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George Moody (1886-1915)

Lumley miner who was one of three brothers who served in the Durham Light Infantry

George Moody was born in Lumley in 1886. His father was Thomas Moody, a coal miner who was born in Bournmoor in 1855. His mother was Christiana Moody nee Smith (1856-1894), who was born in Scotland. His parents married around 1873 and had six known children giving George three brothers and two sisters. One of his brothers, named Robert, died in infancy. In 1891 the Moody family lived at 13 Pottery Row, Great Lumley. George’s mother Christiana died in 1894 and his father Thomas remarried around 1901. At the time of the 1901 census George was living with his father, his new step mother Ann, and his two brothers at Middle Chare, Chester-le-Street and was working as a pony driver in a local coal mine.

In 1907 George married Agnes Moody nee Mitchell, a coal miner’s daughter from Low Fell. At the time of the 1911 census the couple were living at 28 Hopgarth Back, Chester-le-Street. One child had been born during their marriage to that date but had not survived infancy. George was working as a hewer in a local coal mine.

George attested in the Durham Light Infantry (DLI). He was given the service number 2501 and served in the 1st/8th Battalion DLI along with his two brothers Thomas and Joseph. He disembarked in France on 19 April 1915. He is listed as one of 102 DLI men who had died on 26 April at Boetleer’s Farm, Ypres.

However, George appears on Red Cross Prisoner of War Records which suggests what happened to him was more complex. He was identified in a German record as one of a group of English soldiers found dead in Broodseinde, a mile from Zonnebeke, who had died in the fighting at the end of April. George’s name appears on the Menin Gate Memorial which commemorates soldiers with no known grave. We can only speculate how a record identifying George’s body can exist together with him being listed as having no known grave. It may have been that George was buried, perhaps with the other English soldiers found alongside him, in an unmarked grave or a grave whose location is now unclear.

George Moody was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal for his service in World War One.

Civil Parish: Chester le Street

Birth date: 1886

Death date: 26-Apr-1915

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 13 Pottery Row, Great Lumley (1891 census)
Middle Chare, Chester le Street (1901 census)
28 Hopgarth Back, Chester le Street (1911 census)

Religion: Church of England

Employment: Coal miner – pony driver (1901 census)
Coal miner – hewer (1911 census)

Family: Parents: Thomas Moody (b 1855), Christiana Moody nee Smith (1864-1894)
Siblings: Katherine Jane Moody (b 1877), Elizabeth Moody (b 1878), Robert Moody (1881-1881), Thomas Moody (b 1888), Joseph Moody (b 1891)
Spouse: Agnes Moody nee Mitchell, later Henderson (1888-1962)

Military service:

Durham Light Infantry
1st/8th Battalion

Medal(s): 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Flanders, Belgium
Battalion History 1/8th DLI, Durham
Book of Remembrance 1914-18 DLI, Cathedral, Durham
Cross 1914-18, Witton Gilbert
Memorial 1914-18, Market Place, Chester-le-Street
Plaque 1914-18, Bridge End, Chester-le-Street
Roll of Honour 1914-18, St Michael and All Angels’ Church, Witton Gilbert

Gender: Male

Contributed by David D, Stanley, Co Durham

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