Private 20771, 1st Bn, Essex Regment
Died 2nd January 1916, aged 18
Lancashire Landing Cemetery, Turkey
& on both Blakeney War Memorials
James was baptised 5th June 1898 Blakeney, son of single mum Louisa Moore. She was to marry John Thomas Betts of Blakeney (1903) and have three sons. After John died, she married Harry P H Elston (1917) and again there were three children born to the couple. Meanwhile, James lived with his grandparents, George and Martha Moore nee Tomlin, at The Butts (1901) then the High Street (1911). He attended Blakeney School from October 1901, when his birth date was recorded as 21st October 1897 and by 1911, aged 13, he was a farm labourer.
The 1911 Census records George and Martha Moore living on the east side of the High Street, somewhere near the Methodist Church. It is not possible to be more precise. The extended family consisted of their son, Robert, a daughter and three grandchildren. James, aged 13, was a farm labourer as was his grandfather, uncle Robert and cousin John Edward Moore who was always known as Jack. Three Moores feature on the worker’s list for Manor Farm and whether J. Moore was James or his cousin Jack, is impossible to determine.
James enlisted at Norwich, serving first as Private 14021 in the Norfolk Regiment before being transferred to 1st Bn Essex Regiment. No Service Records have been found for James, but his place and date of death clearly indicate that he was at Gallipoli, not France as reported below by the Norfolk Chronicle, 21st January 1916. Moreover, fatally wounded, James died rather tragically just one week before the final evacuation of all troops from Cape Helles, Gallipoli on 9th January, 1916.
“ Intelligence has been received from the War Office by the relatives of Private James Moore, 1st Battalion Essex Regiment, that the above named soldier died in France (sic) on January 2nd from wounds. Deceased who enlisted in Kitchener’s Army in the early days of the war, was only 18 years of age, and great sympathy is felt for the relatives as he is the second member of the household to die for his country.”
He was just 18 years and two months old, one of five teenagers from Blakeney to die in the Great War. His body is buried at Lancashire Landing Cemetery, Turkey.
His first cousin Jack (John Edward Moore), son of his mother’s sister Mary Moore was, like James, brought up by his grandparents and was the first member of the family referred to above. Jack was the 4th casualty of the Great War from Blakeney when he died 29th October 1914, aged 23 years.