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Added 28.4.11. Minor edits 18.2.14, 5.4.14, 23.5.14.

1224, Private Joseph MOORE — 13th Light Dragoons

Birth & early life

Born at Steeple Ashton, near Trowbridge, Wiltshire, c.1824.

One of four children born to James Moore, an agricultural labourer, and his wife Ellen. The eldest, George, was baptised at Steeple Ashton on the 27th of August 1819. His sister, Sarah, was baptised on the 16th of June 1822 and another sister, Mary Ann, on the 17th of October 1824.

Joseph Moore was baptised on the 15th of July 1827. His parents were living in Hinton at the time of the birth of the two eldest children and at Steeple Ashton for the other two. His father was variously described as a gardener and a labourer.


Enlisted at Westminster into the 14th Light Dragoons on the 13th of January 1843, but no Regimental number was allocated as he did not join the regiment from the Depot.

Age: 19.

Height: 5' 6".

Trade: Labourer.

Appearance: Sallow complexion. Grey eyes. Lt. brown hair

Transferred to the 13th Light Dragoons on the 1st of July 1845.


Wounded in action at Balaclava and sent to Scutari on the 26th of October 1854.

Invalided to England from Scutari aboard the "Talavera" on the 16th of December 1854.

Sent from the Invalid Depot to Trowbridge on the 30th of June 1855, "on furlo till discharge."

Discharge & pension

Finally discharged from Chatham Invalid Depot on the 23rd of October 1855:

"Disabled by amputation of the left arm after gun-shot fracture of the humerus at Balaclava."

Conduct: "a good soldier."

In possession of two Good Conduct badges.

Aged 29 years 7 months on discharge.

Awarded a pension of 1/- per day. Living in Gloucester after discharge, but was in the Bristol Pension District from 1864.


Entitled to the Crimean medal with clasps for Alma, Balaclava, Sebastopol and the Turkish medal.

Awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, being recommended for it on the 13th of February 1855 and receiving it with a gratuity of £5.

Several letters were written regarding the distribution of his Distinguished Conduct Medal:

"To the Officer Commanding, 13th Light Dragoons, Dorchester.

Horse Guards,

13th October 1855.

Sir, I have the honour to inform you that a medal for Distinguished Conduct in the Field and to 1224 Private Joseph Moore of the regiment now under your command, has been returned to this office under the supposition that the man is deceased. I have the honour to request that if you have any knowledge of this man's discharge you will inform the Adjutant General's Office."

"Officer Commanding the Invalid Depot, Chatham.

Horse Guards,

15th October 1855

Sir, I have the honour to request that you will forward to this office information relating to the present abode of 1224 Joseph Moore, who was discharged from Chatham a short time since."

"Staff Officer, Pensioners, Trowbridge.

Horse Guards,

18th October 1855.

Sir, I have the honour to request that you will present the enclosed medal for Distinguished Conduct in the Field to the man named in the margin. Private Moore is at present residing at Steeple Ashton, near Trowbridge, Wiltshire..."

"To the Staff Officer, Pensions, Gloucester.

Horse Guards,

22nd October 1855.

Sir, I have the honour to request that you will deliver the annexed medal for Distinguished Conduct in the Field to the man named in the margin, who is at present residing at Malmesbury, Tetbury, Gloucestershire."


Life after service

1861 Census

Bristol Street, parish of Westport St. Mary, Bristol.

The 1861 Census shows a Joseph Moore of the Pensions Staff, aged 33, born at Steeple Ashton, his wife, Elizabeth, aged 42, born at Charlton, and two children, Mary J., aged 4, and Sarah A., aged two.

A female general servant was also shown.

At the time of his death in 1866 he was described as an "Inn-Keeper", but he was not shown as such at this time.

Death & burial

Died in the Bristol Pension District on the 4th of February 1866.

Death registration

The GRO records show a Joseph Moore as dying in the Malmesbury District of Wiltshire during the January-March Quarter of 1866, aged 38 years.

Death certification

His death certificate shows him as dying at Bristol Road, Westport St. Mary, Malmesbury, of "Disease of the Liver and Acute Bronchitis, 6 weeks" on the 4th of February 1866, aged 38 years. His occupation was shown as "Inn Keeper and Chelsea Pensioner". A Mary Bond (who had to make her mark) of Burnivale, Westport, was present at and the informant of his death. (See copy of this certificate in the "Certificates" file.)

He was buried in the Malmesbury Abbey Burial Ground on the 8th of February 1866 by the Revd. C. Pitt. No headstone was erected.

The burial records of Malmesbury Abbey show his 7-year-old daughter, Sarah Ann Moore, was also buried there, a fortnight later, on the 25th of February 1866.

Further information

Did his widow marry again? The 1871 Census supports this:

1871 Census

"Three Cups", Gloucester Street, Westport.

The 1871 Census shows a Thomas Harper, Inn Keeper, 39 years of age, born at Wingfield, with his wife, Elizabeth, aged 52, born at Charlton, and two step-children, Mary Jane Moore, aged 13, and Joseph Moore, aged 8, both scholars.

There were 10 lodgers also recorded at the time, including a recruiting sergeant of the Marines and his wife, and a domestic servant.

Was this perhaps the same public house kept by Joseph Moore (senior) at the time of his death?

And was the Joseph Moore (junior, his possible son) also perhaps the Joseph Moore recorded in the 1903 Kelly's Directory as the proprietor of "Ye Old Belle", in Abbey Street, Westport, "a Family and Residential Hotel, Forage contractor to the nobility and local gentry, Horse boxes for hunters, etc., etc."?

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