HMS Triumph. She served in the Mediterranean, seeing action early on in the Gallipoli campaign. After a short spell back in Chatham, he transferred to HMS Tyne, a depot ship, and received a promotion to Acting Leading Stoker.

By the summer of 1917, Percy was back at HMS Pembroke. The base was overly busy that summer, and he was billeted in temporary accommodation in the town’s Drill Hall.

On the 3rd September 1917, the first night air raid carried out by the German Air Force scored a direct hit on the barracks and Drill Hall; Acting Leading Stoker Moore was killed instantly. He was just 28 years old.

Percy Edwin Moore was laid to rest, along with the other victims of the Chatham Air Raid, in the Woodlands Cemetery, Gillingham.

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