Charlie Moore (Australian rules footballer)

Charlie Moore (Australian rules footballer)
Charles Moore
Personal information
Birth 24 September 1875(1875-09-24),
Recruited from Albert Park Football Club
Death 12 May 1901(1901-05-12) (aged 25),
Kwaggashoek Farm,
Orange Free State,
South Africa
Playing career¹
Debut 3 July 1897 (Round 9),
Essendon v.
Collingwood, at
Victoria Park

Essendon (1897-1899)

  • 30 games, 34 goals
¹ Statistics to end of 1899 season
Career highlights

Essendon Leading Goalkicker, 1898 (20 goals)

Walter Charles "Charlie" Moore (24 September 1875 – 12 May 1901) was an Australian rules footballer who played for Essendon Football Club in the Victorian Football League (VFL), and who also served as a trooper in the Anglo-Boer War.

He was the first Fijian-born player in the VFL/AFL.

Walter Moore was the first VFL player to die in active service in any war.[1]


Private life

The third son (the sixth child of twelve) of George Moore (1843–1925) and Elizabeth Jane née Cazaly (1845–1924),[2] Walter Charles Moore was born in Fiji on 24 September 1875.[3]

His mother was the aunt of Roy Cazaly;[4] making Moore Cazaly's cousin. His eldest sister, Edith (1868–1907), was married to Sir Francis Pratt Winter (1848–1919).

Moore married Rose Alice Walters (1872–1924) on 9 May 1898 at Fitzroy, Victoria;[5] they had one child, George Clarence Leonard Moore (1898–1967), born in Collingwood on 8 November 1898.[6]

His father the Hon. George Moore, originally a soldier, worked as a government official in Fiji from 1872. In 1876 he was appointed as the first Government Surveyor; in 1880 was promoted to Staff Surveyor; and in 1899 he became the Commissioner of Lands, Works, and Water Supply, and the Crown Surveyor.[7] He was awarded the Imperial Service Order for his service in 1903.[8]

At the time of Moore's death in South Africa, his father resided in Fiji,[9] and his mother and sister lived at 46 St Vincent Place, Albert Park — the street surrounding the park in which a memorial to Charlie Moore would later be erected.[10]

He attended Albert Park State School.[11]


Moore played for the Albert Park Football Club — and possibly the South Melbourne Football Club — in the Victorian Football Association before playing in the VFL.[12]

Moore made his debut for Essendon in the first season of the VFL, on 3 July 1897, against Collingwood at Victoria Park.[13]

Although short (169 cm/ 5' 6½"), Moore played at full-forward for Essendon. At a time when a team's best goal-kicker usually played at centre-half forward, he was their leading goal-kicker in 1898 (his first full season) with 20 goals.[14] In just 15 games he came fifth in the competition's goal-kicking list.[15]

In three seasons he played a total of 30 senior games for Essendon, kicking 34 goals.[16]

In the 1898 VFL Grand Final, Moore played against Fitzroy's Stan Reid who would also die in the Boer War. Moore kicked one goal in Essendon's loss to Fitzroy[17]

    In the Geelong game at East Melbourne (viz., Round 12 on Saturday 29 July 1899), according to "The Argus", all hell broke loose when "Moore, the Essendon forward, marked just outside kicking distance and Thompson (Geelong) was holding him ... Moore struggled and in doing so struck Thompson ... as Moore stood back McShane (Geelong) ran up and deliberately struck him behind the ear.
    "Moore swung around to hit his assailant, and in doing so struck the umpire on the mouth."[18]


In addition to his footballing skills, Moore was also an excellent swimmer, and a highly talented boxer. In the early days of his sojourn in South Africa, Moore showed off his sporting prowess by winning the Regiment boxing competition and being runner up in the swimming competition:

    Christmas Day 25 December 1900.
    We camped and organised a sports day, the chief and ever popular item being a boxing competition — light hitting and sparring for points. Well, all morning they banged away till only three stalwarts remained — Charles Moore being the favourite. After rest and refreshment Sergeant Sanderson came into the ring seeking for a knockout. Tall and strong he made it a rushing bout, but never a blow got home. Moore danced nimbly away watching his chance then hooked the Sergeant, just one to the chin, it proved sufficient. Last man in — short thick set and powerful — he tried much the same tactics as Sanderson, with identical results. He couldn't hit the favourite, who cleverly evaded each attack, waited for an opening, then got one home which knocked the other man right out under the ropes, where he lay wondering just what struck him. Light tapping for points you say. Well the pace may have been a bit merry, but that's how they did it in the army. Poor Charlie Moore, who also aimed at being the regiments crack swimmer, but here he bumped into Frank Felstead — a lighter built man with just the right build for surging through water with little apparent effort, so Corporal Moore had to rest content with second place and he was a bad loser.[19]


According to a fellow trooper in South Africa, Moore was "university trained, gifted, and well fitted to lead men and gain respect from his comrades".[19]

