Ahead of the 100th anniversary of Remembrance Day on Sunday we take a look back on some local stories with the help of Cloncurry historian Shirley Powley.
Last year Ms Powley wrote a book Think Kindly of Me – the stories of the 50 soldiers inscribed on the First World War panel of the Cloncurry War Memorial which was unveiled in 1927.
The title of this book is from a letter a young Cloncurry soldier wrote to his family.
His name was William McGregor Moore, and he wrote that he hoped they would “think kindly” of him.
Moore was one of the five children of Thomas and Nellie Moore. After Nellie died in 1906, the eldest sister, Alice Marion, took care of her father and the children.
Thomas was a bailiff at Cloncurry in 1916 when William enlisted.
William married Mary Ellen Reilly in 1916 and they had one child Nellie Millicent, named after his mother.
William served in the 41st battalion at Messines. The start of August 1917 found the 41st on a new front line near Warneton holding ground captured by two sister battalions in a feint attack. Enduring continual rain, flooded trenches and heavy shelling many battalion platoons dwindled from 35 men to less than ten.
Among those who died on August 1, 1917 was William. His name is listed on the Menin Gate in Ypes, Belgium.
Builder William Henry Hinkle and saddler John Angus MacDonald were executors for his will. “His will is very personal - more like a letter to his family whom he obviously loved very dearly,” Ms Powley wrote.
“He asks that should he not survive the war, the family will ‘think kindly of me and not greave (sic) for me, remember that your brother was a soldier, not afraid to die and that I was content’.”
His widow Ellen Moore was granted a war pension of £2 pounds per fortnight and the daughter was granted a payment of £1 per fortnight with her mother as trustee.
Mrs Moore later remarried to returned soldier, John Gould while Nellie married railway station master Donald Denis Ryan.
William’s brother Thomas McAdam Moore also enlisted and earned the Meritorious Service Medal in July 1918.
The citation read: “During the past four months Private T. Moore has been conspicuous in his conduct, coolness, and devotion to duty while working with his platoon, engaged in forward road works in ZONNEBEKE area.”
This medal was sent to his father at Thomas’s request, in case he did not survive.
He was probably thinking about the fate of his brother but Thomas did survive the war. He returned to Cloncurry and in 1926 married Mabel Jessie Campbell.
Thomas McAdam Moore died on Brisbane in 1950, and is buried at Cloncurry.
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