"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Another of Acton's Brave Sons Killed in Action in France May 24, 1917

Obituary appeared in Acton Free Press (Acton, Ontario), 24 May 1917, p. 2, column 2

Pte. J. L. Moore Makes the Supreme Sacrifice
Another of Acton's Brave Sons Killed in Action in France

Last Thursday a message came from the Record Office, Ottawa, to Mr. and Mrs. N. F. Moore, saying:

Ottawa, Ont., May 16th, 1917
Nelson F. Moore,
Acton, Ont.
Sincerely regret to inform you 602299 Pte. John L. Moore, Infantry, officially reported wounded May fifth, nineteen seventeen. Will send further particulars when received.
Office in charge Records.

This news naturally brought grave anxiety to the home, but with a brave and patient courage Mr. and Mrs. Moore awaited further particulars of the casualty earnestly hoping that it would not be unduly serious.

Early Monday morning a second message came from Ottawa being this heart-rending intelligence:

Ottawa, Ont. May 20th, 1917
Nelson F. Moore,
Acton, Ont.
Cable received to-day states 602299 Pte. John Lewis Moore, Infantry, previously reported wounded, now officially reported killed in action May fifth, nineteen seventeen
Office in charge Records.

Private Moore was the only son of the home and this sudden bereavement came as a stunning blow to the hearts of these brave parents who had given their boy when the country's call came.

Pte. Moore enlisted in the 34th Battalion at Guelph in January, 1915. He was a member of the Bugle Band of the regiment. After nine months of military drill and instruction at Guelph and London he went overseas with his battalion, landing in England the last of October, 1915. After some months in camps in England the 34th was divided into special drafts and sent from time to time to the front to reinforce regiments that had been decimated.

Bugler Moore was then transferred to the military band of the Montreal French Battalion, the 23rd, which was a reserve force. This band was under the leadership of a French bandmaster from Paris. Remaining in England when his comrades were being sent to the front became irksome to this intrepid young soldier, and he applied for a place as a private. Once or twice the Medical Board refused him. He persisted, however, and eventually secured a place in the ranks last fall.

He went to France with his battalion in March, and was evidently with the Canadian divisions which won distinction in the battles of Vimy Ridge and beyond. He fell in action on Saturday, 5th May.

John Lewis Moore was born in Acton on May 13th, 1894, and would have been twenty-three the week after he fell. He was the only son of Nelson F. Moore, who is the only son of the late Thomas C. Moore, who spent his life in Acton.

Deceased was a young man of noble character, one of whom any father and mother might justly feel proud. After passing the High School entrance examination he came to the FREE PRESS and spent four years in this office. For a time he was foreman of the Gazette at Burlington, in which town his Christian activities were much appreciated.

Early in life he became a Christian and accepted the faith of his fathers. He was an active worker; was energetic in the Epworth League, and was President of the King's Orderlies, Bible Class, and an efficient teacher in the Sunday School.

When he enlisted he was made Hon. President of the K.O.B.C. and held that honorable position until his death. Several years ago he decided to offer himself as a missionary to China and to that end gave up the printing business and returned to High School. Here he was when the call came for volunteers for Canada's overseas forces. He had considerable talent as a public speaker, and he was successively granted license as an exhorter and a local preacher of the Methodist Church. Only last Wednesday evening the Official Board renewed his local preacher's license for the year. He was an exemplary young man, an effective worker, one who was always uncompromising in standing for the right and putting "first things first."

As his father said to the writer the day the sad news came that he had fallen in action: "He was true to his friends, to his country and to his God."

As an index of the happy relations with his home here we present the following poems which he sent to his parents last Christmas:


May the Lord watch forever between me and thee, When we are absent one from the other; Are the words that I send with a heart full of love, To the best of dear pals, my mother.

For King, Queen and Country we're fighting, "Honor and Right" is our watchword true; The "might" at first seemed to hold sway, Naught shall conquer the Red, White and Blue.

"Twas some time since that I left my loved home, To answer old England's cry; The parting was hard, and though she tried to be brave, There was a tear in my dear mother's eye.

"God bless you," said she, "God bless her," said I, For of mothers no man had a better; And while I'm in England, or when I go to the front She knows I will never forget her.

So, cheer up, Dear Mother, my truest of pals, Though at parting your heart may feel sore, We will all look forward with hearts full of hope To true happiness when peace comes once more.


Dear old Dad, when Kitchener called, On me to come up with the Boys, I thought of you and my dear old home, And the scenes of my childhood joys.

It's up to me to go out and help The other brave chaps at the front, Never let it be said I was one that jibbed While others bore the brunt.

When "ours" go where our duty calls, And I hope that won't be long; We'll get the Huns well on the run, To the tune of our marching song.

Memories of home and my dear ones, Are ever with me night and day: Those happy times I shall never forget, While in England, or over the way.

General sympathy is felt by the communoity for Mr. and Mrs. Moore in their great sorrow.

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