Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Monday, August 15, 2016

A VC for Shooting His Own Men

This one caught my eye and I thought I should share it with our readers:

George Raymond Dallas Moor, VC, MC & Bar (22 October 1896–3 November 1918) was a recipient of the Victoria Cross. 

Born in Australia and educated at Cheltenham College, following the outbreak of the First World War, Moor was commissioned as a second lieutenant on probation in the 3rd Battalion, The Hampshire Regiment, British 29th Division on 29 October 1914. He was 18 years old when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC. The citation in the London Gazette, 23 July 1915 reads: 

On 5 June 1915 south of Krithia, Gallipoli, Turkey, when a detachment of the battalion which had lost all its officers was rapidly retiring before a heavy Turkish attack, Second Lieutenant Moor, realizing the danger to the rest of the line, dashed back some 200 yards, stemmed the retirement, led back the men and recaptured the lost trench. This brave act saved a dangerous situation. The action actually took place early on 6 June during the Turkish counter-attack following the Third Battle of Krithia. 

Moor "stemmed the retirement" by shooting four of his own men. In the words of the 29th Division's commander General Henry de Lisle, Moor shot "the leading four men and the remainder came to their senses." Moor was promoted to lieutenant on 30 October 1916. 

He was later awarded the Military Cross (MC) and bar (second award). The citation for his MC read: 

Lt. George Raymond Dallas Moor, V.C., Hamp. R. For conspicuous gallantry and skill. He carried out a daylight reconnaissance all along the divisional front in face of heavy machine-gun fire at close range, in many places well in front of our foremost posts 

At the time of the second award he was ADC to the General Officer Commanding 30th Division, and an acting General Staff Officer, Grade III. The citation in the London Gazette, 29 July 1919 reads: 

On October 20th, 1918, about Pijpestraatthe  [his] vanguard commander was wounded and unable to carry on. Owing to heavy shelling and machine-gun fire, the vanguard came to a standstill. Lieut. Moor, Acting General Staff Officer, who was reconnoitering the front, noticed this ; he immediately took charge, and by his fearless example and skillful leading continued the advance until the objective was reached. He has a positive contempt for danger, and distinguishes himself on every occasion. (M.C. gazetted 2nd December, 1918.) 

Moor was in poor health as a result of his war experiences, and he died of Spanish Influenza at Mouvaux, France, on 3 November 1918. His Victoria Cross is displayed at The Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum & Memorial Garden, Winchester, England. 

Source: (Cited from:


  1. Which of his own men did he shoot?

  2. If this is true, the account seems to have been officially suppressed. Moor's citation in the London Gazette (easily accessible via his Wikipedia entry) does not mention shooting his own men. The story seems to have come from General de Lisle, who nevertheless describes Moor as the bravest soldier he knew. His later career does not seem to have suffered from this - unless it is significant that he never rose higher than Lieutenant, despite becoming a staff officer.
    He was only 18 at the time of the VC incident and fresh out of training. It must have been a horrendous situation for an 18 year-old; I wonder if his training had emphasized that he might have to go to those lengths.
    These days he would probably be sued for shooting the enemy, let alone his own men.

  3. Les Carlyon's "Gallipoli" confirms that he shot his own men. As well as De Lisle's comments, it says the Hampshire's history states Moor shot a couple of panic stricken fugitives.

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