MOORE, James Alfred
(Service number 37838)

First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 17 June 1883 Place of Birth Temuka

Enlistment Information

Date 16 October 1916 Age 33 years
Address at Enlistment 61 Owen Street, Wellington
Occupation Driver
Previous Military Experience Kelburne Rifles City (disbanded)
Marital Status Married. Divorced. Two children.
Next of Kin Joseph MOORE (eldest brother), Reuben Avenue, Brooklyn, Wellington
Religion Church of England 
Medical Information Height 5 feet 6 inches. Weight 135 lbs. Chest 32-34 inches. Complexion ruddy. Eyes brown. Hair brown. Right eye 6/6; left eye 6/24. Hearing normal. Limbs and chest well formed. Full & perfect movement of all joints. Heart and lungs normal. No illnesses. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. No vaccination mark. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects. No fits. Deemed 'Fit'.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 22nd Reinforcements F Company
Date 13 February 1917
Transport Mokoia
Embarked From Wellington Destination Plymouth, England
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment

Military Awards

Service Medals British War Medal; Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

14 November 1916 - admitted to Wairarapa Hospital from Trentham Camp, with influenza; discharged 15 November 1916.

Post-war Occupations


Date 6 August 1917 Age 34 years
Place of Death In the Field, Ypres, Belgium or France
Cause Killed in action
Memorial or Cemetery Messines Ridge (N.Z.) Memorial
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials Brooklyn War Memorial, Wellington

Biographical Notes

James Alfred Moore was born on 17 June 1883 at Temuka, the son of James Moore and Mary Coham(?), as recorded on his personnel file. James may well have attended school in Wellington (Mount Cook Boys and Girls), along with his known brother Joseph, and probable sister Rachel, Rachel having started at Temuka. James had transferred to Mt Cook School from the Marist Brothers. He married Gertrude Young, on 11 July 1905 in Dunedin (as Alfred James Moore). There were two children of the marriage - William Robert Moore born on 5 August 1906 in Dunedin and Ada Gertrude Moore born on 10 January 1908 in Wellington. James and Gertrude (May) were divorced on 24 November 1916. An application for a maintenance order against James Alfred Moore was granted in May 1915, as was also summary separation. His wife was allowed custody of the children, and James was ordered to pay 20 shillings a week towards her support. May Moore petitioned divorce from James Alfred Moore in August 1916, on the grounds of habitual drunkenness and neglect. Mrs Moore stated that she had lived with her husband, at different periods, for about four years since their marriage. He was addicted to drunkenness, and when he did earn money he failed to maintain her, gambling his money away. He had maintained her for only a year, while she had frequently to maintain him. He had paid only a few weeks on the first order against him for maintenance and none on the order obtained in 1915. A decree nisi was granted, to be made absolute in three months. When his brother Joseph married in 1901, their mother was Mrs Sydney Jones. Indeed, Mary and Sydney Jones were living in Wellington at least from 1896 until 1911.

It may be that Private J. A. Moore had already been selected in the Wellington quota for the 6th Reinforcements in March 1915. Come 21 September 1916 and the Wellington Military District, like the other districts, had a shortage of 303 men for the 21st Reinforcements. “Apparently men all over the country, although registered for service as volunteers, have decided to wait until the Military Service Act is brought into full operation,” said one officer. The names of twenty-two additional men who had been accepted for service in Group 5 (Wellington City and Suburbs) were listed, but only four had stated their readiness to go into camp the following week. It appears that one of those four was J. A. Moore, driver, City, who was passed as medically fit and accepted for the infantry branch. When James attested on 16 October 1916, he implied that his wife had the children. He was 33 years old, a driver, of Church of England denomination, residing at 61 Owen Street, Wellington. He had previously served with the Kelburne Rifles City, being discharged when the force was disbanded. His nominated next-of-kin was his eldest brother, Joseph Moore, Reuben Avenue, Brooklyn, Wellington. The local quota of the 22nd Reinforcements – including Moore, J. A. – proceeded to camp on 17 October 1916. The men paraded at Buckle Street and march to the railway station, where they received a most enthusiastic greeting as “they swung along”.

James was 5 feet 6¾ inches tall, weighed 135 pounds, with a chest measurement of 32-34 inches. He had a ruddy complexion, with brown eyes and hair. While his hearing and colour vision were normal, his left eye was recorded at only 6/24, but not noted as defective. His limbs and chest were well formed, his joints good, and heart and lungs normal. He was free of illness, diseases and fits, thus deemed 'Fit'. There was no vaccination mark but this was later rectified. On 14 November 1916 James Alfred Moore was admitted to Wairarapa Hospital from Trentham Camp, with influenza, being discharged the next day. On this occasion, he gave his status as single. His contact in case of necessity was J. Moore, Rubin Avenue, Brooklyn, who was his brother Joseph. On two occasions late in 1916, one at Trentham and one at Featherston, he incurred penalties for overstaying leave – loss of pay and confinement to barracks.

Private Moore left with the 22nd Reinforcements on 13 February 1917 at Wellington per the “Mokoia”, destined for Plymouth, England, where he disembarked on 2 May and marched into Sling Camp. Leaving for France on 21 June he was attached to Strength at Etaples, and joined the 2nd Battalion of the Canterbury Infantry Regiment in the Field on 9 July 1917. There was a report in June that Private J. A. Moore had been wounded, but that was corrected to read slightly wounded and remaining with unit.

Casualty List 62, issued on 23 August 1917 brought the bad news that two officers and 83 men had died. Less than six months after embarking and only a month after joining the Regiment, Private James Alfred Moore was killed in action - on 6 August 1917, in the Field at Ypres, Belgium, aged 34 years. His name is inscribed on the Messines Ridge (N.Z.) Memorial and on the Brooklyn War Memorial in Wellington. James’ medals – British War Medal and Victory Medal, plaque and scroll were sent to his brother Joseph in 1922. On 30 March 1920 the public Trustee administered the estate of James Alfred Moore who had died intestate. His property included Military Pay of £2.14.4 and Allotment Moneys of £27.12.0. Action was taken against Joseph Moore, the brother of James, to recover the £2.12.0. James had allotted 3 shillings a day out of his pay to Joseph. The Public Trustee required that money for the payment of the soldier’s debts. Joseph had, in fact, paid sums on behalf of his brother, and had given the remainder to his son. It was proved that he had paid the sums stated but the gift to his son was regarded with some suspicion, Joseph having to make that payment.

On James’ anniversary in 1918, his brother Joe and his wife Maggie remembered lovingly Private J. A. Moore –

“The moonlight stars are beaming

Upon a silent grave,

Where, sleeping without dreaming,

Is one that died so brave.”

Joseph Moore, a married man with a family, died in 1938 in Wellington, collapsing at the wheel of his lorry with heart failure.


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [07 May 2014]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5549 0082585) [08 May 2014]; CWGC [07 May 2014]; Evening Post, 4 December 1901, 30 March 1915, 18 May 1915, 21 August 1916, 22 September 1916, 6 August 1918, 27 April 1920, 19 October 1916, Dominion, 18 May 1915, 22 September 1916, 28 April 1920, New Zealand Times, 18 May 1915, 12 August 1916, 18 October 1916 [x 2], 24 August 1917, Poverty Bay Herald, 4 July 1917, Timaru Herald, 24 August 1917 (Papers Past) [09 May 2014; 10 September 2017; 09 October 2017, 11 March 2020]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs); NZ Electoral Rolls ( [09 May 2014; 12 March 2020]; Probate record (FamilySearch/Archives NZ) [09 October 2017]; School Admission records

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Related Documents

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to


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