Moore, Herbert William

Moore, Herbert William (Herbert)


M.V. Darkdale (Glasgow), Merchant Navy

Died as the result of enemy action on Wednesday 22 October 1941 (aged 44)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Tower Hill Memorial, London (Panel 34)

Jamestown Cenotaph, St Helena


Herbert William Moore was born on 12 July 1897 in Sullivan Street, Holywood and he was a son of Robert Henry Moore and Margaret Arnott Moore (nee Steele) who were married on 2 August 1893 in Glencraig Parish Church of Ireland Church.  Robert Henry Moore (aged 30), a gardener from Victoria Road, Holywood was a son of Robert Moore, a gardener.  Margaret Arnott Steele (aged 22) from Redlands, Helen’s Bay was a daughter of William Steele, a farmer.  Robert Henry Moore and Margaret Arnott Moore (nee Steele) had at least five children:

Florence Adelaide (born 25 November 1893 in Victoria Road, Holywood)

Walter Leslie (born 23 July 1895 in Downshire Road, Holywood)

Herbert William (born 12 July 1897 in Sullivan Street, Holywood)

Thomas Newell (twin, born 11.45pm 26 September 1906 in Corporation, Killyleagh)

Robert Henry (twin, born 12.15am 27 September 1906 in Corporation, Killyleagh)

In 1911 the Moore family was living in Spencer Street, Holywood.

Herbert William’s father, Robert Henry Moore, died as the result of a perforated duodenal ulcer in the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) Belfast on 29 June 1921.  His home address at that time was Church Road, Holywood, and his son, Walter Leslie Moore, was with him when he died.

During the First World War Herbert William Moore served as a Rifleman with the Royal Irish Rifles (No. 18/1123) and he was discharged on 15 March 1919.  His address at that time was Culloden Lodge, Craigavad, Co Down.  Herbert William Moore is named as ‘Moore, H’ on the Roll of Honour in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip and St James) for those from the Parish who served and survived.

During the Second World War Herbert William Moore served in the Merchant Navy as a Donkeyman and Greaser aboard the M.V. Darkdale (Glasgow) (Ship No. 165991).  When he joined up in January 1940, his home address was 6 Spencer Street, Holywood and he cited as his next-of-kin his widowed mother, Margaret Moore.

Darkdale was fleet tanker for the Royal Fleet Artillery (RFA) and was built by the Blythswood Shipbuilding Company, Scotstoun, Glasgow.  Launched on 23 July 1940 as Empire Oil, she was completed in November 1940 and transferred to the RFA as Darkdale.  Whilst anchored in James Bay off Jamestown, St Helena, M.V. Darkdale sank in the early hours of 22 October 1941 after being hit by four torpedoes fired from the German submarine U-68.

Donkeyman Herbert William Moore was one of 41 men who lost their lives. His cause of death was officially recorded as ‘presumed killed by explosion, fire, or drowning’.

M.V. Darkdale continued to leak oil until 2015 when Ministry of Defence (MOD) divers drained what fuel was left in the ship’s tanks.

Donkeyman Herbert William Moore’s body was never recovered, and he is commemorated on a memorial plaque on the cenotaph in Jamestown, St Helena.