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Worthing's Victoria Cross war hero to be remembered with commemorative event

Released: Thursday, 21 September 2017

A brave British war hero is set to be remembered in a special ceremony, 100 years on from being awarded the nation's highest military honour.

Montague Moore was born in Worthing in October 1896 and went on to lead a daring attack during the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge in Ypres during September 1917.

After much of his force had been killed or wounded, Moore, who was known as Monty, led a force of just six people in capturing a German stronghold. He then held it for 36 hours under continuous shelling before leading his men to safety.

For dashing gallantry and cool determination he was awarded the Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace.

As part of a national programme of remembrance to mark the contribution of VC recipients during the Great War, a commemorative stone will be unveiled at his birthplace of 13 Montague Place, Worthing (see Google Maps), on Sunday (24th September 2017) at 11am.

The service, which will be led by Worthing Borough Council, will see members of Moore's family carry out the unveiling.

Councillor Tom Wye, Worthing Borough Council's Armed Forces Champion, said:

“Worthing has a long and proud tradition of honouring it's servicemen and women so I'm delighted that we, as a town, can commemorate one of our true heroes in this way.”

“Monty Moore's story of determination, bravery and courage is one we can all learn from. I hope that laying this paving stone will ensure his remarkable story lives on.”

“It is a fitting way of remembering not only one of the very bravest of men who fought in the Great War, but also the millions of people who sacrificed their lives for future generations in the conflict.”

As part of the UK Government's First World War Centenary campaign, councils are being presented with a commemorative stone in the areas where First World War Victoria Cross recipients were born.

Moore's stone is one of 469 which will have been put in place in communities across the UK by the end of next year.

It is hoped that the stones will provide an enduring legacy of local heroes and enable residents to gain a greater understanding of the impact the war had on their community.

Monty Moore's story

PR17-134 - Montague (Monty) Moore

Born on 9th October 1896 in Worthing, Moore was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in The Hampshire Regiment on 16th August 1916. He then left England for France and was posted to 15th Hampshire.

On 20th September 1917 the 15th Hampshire took part in a large scale attack at 'Tower Hamlets' in the Ypres Salient. Within hours this assault had run into trouble with all four company commanders wounded.

When ordered to renew the attack in the afternoon, the Commanding Officer hastily mustered as many men as he could find (120 soldiers and six officers) and placed 2nd Lt Monty Moore in charge, describing him as “a boy of perhaps 20 years of age”.

They were met with heavy machine gun fire from a flank which caused severe casualties, with the result that Monty arrived at his objective with only a Sergeant and four men.

Undaunted, he at once bombed a large dug out and took 28 prisoners, two machine guns, and a light field gun. Despite being reinforced by 60 men, his position was entirely isolated, but he dug a trench and repelled bombing attacks throughout the night.

2nd Lt Moore held to this post under continuous shell fire for 36 hours, until his force was reduced to ten men. He eventually got away with his wounded colleagues, withdrawing under cover.

For dashing gallantry and cool determination he was awarded the Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace. He was later given the French Croix de Guerre.

Moore died on 9th September 1966. His medals are now part of the Ashcroft Collection on display at the Imperial War Museum.

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