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Cinderford World War One Troops - 1918

Image: Cinderford Troops - 1918 (73k)

Photos of soldiers from Cinderford who were part of the occupation troops sent to Germany during WWI. The photo was taken August 1918, during the 1914-1918 war, far right is John Edward Moore.

Mr Moore returned to Cinderford and the following is an article written upon his retirement (reproduced by kind permission of Mr Brian Moore):


Mr John Moore - one of Cinderford's best known grocers.

For an average working week of 60 hours a boy of 13 once earned 4/- (4 shillings - now 20p) a week. That was life in the grocery trade over 50 years ago, as remembered by Mr. John Edward Moore; one of Cinderford’s most genial business men. His retirement ends 50 years in the trade, 30 of which have been spent in Cinderford. It was after attending Bilson Junior and Double View Senior Schools that Mr, Moore’s career in the grocery business started in 1913 with the late Mr. Richard Westaway, in Market Street.
War service
Born in July, 1900, the eldest son of the late Mr. and Mrs. G. Moore of Woodside Street, his career was interrupted during the 1914-18 war when he served in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Following service with the army of occupation on the Rhine he returned to the grocery trade working with Westaway & Co. for a number of years. This led to his appointment as manager of the Tintern branch of Williams & Cotton in 1930.
In 1936 he came back to Cinderford and opened his own grocery store at 9 Pembroke Street, later moving to 7 Woodside Street. And although he recently retired, the business is still carried on by members of the family.
Good service
Apart from his busy life as a trader, Mr. Moore has given generously of his time to numerous interests. A member of Cinderford Wesley Church for 65 years he is at present one of its trustees, and since retiring he has agreed to be secretary of Cinderford old folks’ welfare committee in succession to the late Mr. H. J. Kear. He was in the local Home Guard during the 1939-45 war.
And good humour
Full of sport and good humour, he has much to tell in the jocund style for which he is known about his leisure interests. Tennis, rugby and swimming have been his main sporting interests. He recalled that, when at Tintern with wife formerly Miss Nancie Watson, younger daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. W Watson, of Herbert Lodge, whom he married in 1927, they formed a swimming club and gave swimming instruction. On fine summer days there would be as many as l0 or 40 swimmers in the River Wye at Tintern.
Mr. and Mrs. Moore, who have a son and daughter, now live in the homestead in Woodside Street which Mr. Moore knew as a boy.
At his best
Choral singing has always been one of his favourite interests, He was a member of Cinderford Choral Society, and Wesley Choir for some years, and is now a member of Drybrook Male Voice Choir.
He is perhaps at his most entertaining in amateur dramatics. Many have enjoyed his adept portrayal of an ugly sister in Wesley pantomimes, and of an English butler in Mintec plays. A founder member of the Mintec Players he joined the original Cinderford drama group, which used to meet at Denecroft Centre under the leadership of Mr. W. J. V. Aveston. For 10 years he has been an active member of "Wesley pantomime players". And although he is not preparing to be an ugly sister in this year's pantomime, he will be there behind the scenes helping out with the singing like a faithful old trouper.

War Service Certificate

War Service Certificate
Courtesy of Brian Moore

This is how John's wife Nancie Watson-Moore of Cinderford remembers hearing about the outbreak of war in 1914 (written in 1984)
(reproduced by kind permission from Mr Brian Moore)

AUGUST 4th 1914, was going to be a real red-letter day for lots of us children, and for the grown-ups as well. The Great Western railway company, together with the Severn and Wye company, had arranged to run excursion trains to Monmouth from many places, among them Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Lydney, Chepstow and Cinderford.
Trains would pick up passengers at all stations en route. It was Bank Holiday and Monmouth was to be exceptionally well-favoured with its Bank Holiday attractions.
The organising committee had arranged a very, very special attraction. Excitement had been mounting daily for several weeks.
We had a whole month's holiday from school; but that meant nothing to what we were going to see at Monmouth on The Day. A real aeroplane, a French one, together with its French pilot, was to be actually on view on the showground!! We were going to be allowed to go right up close to it, look inside, and possibly be allowed to touch it - We behaved ourselves!
The day dawned fine and dry and we were up ready bright and early. Our. train was due to leave Drybrook Road Station just before ten o'clock. We were all there before time; but this was a busy little station - a small junction for coal-trains as well as passenger ones. Our small change was carefully counted, and just as carefully tied back up into the corners of our handkerchieves.At last the precious return tickets were safe in our possession. The Station Master's explicit instructions were: "Take care of your return half tickets."

The next junction was at Lower Lydbrook near the River Wye. There we had to change trains and wait for the one from Hereford.
We were finally all aboard, and heading for our true destination. Wye Valley hills, farms, woodlands and a real journey through a tunnel all added to our mounting spirits. Monmouth's May Hill Station was reached at last. The train slowed down and came to a full stop.
Dozens of excited, chattering children and adults all bundled out of their carriages, full of chatter and anticipation.
Suddenly a hush descended everyone paused and stood still; full of fear and apprehension.
Why, oh! why was the Station Master standing there - with his back to the closed station gates? Surely nothing could stop us now after travelling so far to see an aeroplane!

What was he trying to tell us? What was he saying? At last his voice could be heard. Slowly, sadly, this was what he said to us: "I have a very serious announcement to make. The German Army has invaded Belgium. Great Britain and France have declared war on Germany.
"The aeroplane and its French pilot have been recalled to France." Slowly the station gates opened onto a completely new world - a world at war.

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