Inverell RSL sub-branch seeks photo of fallen Kurrajong soldier

Thousands lined the streets of Inverell on January 12, 1916 to farewell 114 district men heading off to serve their country in WWI. Photo:  Inverell and District Family History Group.
Thousands lined the streets of Inverell on January 12, 1916 to farewell 114 district men heading off to serve their country in WWI. Photo: Inverell and District Family History Group.

Private Clarence Noel Moore was Inverell’s last Kurrajong to be killed in action during WWI, and October 1 marks a centenary since his death.

To commemorate, Inverell’s RSL sub-branch and the Kurrajong re-enactment committee will hold a wreath-laying ceremony.

But one thing is missing: a photo.

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The sub-branch has not been able to locate any photos of Private Moore and hoped readers might be able to help.

“We are requesting help from any remaining members of his family – as he was one of 10 children – who may still be in the area to contact us if they have any photos,” sub-branch admin manager Tracey Collins said.

The ceremony idea came about when a great-nephew of the soldier contacted the sub-branch after learning of the upcoming anniversary.

He told sub-branch secretary Graeme Clinch he was unable to attend due to overseas commitments, but he hoped the significant date would be marked.

Private Moore’s family have a lengthy relationship with the Inverell area, particularly around Gum Flat. If anyone has information or photos of the solider, contact 6722 2987.

After two years on the western front, days before breaching the Hindenburg line, Private Moore was killed while performing battalion runner duties for Lieutenant Colonel Morshead.

He now rests with his fallen comrades in the Unicorn Cemetery in Bony, France.

Private Moore enlisted at the same time as his brother Norman Joseph Moore, who was wounded in France and returned home to Inverell, where he passed away in 1949.

They were involved in the 1916 march at Warialda and spent some time at Narrabri before being transported to France.

Private Clarence Noel Moore

Clarence was the youngest of 10 children of John and Martha Moore and one of two sons who served during WWI. 

The Moore family lived near Gum Flat, west of Inverell, where Clarence attended school.  

With his father’s permission to serve overseas, Clarence enlisted at Inverell in January 1916, giving his age as 20 and occupation as labourer. 

He and his brother Norman joined other district men to form the second contingent of The Kurrajongs, who left Inverell together on February 29 for the Narrabri, Armidale and Rutherford camps.

As a member of the 33rd Battalion, Clarence sailed from Australia in September 1916, arriving in England at the end of October. 

With his unit he was sent to France in February 1917. During October that year, he was admitted to hospital with a septic foot; however, he rejoined the battalion after three weeks treatment. 

The following April he was gassed and out of action for two months.

Private Moore was killed in action when hit by a shell on October 1, 1918, near Bony in France. 

Clarence had been Lieutenant Colonel Morshead’s runner and was regarded as “conscientious and energetic”.

His personal effects, which included a damaged presentation watch, penknife, photos and wallet, were returned to his father.

Although several other Inverell district men died after Clarence, he was the last of the Inverell Kurrajong recruits killed in action during WWI. 

At Inverell, Clarence has his name inscribed on the town’s honour roll, cenotaph and on the Methodist Church Honour Roll.

His name is also recorded on the pressed metal honour roll at Gum Flat. 

Clarence was one of 215 men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade, Inverell, in 1919.