Mi Sergeant Major
- Apr 12, 2005
17th January 1921 – 16th May 2009
Fred Moore was born in Birmingham 17th January 1921. In June 1940 when Britain stood alone and the Germans were only 27 miles away across The English Channel, Winston Churchill made the decision that Britain should go on the offensive and called for a force of 5000 Paratroopers to be formed.
Fred had joined the Army as a regular soldier of the Grenadier Guards, and not relishing his static and defensive duties at Windsor Castle, he volunteered as soon as the call came for parachutists. He was one of the first 500 and thus one of the pioneer members of British Airborne Forces.
The force was at first called Number 2 Commando, and then later 11th Special Air Service Battalion, ultimately becoming 1st Battalion, The Parachute Regiment.
The 1st Parachute Brigade then went to North Africa, where after initial hazardous airborne operations by single battalions, they were used for a long time in the ground role and suffered heavy casualties. It was during this time that their opposition, the 10th German Airborne Division, gave the British Paras the nickname “The Red Devils”.
Their next airborne operation was the night attack on Primasole Bridge in Sicily. During this hard fought and narrowly successful battle Fred was wounded by a grenade and was withdrawn from the line and hospitalized for some time. The 1st and 2nd Parachute Brigades next moved to Italy where an Independent Brigade remained while the bulk of the Division returned to England and built up strength by the formation of new Parachute Battalions and an additional Glider Borne Battalion.
Fred’s next battle, after many demoralizing cancellations, was that of Arnhem, Operation ‘Market Garden’
The fighting at Arnhem saw the 1st Battalion decimated and the remnants withdrew to the defences around Oosterbeek. After some desperate and heroic days, Fred was again wounded and had to be left behind with other wounded when the remains of the Division escaped by night across the river. He then became a P.O.W in Stalag 11B until released by the advancing British forces in early 1945.
Fred’s Funeral was attended by members of British Airborne Forces ( Vic) and many Vietnam Veterans of the Boronia RSL , Fred’s twice weekly “ watering hole” .
In it’s short history British Airborne Forces have earned a reputation second to none as the following words show.
What manner of men are these who wear the maroon beret?
They are, firstly, all volunteers and are toughened by hard physical training. As a result they have that infectious optimism and that offensive eagerness which comes from physical well being. They have "jumped" from the air and by so doing have conquered fear.
Their duty lies in the van of the battle; they are proud of this honour and have never failed in any task. They have the highest standards in all things whether it be skill in Battle or smartness in the execution of all peacetime duties. They have shown themselves to be as tenacious and determined in defence as they are courageous in the attack. They are, in fact, men apart -- every man an Emperor.
Of all the factors which make for success in battle the spirit of the warrior is the most decisive. That spirit can be found in full measure in the men who wear the maroon beret.
Field Marshall The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein
It was Fred Moore and his comrades who set those standards, which are still upheld today by the young men of The Parachute Regiment who are fighting now in Afghanistan.
( Ready for anything)
Lest we forget.
British Airborne Forces Association ( Vic)