Following the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War, Moore enlisted in the Imperial Military Forces in the Fourth Victoria (Colonial) Imperial Bushmen's Contingent. The stated requirement for enlistment was that candidates must be capable horsemen, and have a certain amount of bush experience. According to (Main & Allen, (2002), pp. 3,5), The Official Records of the Military Contingents to the War in South Africa noted that:

    At the request of the Imperial Government, which desired that a corps of seasoned bushmen, bold riders, and sharpshooters, should be enrolled, capable of contending with a guerilla enemy, this [Fourth (Imperial)] Contingent was raised.The officers and men were to serve directly under the Imperial Government and be subject entirely to it. The period of service was limited to twelve months or the duration of the war."[20]

At the time of his enlistment, Moore listed his occupation as "chainman", which indicated that his work was with surveying teams in the bush,[21] and, in particular, that he was responsible for the application of the Gunter's chain. At the time, his height was measured at 5' 6¼" (168.25cm), and his chest at 36in (91.5cm).[22]

Corporal Moore left Australia for South Africa on 1 May 1900, with the Fourth (Imperial) Contingent, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Kelly,[23]

According to a fellow trooper, soon after Moore arrived in South Africa, he was demoted to Private for getting "too big for his boots", and having "looked upon the wine when it was red"[24]

On 12 May 1901, Moore was part of a reconnaissance squad patrolling in the location of the Toorberg Mountain above the Doornbosch Farm[25] when they came across and engaged a group of Boers.[26]

In the ensuing battle, Moore had his horse shot out from underneath him, and he took cover behind the body of the fallen horse. He was then seriously wounded when a Boer bullet hit him in the waist, having passed through the body of the dead horse.

Moore eventually killed his Boer opponent after eight shots, and had struggled back to a ridge and was crawling along it on his hands and knees when his mates found him. They took the gravely wounded Moore to the nearby Kwaggashoek Farmhouse.[27] He died of his wounds that night; a contemporary South Melbourne newspaper claimed that Moore "was the first man of the Imperial Contingent to die of gunshot wounds".[28]

He was originally buried near to where he died; his body was later exhumed and he is now buried in the Dutch Reformed Church cemetery, Somerset East, Eastern Cape, South Africa.


A view of the drinking fountain erected by public subscription as a memorial to Charles Moore at St Vincent Gardens, Albert Park (the fountain is in the centre of the photograph).

Charles Moore is commemorated on war memorials at:

