Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

At the age of 18 George Moore was working as a bottle washer in a brewery and living at Crown St, neither likely to offer much in the way of a future. It is hardly surprising therefore that he should opt to join the Royal Navy which he must have done in the last few years before the outbreak of the Great War.
George had been born at Portsmouth in 1893 to parents Alfred Arthur and Catherine (known as Kate, nee Reed) Moore who had married in 1888. Alfred worked for much of his life as a labourer around the coalyard adjacent to the Camber, eventually describing himself as a stevedore. He and Kate were living at [St.] George's Place at the time of the census in 1891 with their two children Alfred James (b. 1889) and Mary (b. 1891).
The census of 1901 saw Alfred and Kate at 2 Red Lion Yard, close to St. Thomas's Church, with two more children, George and Henry (b. 1896). Ten years later they were recorded living at 9 Crown Street with a further two children, Maud (b. 1905) and Ernest (b. 1907). That made six children but Kate had actually delivered a total of ten, four dying in infancy.
Once George Moore had left the household he probably had a good life until the outbreak of the Great War. Little is known of his service career except that he was on board HMS Invincible when it took part in the Battle of Jutland and at six-thirty on the evening of the 31st May 1916, with the battle in full flow, a shell hit Q turret and burst inside blowing the turret roof into the air. Seconds later a huge explosion amidships blew the Invincible in half. The two ends of the ship remained sticking out of the water for several hours before they sank. Six of her crew survived and were rescued by HMS Badger. 1,026 men died, more than 130 of them from Portsmouth, one of whom was George Moore.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list Stoker 1st Class George Moore (K/20434), Royal Navy, HMS Invincible, died 31/05/1916, aged 23. Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 19). Son of Alfred and Catherine Kate Moore, of 24, Lombard St., Portsmouth.
George Moore is also commemorated on the Anglican Cathedral WW1 Memorial Cross and on the Cenotaph. He is listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X, p159.
Tim Backhouse
November 2014
With thanks to Cynthia Sherwood for additional research