Blacksmith George William Moore

This is one of a series of posts about local men named on the Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour.
George William Moore was in the Clarendon Street Children's home which was attached to the Keighley workhouse in 1911. He would certainly have known Richard Horsfall, Charles Horner and Richard Horner (who were unrelated) and Fred Firth who was there at the same time.

Blacksmith George William Moore, Royal Navy. No. M12398 (Portsmouth)

Early life
George was born on February 10, 1897, registered in Keighley. His father was William Moore, a carter but we have found no record of his mother's name.
At the age of just four years he was a pauper in the Keighley Union Workhouse and was still there in 1911, but in a children's home as a fourteen year old living at 18, Clarendon Street, Keighley which was a children's home under the care of the Keighley Guardians. He was working full time as an errand boy for a printer. The head of the household was Ellen Uttley aged 47 and there were five other boys of similar age living in this house.

Great War service
After the outbreak of war, he enlisted on February 10, 1915 into the Royal Navy for twelve years service. His physical description details a large burn scar on his neck although we don't know if this was from an accident or if he was mistreated as a child.
After basic training he was posted on March 4, 1915 to Oct 8, 1915 on HMS Excellent, a depot ship where he began his training as a blacksmith.

Between October 9, 1915 and December 20, 1915 he served on HMS Iron Duke, flagship of the Grand Fleet, before being posted to HMS Canada.

From December 21, 1915 to January 7, 1917 he served a year on HMS Canada, a super-dreadnought battleship which was in action at the Battle of Jutland and he would have been on board at the time during this major sea battle of the war. HMS Canada fired at several enemy ships during the battle, expending 42 rounds of 14-inch ammunition and 109 rounds of 6-inch ammunition. HMS Canada was fired at but not struck by any enemy fire and suffered no damage or casualties.
Several months after Jutland and whilst still serving on HMS Canada he had attained the trade qualification of Blacksmith class 4 on December 31, 1916 which presumably generated his next posting a few weeks later.

From January 8, 1917 to February 10, 1917 he was listed at HMS Victory II, a naval shore base at Crystal Palace, although this detail may have been just for administration and pay purposes whilst he transferred to HMS Fisgard on February 11, 1917 and served there for a period of eight months until October 8, 1917. HMS Fisgard was an artificers training ship permanently docked at Portsmouth, so possibly further training for him.

His next posting was on HMS Minotaur. She was an armed cruiser with the Grand Fleet which had also been present at the Battle of Jutland and he served on her between October 9, 1917 and July 22, 1918 and during this time he earned a good conduct badge on March 3rd after serving with consistent character ratings of 'Very Good' for three years. He may have also been given badge money in his pay. After eighteen months on HMS Minotaur he was posted to HMS Assistance. From July 23, 1918 to November 25, 1918 he was again listed at HMS Victory II, the naval shore base at Crystal Palace and during this period he was deprived of his good conduct badge. This listing may have been just for administration and pay purposes whilst he was posted to HMS Assistance.

He served on HMS Assistance from November 26, 1918 for a period of just under a year until September 3rd, 1919 . She was a fleet repair ship stationed at Scapa Flow Naval base in the Orkneys, apparently throughout the war - although it's likely she was stationed at Rosyth for a while and eventually sailed for Portsmouth where George was later discharged.

George was again awarded a good conduct badge on May 1, 1919 and a few days later his private life also went through a change as he was given leave to marry Henrietta Grundell at St Peter's Church in Keighley on May 6th, 1919. George's home address was 41, Clarendon Street, Keighley and he was 22 years of age. Henrietta was also 22 years old and a spinster living at 3, Clarendon Street.
His old pal Charles Horner was one of the witnesses at their marriage so he must have remained friends with George since they lived at the children's home at 18, Clarendon Street in 1911.

His final posting was his second one to HMS Fisgard, between September 4, 1919 and November 27, 1919 and he was there for less than three months before his discharge. He was invalided out of the Royal Navy on November 27, 1919 with a 'hydrocele.'

During his service he had several character ratings of 'Very Good' and two ability ratings of Satisfactory and later, three Superior ratings.

He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal for his war service and the Silver War Badge to signify his service and discharge.

He was awarded an allowance of 6 shillings and six pence per week for thirteen weeks, beginning on November 17, 1919. His home address at that time was given as 1, Garden Terrace, (Carleton) Cowling, near Keighley. This was probably a temporary situation as this was the Grundell family home and they may have been living with Henrietta's family for a short while.

Later life
George and Henrietta were on the electoral roll for Church Street in Keighley for at least two years until 1928 and then at 209, Oakworth Road until at least 1933. They had a son, Clifford Moore, born in 1922. and they moved to Coventry sometime after 1933. They had another son, Colin born in early 1937 and were living at 205, Burnaby Road in Coventry in 1939. At this time George was employed as a blacksmith and hardener which suggests he was involved in the heat treatment of metals.

We have not been able to prove a definite death record for George, but Henrietta appears to have died in Coventry at the age of 95 in June 1992.

Remembering him
George is remembered on the Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour and it is likely he is the George Moore named on the St. Peter's Church roll of honour.

Source information:

England and Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1901 England Census
1911 England Census
Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939
UK, Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972
UK, Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 - Silver War Badges
Keighley Union Workhouse roll of honour held at Cliffe Castle Museum, Keighley.
St Peter's Church Roll of Honour.

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