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Harry Rae Moore was born on the 2nd February 1894 at 5 Bow Lane in Preston to Thomas Henry and Margaret Ann Moore. Harry`s mother had previously been married to Thomas Hartley and the couple had six children together before Thomas passed away in Preston in 1890. Thomas Henry Moore and Margaret Ann Hartley (nee Rae) married in Christ Church in Preston in 1892 and a daughter Margaret Ann was born in the same year. Harry`s christening took place in the same church in April 1894, the location of the Church being close to where the family lived.

The church closed in 1963 and the majority of the building was demolished apart from the front façade which now stands in front of one of the Lancashire County Council buildings and adjacent to County Hall.

The church closed in 1963 and the majority of the building was demolished apart from the front façade which now stands in front of one of the Lancashire County Council buildings and adjacent to County Hall.

By 1901 Harry, his mother, stepfather and sister had moved to 36 South Meadow Lane. Also living with the family were five of his mother`s children from her previous marriage to Thomas Hartley; James 21, Harriet 18, William 17, Elizabeth Ann 15 and Jane 13. The family had a lodger, Ben Storey, aged 40 from Manchester who was described as a stage artist and there was also a 34 year old lady Christine Pye from Middlesex who was visiting. A later Census states that the house only had 5 rooms so it must have been a bit cramped with eleven people in residence! Harry`s father was a joiner working for Preston Corporation and his half brother James Hartley was a plumber.

Sadly, Harry`s mother passed away in 1909 and two years later in the 1911 Census, the family consisted of; Harry and his father Thomas Henry, a journeyman joiner, his half-siblings Harriet and William, a fitter`s labourer for the Lancs and Yorks Railway and Jane, slipper machinist at Berry`s slipper works. Seventeen year old Harry was now an apprentice hairdresser/barber and his sister Margaret was a domestic servant.

On the 12th October 1914 Harry enlisted for four years into the 4th Battalion LNL Territorial Force at Preston and was issued with the service number 2925. He was 21 years old, single and still living in South Meadow Lane and prior to his enlistment he had been employed by the Lancs & Yorks Railway Company working in the wagon department at Preston Station. His height was recorded as 5`7” tall and he had a 38” chest.

200808 Private Harry Rae Moore

Harry sailed to France with the main body of the 1/4th Battalion on the 4th May 1915 as part of “D” Company.

The 1/4th Battalion had only been overseas for about six weeks when they went into their first major action on the 15th June 1915 around Festubert. To read about the action click here…

During the course of the battle Harry received a gunshot wound to his right knee and was then captured and taken prisoner. According to a later pension record he spent some time in a hospital near Lille and then in a Reserve Lazarette (hospital) at Mulheim Ruhr in Germany. The Red Cross prisoner of war records also note that at some point he was also in Friedrichsfeld Prisoner of War Camp, considered to be one of the `good camps`.

Harry`s family having been notified that he was `missing in action` had the following article published in the local paper;

10th July 1915


“Private H.R. Moore No. 2925, of the 1/4th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, is known to have been wounded on the field in the severe fighting of June 15th, but since then nothing has been heard of him. His sisters, at 33 South Meadow Lane, would be grateful of any news concerning him”.

It wasn`t until the 5th September 1915 that Harry`s whereabouts were finally confirmed by the Military Authorities. When the Territorial Force was renumbered in January 1917 his service number became 200808.

Harry was finally repatriated back to England via the `SS Porto`, disembarking in Hull on the 22nd November 1918 having spent 3 years and 5 months as a prisoner of war. After arriving back home he was posted back to the depot in Preston before finally being disembodied on demobilisation on the 12th February 1919.

After the war Harry would have taken receipt of his 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals to which he was entitled.

In the September quarter of 1922 he married Dorothy Parkin in St. Stephen`s Church in Preston and a son, Harry R. Moore was born in 1923 (died 1985). After the war Harry had returned to his job as a railway carriage/wagon examiner at Preston Station and in 1939 he was living with Dorothy and their son at 52 Lauderdale Street in Preston and was still working on the railways.

Harry passed away in Preston in 1951 aged 57 years.

Janet Davis
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