Lt Moore William Ambrose

  • Geboortedatum: 29/04/1879
  • Geboorteplaats: Onbekend
  • Datum van overlijden: 26/10/1917
  • Plaats van overlijden: Bellevue, België
  • Doodsoorzaak: Killed in action (K.I.A.)
  • Leeftijd: 38
  • Beroep: Landarbeider
  • Land: Canada
  • Rang: Lieutenant
  • Service nummer: /
  • Dienstneming datum: 05/05/1916
  • Dienstneming plaats: Onbekend
  • Laatst gekende eenheid: Canadian Infantry, 58th Bn. (Central Ontario)
  • Strijdmacht: Canadian Expeditionary Force


Extra informatie

Lieutenant William Ambrose Moore served in the 58th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry (Canadian Expeditionary Force), part of the 9th Brigade of the 3rd Canadian Division. On the 26th of October, this battalion participated in the Second Battle of Passchendaele, a stage in the Third Battle of Ypres. On the 24th of October, the battalion moved into the front line, with headquarters located at a captured German pillbox known as Waterloo Farm (about 450 meters northeast of Gravenstafel). The battalion would go forward on the morning of the 26th with part of the Bellevue Spur, about eleven hundred metres in front of it, as its final objective. The men would start in the flooded valley of the Ravebeek and move parallel to the Gravenstafel-Mosselmarkt Road up the Bellevue Spur, which ran out of the Passchendaele Ridge and past the hamlet of Bellevue itself. On the 26th of October at 5.40 a.m. the attack began. The British barrage commenced and the first assaulting waves of the 58th Canadian Battalion followed it up as close as possible. The soil had turned to slime through the combination of artillery fire and drizzle. At some points along the front, the mud was hip-deep. The men had to cover 450 meters of ground before they reached the main enemy line. However, the enemy immediately replied with its own artillery fire and with a barrage on the Ravebeek vicinity. This caused casualties among the troops assembled there for the next phase of the attack. The men had to deal with heavy machine gun fire coming from the enemy troops who had sheltered in bunkers during the barrage. Rather than walking toward the enemy trenches in open order waves, the troops used the much-practiced platoon tactics of mutual support and worked around behind the machine gun positions. These actions are described as one or two men crawling forward to get behind the enemy machine gun and using hand grenades to kill the crew or making a rush into their midst with rifle and bayonet. It was likely in this fashion that the men of the 58th Battalion captured three pillboxes and Dad Trench. In doing so, these assaulting waves were subjected to heavy machine-gun fire from trenches and pill boxes. The men then occupied shell holes in front of their positions and a severe fight ensued for the possession of Contour Trench which continued until 2:30 p.m. when four German officers and sixty other ranks surrendered. After this, the possession was gained of the German trench. In a report on the circumstances of the death of Lieutenant Moore, it is mentioned that he was killed in action whilst leading his platoon against an enemy pill box during the attack West of Passchendaele. He was hit on the head and instantly killed by a riffle bullet. He and his platoon were likely to have done the much-practiced tactic previously mentioned to capture a pillbox. On this report there is a reported location mentioned for his grave. It is likely that he was buried at the scene, but was never reburied in a cemetery. He is now remembered in the Menin Gate in Ypres. Besides this report, the death of Lieutenant Moore is mentioned in a letter of Lieutenant Don Cameron. He wrote: “We left our ‘jumping off’ trench in front of Bellevue Spur, Passchendaele, on the morning of the 26th, October at 5:40 a.m. I had the Platoon immediately on “Pat’s” right and Mr. [William Ambrose] Moore had the Platoon on his left. We got well away but almost immediately encountered heavy machine gun fire from both our flanks and our men began to drop quite fast. I then noticed that our left flank was being held up by the excessive machine gun fire, and as Mr. Moore was killed, I knew that both Pat and I would have to go for that “Pill-box” ourselves.” This eye witness account confirms that Lieutenant Moore was leading a Platoon to capture an enemy pillbox but was killed in action during this attack. Lieutenant Cameron, who wrote this letter, was the only officer out of 16 who stayed alive in the attempt to capture this pillbox. In the end, the enemy pillbox was captured after 5 hours of fighting.