Templeton, Arthur Moore (No. 1071533)

Templeton, Arthur Moore (Moore)

Sergeant (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)

No. 1071533, 427 (RCAF) Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed in action on Thursday 4 February 1943 (aged 30)

Buried:

Guidel Communal Cemetery, Morbihan, France (Row 3. Grave 14)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Bangor and District War Memorial

Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bangor (as A. Moore Templeton)

Belfast Banking Company Second World War Memorial Plaque (now in Danske Bank, Donegall Square West, Belfast)

Family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor

BIOGRAPHY

Arthur Moore Templeton was born on 28 July 1912 at 59 Brunswick Road, Bangor and he was the second son of James and Mary Colville Templeton (nee Dugan) who later lived in Osborne Park, Bangor.  James Templeton worked as a commercial traveller (drapery) and he was a widower when he and Mary Colville Dugan were married on 10 January 1900 in Cliftonville Presbyterian Church, Belfast.  James Templeton from Belfast was a son of William John Templeton, a labourer.  Mary Colville Dugan from Belfast was a daughter of Thomas James Dugan, a commercial traveller.

James and Mary Colville Templeton (nee Moore) had at least five children:

Mary Colville (born 15 May 1904 at 45 Sandymount Street, Belfast)

James Stanley (born 24 January 1906 at 45 Sandymount Street, Belfast)

Arthur Moore (born 28 July 1912 at 59 Brunswick Road, Bangor)

Nancy Aileen (born 26 December 1914 in Farnham Park, Bangor)

William Stewart (Stewart, born 25 March 1916 in Farnham Park, Bangor)

James Templeton’s first wife was Margaret (Maggie) Suffern, and they were married on 25 December 1894 in Fitzroy Avenue Presbyterian Church, Belfast.  They had two children:

Elizabeth Suffern (born 13 April 1895 at 27 Shankill Road, Belfast)

Margaret Scott (born 8 January 1897 at 27 Shankill Road, Belfast)

Maggie Templeton died of typhoid fever at 27 Shankill Road, Belfast on 31 October 1897 (aged 27) and she was buried in Belfast City Cemetery (Grave F1. 154).

Prior to joining the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1940 Arthur Moore Templeton was on the staff at the Head Office of the Belfast Banking Company and he was prominently identified with the Scout Movement in Bangor – as was his brother William Stewart Templeton.

On 10 January 1940 William Stewart Templeton was killed in Bangor ‘in a black-out accident’.  It was reported in the 13 January 1940 edition of the County Down Spectator that ‘death was caused by fracture of the base of the skull and laceration of the brain the result of deceased being accidentally thrown from his push bicycle when he collided with a pedestrian’.

Stewart Templeton (aged 23) was returning home from a Boy Scout meeting in Bangor.  He was buried in his scout uniform in Bangor Cemetery and his brother Moore attended the funeral.  Not long after Stewart’s death, Moore Templeton joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.

On 14 November 1942 Moore Templeton and Esme Joan Dawson were married in Harehills Lane Methodist Church, Leeds.  Esme was a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) and her sister Audrey was her bridesmaid.  The duties of best man were performed by Moore Templeton’s RAF comrade, Harry Megarry from Bangor.  Harry Megarry’s brother Sergeant Herbert Reginald Megarry had been killed in a flying accident on 18 May 1940.

Less than three months after his wedding, Sergeant Arthur Moore Templeton was killed in action on 4 February 1943.  He was one of a five-man crew aboard a Vickers Wellington Mark III aircraft (BJ668) that took off at 6.26 pm from RAF Croft in Durham on a mission to bomb the Keroman Submarine Base (German U-boats) in Lorient, France.  The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed at Ploemeur in Morbihan.  Pilot Officer A.J.B. Thompson was the only survivor, and he was taken Prisoner-of-War.  In addition to Sergeant Arthur Moore Templeton, the other three crew members who died and were buried in Guidel Communal Cemetery were:

  • Flying Officer Cuthbert Michael Parsons (aged 22) from Guildford, Surrey; his brother, Peter Francis Parsons, also died on active service
  • Sergeant Peter Sandover (aged 20) from Ivybridge, Devon
  • Sergeant Hughie Francis Davies (aged 19) from Tregayan, Anglesey

Sergeant Arthur Moore Templeton (No. 1071533) was 30 when he died and he is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial; in Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bangor (as A. Moore Templeton); on the Belfast Banking Company Second World War Memorial Plaque (now in Danske Bank, Donegall Square West, Belfast) and on the family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery.

Sergeant Arthur Moore Templeton’s father James died on 14 August 1956 and his mother Mary died on 21 June 1965.