SECOND LIEUTENANT CHARLES RONALD MOORE
ROYAL FLYING CORPS
8TH MARCH 1918 AGE 18
BURIED: ACHIET-LE-GRAND COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, FRANCE
'Ron' Moore was two months short of his nineteenth birthday when, according to Flight Global (28 March 1918), he and his observer, 2nd Lieutenant Geoffrey Walter Ashdown Green, were killed when their plane crashed in flames whilst on a practise artillery patrol. To the end of her life, his mother, Katherine von Kusserow Moore, inserted an In Memoriam in The Times on the anniversary of his death:
Moore, 2nd Lt. Charles Ronald, 59th Sqdn. R.F.C. - Killed in aerial combat, March 8, 1918, aged 18. Sleeping Achiet-le-Grand Cemetery, Flanders - Mother, Con and Barney
The Times, Thursday March 8 1951
Mrs Moore died in February 1952. The next month 'Con and Barney' put the same message in The Times but they never did so again.
Charles Ronald Moore was still at school, Trinity College, Glenalmond, when the war broke out. He joined the RFC as a cadet in April 1917 and was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in September 1917. In January 1918, he was awarded his pilot's wings and although he was still only 18, he volunteered for foreign service. In February 1918, he was appointed to 59 Squadron in France and was killed the following month.
Moore's father, Charles Edwin Moore, chose his inscription. It comes from Matthew Arnold's, Sohrab and Rustum, a deeply dramatic narrative poem in which Rustum, a famous Persian warrior, kills Sohrab, the son he never knew he had, in single combat. Distraught, Rustum tries to kill himself, but the dying Sohrab stops him saying:
Desire not that, my father! thou must live.
For some are born to do great deeds and live,
As some are born to be obscur'd and die.
Do thou the deeds I die too young to do.
It's rather a strange inscription for a father to choose for his son - some people are born to do great things in their lives and others to die without achieving anything. Many families felt that dying in the service of your country was some form of 'great deed'. To Charles Moore, however, his eighteen-year-old son had had an unfulfilled life. And was he also feeling, as many survivors felt, an obligation to be worthy of the dead in their own future lives.