RFA West Lancs Bdes
680950 DVR/SAD. E. MOORHOUSE. R.F.A.
Edwin Moorhouse was born in Preston in the second quarter of 1894 and baptised at Preston Christchurch on 21 June that year. His father was Edwin Moorhouse (b. 1864 in Preston), an overlooker in a cotton mill. His mother was Jane Greenall (b. 1865 in Preston). The couple married in 1887 and they had 7 children, though one died in infancy. The survivors were: Elizabeth (b. 1887), Florence (b. 1892), then Edwin, then Annie (b. 1896), Ada (b. 1898) and finally William (b. 1903). In 1911, the family lived at 26 Dover Street, Preston, and Edwin jnr was a cotton weaver. (Dover Street was demolished in the late 1960s and is now the site of Preston Bus Station.)
Edwin probably served in the Territorials before the War. When he enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery, he was initially assigned service number 2677. Edwin was a Driver/Saddler. He landed in France on 30 September 1915 so from this we know that he was with 276Bde, probably “B” Battery. His service number, 680950 is among a batch (680896-680990) assigned to men from Preston who were mainly posted to “B” Battery of 286 Brigade. Most of these men stayed in B/286 throughout the War but Edwin’s service history is different. He served initially with B/276 but was later transferred to “C” Battery in 210th Brigade.
210th (1/1st East Lancashire) Brigade came under orders of the 42nd (East Lancashire Division). 42nd Division had fought at Gallipoli in 1915 and in Egypt in 1916 but in early 1917 they were redeployed to France. They fought during the Third Battle of Ypres in September 1917, but in September-November they were at Nieuport on the Belgian coast for reorganisation and to absorb new recruits. So Edwin might have joined the Brigade at either of these points.
In November 1917, 42nd Division moved to Givenchy where they spent much of their time in the construction of concrete defence works, which were used to great advantage by 55th (West Lancashire) Division to hold back the strong enemy attack in April 1918.
In March 1918, 42nd Division were in the Somme area and were engaged in the first phase of the German Spring Offensive. They fought in the First Battle of Bapaume (24-25 March) and the First Battle of Arras (28 March). I don’t have any more details of 210Bde actions but at some point Edwin was wounded and he died of wounds at 10th General Hospital, Rouen, on 23 April 1918. He was 23 years old.
Service Number: 680950
Date of Death: 23/04/1918
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery, “C” Bty, 210th Brigade.
Cemetery/memorial reference: P. IX. D. 4A.
Cemetery: ST. SEVER CEMETERY EXTENSION, ROUEN
Edwin’s oldest sister Elizabeth Alice (b. 1887) was married to George William Bullock who was killed in the Battle of the Marne in September 1914.
8685 L/CPL G. W. BULLOCK. L.N.LAN.R.
George William Bullock was born on 16 April 1891 in Bethnal Green and baptised on 3 May 1891 at Bethnal Green St Jude (though the baptismal record gives his middle name as Samuel). His father was William Bullock (b. 1871 in Bethnal Green), a sawyer. His mother was Elizabeth Sanders (b. 1870 in Shadwell). Both of George’s parents had died by 1901, when George was living with his grandfather, still in Bethnal Green. But when he was old enough, George joined the army and by 1910 he was based at Fulwood Barracks and serving with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. That year he married Elizabeth Alice Moorhouse (b. 1887 in Preston) and the couple had two children: Edwin George (b. 1911) and Eva (b. 1912).
George was in 1st Battalion, L.N.LAN.R., and landed in France on 12 August 1914. 1Bn came under orders of 1st Division and that month they were engaged in the Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat and then in September in the Battle of the Marne, where they finally managed to halt the German advance. George was killed in the Battle of the Marne on 14 September 1914. He was 23 years old. His body was not recovered.
Rank: Lance Corporal
Service Number: 8685
Date of Death: 14/09/1914
Regiment/Service: Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn
Cemetery/Memorial: LA FERTE-SOUS-JOUARRE MEMORIAL