See also


  1. ^ Main, J. & Allen, D., "Moore, Charles", pp.3-6 in Main & Allen (2002)
  2. ^ Both his parents were born in England. Genealogical Chart: Cazaly (Fourth Generation)
  3. ^ Although both Main & Allen (2002), p.3 and Australians in the Boer War, Oz-Boer Database Project, Full Record: Charles Moore (301)) state that he was born in Albert Park, the evidence of Genealogical Chart: Cazaly (Fifth Generation), obviously constructed from detailed birth records, which states that he was born in Fiji is far more persuasive.
  4. ^ Main & Allen (2002), p.5; see Cazaly Family Tree
  5. ^ See Cazaly Family Tree; Genealogical Chart: Cazaly (Fifth Generation)
  6. ^ Genealogical Chart: Cazaly (Sixth Generation)
  7. ^ George Moore is listed as "Commissioner of Lands, Fiji" in the Who's Who of 1902 (p.919), as "Commissioner of Lands, Works, and Water Supply, and Crown Surveyor, Fiji" in the Who's Whoof 1903, and as "Late Commissioner of Lands, Works, and Water Supply, and Crown Surveyor, Fiji" in the Who's Whoof 1915 (p.527) and 1916 (p.1577).
  8. ^ The Who's Who entries also state that he was awarded an Imperial Service Order in 1903; the award of which implies long service (see Imperial Service Order).
  9. ^ Both the Who's Whoof 1915 (p.527) and 1916 (p.1577) list his address as "Suva".
  10. ^ Main & Allen (2002), p.6.
  11. ^ As did Will Dyson (1880–1938); Herbert Norman Warren (1888–1950) Federation and Meteorology: Warren, Herbert Norman (references) Bright Sparcs Biography: Warren, Herbert Norman (1888–1950); Frank Beaurepaire (1891–1956) Albert Park State School Swimming Club. Boy's Champion Team (1905–1906); Roy Cazaly (1893–1963); John Linton Treloar (1894–1952), [, Australian War Memorial Collection Record: Photograph of Albert Park State School Football Club 1908; Bertram Denman Langford (1896–1918) Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour: Sapper Bertram Denman Langford (5905) [ The AIF Project: Bertram Denman Langford, James Disney (1896–1952) Dictionary of Biography: Disney, Sir James Stanley (1896–1952) Re-Member: Disney, Sir James Stanley, Nell McLarty (1912–1998) Cricinfo: Nell McLarty (Australia) Streets of South Melbourne: McLarty Lane, Albert Park).
  12. ^ Maplestone (1996), pp.430-439 has the records of all those who played for Essendon in the VFA. Moore's name does not appear as an Essendon VFA player. Thus, his first senior VFL game, in round 9 of 1897, was also his first game for the Essendon Football Club.
  13. ^ Maplestone (1996), p.440; AFL Statistics (Round by Round) — Essendon 1897.
  14. ^ Essendon Football Honour Board [1]; Maplestone (1996),p.373.
  15. ^ Archie "Snapper" Smith of Collingwood, who had played 18 games, had scored 31 goals. 1898 VFL Goalkickers List.
  16. ^ AFL Statistics: Charlie Moore.
  17. ^ Rogers & Brown (1998).
  18. ^ Maplestone (1996), p.55. Moore was not reported for this incident.AFL Historical Statistics: Tribunal -- 1899.
  19. ^ a b Nemaric, (2000), pp.10-11. Quoting directly from an account that appears in the memoirs of Rupert Lowe (1879-1965), of Geelong, who had served along with Moore in the Fourth Victoria (Colonial) Imperial Bushmen's Contingent.
  20. ^ Although Main & Allen do not explicitly say so, this paragraph was directly taken from Murray, (1911), p.226.
  21. ^ In this context it is also significant that his father was the Crown Surveyor on Fiji.
  22. ^ Main & Allen, (2002), p.5.
  23. ^ Australian War Memorial Boer War Nominal Roll: Nicholas William Kelly; [ Honours and awards (gazetted): Nicholas William Kelly, Mention in Despatches (16 April 1901), Mention in Despatches (7 May 1901), Companion of the Bath (26 June 1902).
  24. ^ Nemaric, (2000), p.11. The expression "having looked upon the wine when it was red" is a euphemism for intoxication.
    The expression was first used by E. Œ. Somerville and Martin Ross (i.e., Edith Anna Somerville and Violet Florence Martin) in their series of humorous articles, first published in installments in The Badminton Magazine in 1888 and 1889, and then in aggregated book form in 1901 as Some Experiences of an Irish R.M..
    Somerville & Ross (1906), p.43: "Let it not for one instant be imagined that I had looked upon the wine of the Royal Hotel when it was red, or, indeed, any other colour; as a matter of fact, I had espied an inconspicuous corner in the entrance hall, and there I first smoked a cigarette, and subsequently sank into uneasy sleep."
    The allusion is to Proverbs 23:31: "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright."[2].
  25. ^ The Doornbosch Farm, The Toorberg mountain looking down onto the Doornbosch Farm. The South African author Etienne van Heerden's father farmed at the Doornbosch Farm.
  26. ^ Main & Allen, (2002), pp.5-6.
  27. ^ The Kwaggashoek Farm (sometimes written as Quaggashoek) is where the first traces of the deposit that is mined today at Thabazimbi were discovered.
  28. ^ a b Main & Allen, (2002), p.6.
  29. ^ Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc.: Charles Moore Memorial Drinking Fountain. The inscription on marble pillar reads: "In Memory of Charles Moore of the Aus. Imp. Regt. who fell in action 13th May 1901 (sic) at Doornborsch, South Africa during the Boer War. Aged 26 years (sic). Erected by subscription." (Main & Allen, (2002), p.4; Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc.: Charles Moore Memorial Drinking Fountain, Inscription.
  30. ^ Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc.: Ballarat Boer War Memorial (Charles Moore's name appears sixth in the third column of the inscription on the north panel of the memorial, under "4th Victorian Contingent").
  31. ^ Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc.: South Melbourne Boer War Memorial; Heraldry & Genealogy Society of Canberra Inc.: South Melbourne Boer War Memorial, Listing of those who had died whilst in service
  32. ^ Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour: Charles Moore.


  • Main, J. & Allen, D., Fallen — The Ultimate Heroes: Footballers Who Never Returned From War, Crown Content, (Melbourne), 2000. ISBN 1-740-95010-0.
  • Maplestone, M., Flying Higher: History of the Essendon Football Club 1872-1996, Essendon Football Club, (Melbourne), 1996. ISBN 0-959-17402-8
  • Murray, P.L. (ed), Official Records of the Australian Military Contingents to the War in South Africa, A.J. Mullett, Govt. Printer, (Melbourne), 1911.
  • Nemaric, P., "Rupert Lowe, 4th Victorian Mounted Rifles", Sabretache: The Journal and Proceedings of the Military Historical Society of Australia, Vol.41, No.1, (March 2000), pp. 8–14.[3]
  • Rogers, S. & Brown, A., Every Game Ever Played: VFL/AFL Results 1897-1997 (Sixth Edition), Viking Books, (Ringwood), 1998. ISBN 0-670-90809-6.
  • Somerville, E.Œ. & Ross, M., Some Experiences of an Irish R.M., Longmans, Green and Co., (London), 1906.

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