Hans Garrett Moore VC CB

b. 31/03/1834 Carlingford, County Lough, Ireland. d. 06/10/1889 Lough Derg, Ireland.

Hans Garrett Moore (1834-1889) was born at Richmond Barracks, Dublin, the son of Captain Garrett Moore of the 88th Connaught Rangers, and Charlotte (nee Butler) who hailed from Drum, County Tipperary. His family descended from the O’Moore’s of Cloghan Castle, descendants of Rory O’Moore, the Irish Prince who fought with Henry VIII.

Hans G Moore VC CB

Moore was educated at the Royal School, Banagher, and at Trinity College, Dublin, which he entered at the age of 16. He volunteered and obtained a commission without purchase from the Commander-in-Chief, on account of the previous war services of his family, especially in the Crimea, and was gazetted to the 59th Regiment of Foot as an Ensign in June 1855, and was transferred to the 88th Regiment of Foot the following month. He was promoted swiftly to Lieutenant in October that year. Lieutenant Moore then served with his regiment in the Indian Mutiny Campaign from December 1857, including the action at Bhognapore, the siege of Lucknow in March, the siege of Calpee and actions at Selimpore and Jamoo (both of which he was slightly wounded at).

For his services in the Indian Mutiny, he was mentioned in despatches and received the campaign medal and clasp for Central India. He was Adjutant, 88th Regiment of Foot, from August 1863 to June 1872, and was promoted to Captain on 19th June 1872. He volunteered and was employed in special service in the Ashanti War of 1873-1874. For his services in this campaign he was awarded Brevet of Major and received the Medal and clasp. He then served in the South African War of 1877-1878, where on the 29th December 1877, he performed the action which led to the award of the Victoria Cross on 27th June 1878.

On 29th December 1877, near Komgha, during a skirmish with the Gaikas, Moore observed that a Private of the Frontier Mounted Police was struggling to re-mount his horse, and was under severe threat from the enemy. Realising the danger, Major Moore rode back alone in the middle of the enemy, and continued to try and save the young Private. Sadly, his efforts were in vain and the young soldier was killed. Major Moore had managed to kill two of the enemy in his efforts, and received an assegai wound to the arm.

Moore was presented with his medal by the Governor of Gibraltar, General Lord Napier on 6th September 1879, and was now serving as a Major in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He was promoted to Colonel in April 1882. Shortly afterwards, he resigned the command of the Cape Mounted Rifles so that he could rejoin his old commanding officer, Sir Garnet Wolseley in the Egyptian campaign of 1882. He was present at the second action at Kassassin and at the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir where he was mentioned in despatches. He was also created Companion of Bath, as well as receiving the campaign medal and the Khedive’s Star.

Soon after this command, Colonel Moore chose to retire from active service, and returned to his native Ireland. He occupied his time in retirement with horse riding, swimming and yachting. Sadly, his favourite pastime of yachting led to his untimely death. On 6th October 1889, Colonel Moore left Portumna Bay in his steam launch, the “Foam”, accompanied by his stoker, Patrick Byrne. They both went to shore where Moore had dinner with General Cooper. They both returned to the launch at half past midnight. Colonel Moore then rowed off in a terrible gale to secure the rope of the launch to a buoy. He could not row back against the wind and drifted out into Dromineer Bay. His body was found the following day in fourteen feet of water at Buggaun Island.

He was buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery, Dublin with full military honours. His medals are held by the Museum Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa.