Jeremy Moore

Jeremy Moore was the commander of the land forces involved in liberating the Falkland Islands from Argentine control. The following obituary was published in the Telegraph on his death:

Already well known within the Royal Marines and the British Army as a gallant officer, the Falklands War in 1982 made Moore a household name in Britain, most of the English-speaking world, and in Argentina. Moore was on the point of retiring from the Royal Marines when the Argentines invaded the islands on April 2 1982.

The day before, while the Argentine invasion fleet was at sea, he had been handing back command of the Royal Marines to the Commandant General, Lieutenant-General Sir Steuart Pringle, who had just returned from convalescing after losing a leg in an IRA bomb attack.

Moore was briefing Pringle in the Ministry of Defence while on the floor below the Royal Navy was preparing to sail a fleet. Amazingly, the Navy omitted to warn the Royal Marines that they might be required and he returned to his headquarters in Plymouth that evening, only to be woken early next morning with news of the invasion.

Having dispatched 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines to the South Atlantic, Moore moved his headquarters to Northwood in Middlesex. There, deep in the underground "hole", he found a staff which had prepared to wage war on the Soviet navy in the North Atlantic, and he quickly injected some realism about the coming amphibious war to regain the islands.

Moore remained at Northwood until the initial landings on the Falklands by 3 Commando Brigade when he flew south to join the Queen Elizabeth II at Ascension Island with 5 Infantry Brigade which, with 3 Commando Brigade, would form his command, Land Forces Falkland Islands.

Unfortunately, the communications in the liner were faulty, and until he arrived in the theatre of operations he was unaware of what orders the Northwood Headquarters had been giving 3 Commando Brigade, in the islands during the 10 days he had been incommunicado.

He was therefore, in tactical terms, faced with something of a fait accompli on arrival, in that the Battle of Goose Green had been fought and won, and the decisions on the axis of advance out of the beachhead to Port Stanley had already been made.

Later Moore was to express regret that he had not arranged to arrive ahead of the QE2 by parachute (he was a qualified parachutist). However, he endorsed what had been put in train, and set out to complete the final repossession of the islands.

Having worked at Northwood, and seen the pressure under which the Task Force Commander was placed almost daily by Margaret Thatcher and members of her war cabinet, Moore knew that one of his many duties was to be as up-beat as possible, within the constraints of veracity, in his signalled reports home each day.

His signals, which he privately dubbed the "daily rubbish", were chatty in style, full of optimistic predictions, and did the trick; Northwood, the chiefs of staff, and, presumably, the war cabinet, were well-satisfied. Moore's command style was to give his subordinates their mission, and leave them to decide how they would carry it out. Meanwhile he spent most of each day forward, visiting all the units under his command so they could acquaint themselves with him, and he with them. The culmination of his military career was the surrender of all the Argentine forces on the Falklands on June 14 1982. John Jeremy Moore was born on July 5 1928 into a military family. His maternal grandfather was wounded in a cavalry charge at Tel-el-Kebir in 1880 and later commanded the 4th Hussars.

Both his paternal grandfather, who rose from private in the York & Lancaster Regiment, and his father, an officer in the King's Regiment, were awarded the Military Cross in 1916. His father went out to India when the boy was six years old and they saw little of each other until young Moore was himself serving. Moore was educated at Cheltenham College, where his careers master advised against an "ordinary decent plodder like Jeremy" joining the Navy, since there was no hope of his gaining a place in the face of the very steep competition. But Moore wanted to fly with the Fleet Air Arm and in those days there were Royal Marine pilots; almost on the off-chance, he sat the entrance exam and to everyone's surprise passed in fifth among some 70 starters.

As he observed later, by not joining the Fleet Air Arm he was almost certainly saved from killing himself during the 1950s in the many dangerous and unpredictable early types of carrier-borne jet aircraft.

Moreover, he "was given the opportunity to discover that Marines are vastly more exciting, more interesting, and more rewarding to serve with than any piece of machinery".

He enjoyed his first appointment to the cruiser Sirius in 1948 where his boss, who was about to leave the service to read Law and afterwards became a distinguished QC, left him to run the Royal Marine detachment.

His love of soldiering blossomed during a tour with 40 Commando RM in Malaya, during the campaign against the Communist insurgency, and he was awarded his first MC in 1952 after he and his men of X Troop fought a fierce pitched battle. From 40 Commando, he was sent to instruct at the NCOs' school, where his Malayan experience was put to good use teaching leadership and tactics to potential corporals. Later training appointments included Sandhurst and the officers' wing of the Commando Training Centre.

In 1962 he was a company commander in 42 Commando during the Brunei revolt. Rebels had seized the town of Limbang and taken a number of hostages, including the British resident and his wife. After being towed up river in two commandeered lighters commanded by the then Lieutenant Jeremy Black, Moore's company assaulted the town, and after a brisk fight freed all the hostages unharmed.

The action cost Moore's company five dead and eight wounded. Out of the enemy force of 350 rebels at Limbang, 15 were killed and 50 captured: the remainder escaped into the jungle. Moore was awarded a Bar to his Military Cross. The next time Black and Moore went to war together was in the Falklands, when Black was captain of the carrier Invincible.

Following graduation in 1964 from the Australian Army Staff College, Moore served on the staff of 17 Gurkha Division, under the legendary Major-General Walter Walker, then responsible for the prosecution of the confrontation campaign against Indonesia in Borneo.

From the Far East, Moore was sent to his only job in the Ministry of Defence as one of the team of assistant secretaries to the chiefs of staff committee. The then secretary was Major-General John Gibbon, who had a low tolerance of fools, and a temper renowned far beyond Whitehall. His withering comments struck terror in the hearts of the inefficient and those incapable of writing clear English, but Moore thrived in this regime.

In 1972-73 Moore commanded 42 Commando Royal Marines on two tours to Northern Ireland, including participating in Operation Motorman, the demolishing of the IRA's self-proclaimed "no-go areas"; 42 Commando flourished under Moore and gained a reputation for its "can do" attitude and style. Moore was appointed OBE.

From 42 Commando he went as commandant to the Royal Marines School of Music. He confessed: "I have no musical education and less than no performing ability (my family assure me even in the bath), but music is one of my principal pleasures." Command of 3 Commando Brigade followed, when he expanded the Royal Marines' commitment to the northern flank of Nato from a commando group to a brigade-sized force.

In 1979 he was promoted to major-general and appointed to command Commando Forces, from which post he was due to retire when Pringle was severely injured by an IRA bomb under his car.

Moore, as senior major-general in the corps, took over temporarily, still spending the majority of his time in his own command, while the chief of staff, Major-General Michael Wilkins, who should have relieved Moore in April, remained in Whitehall to mind the shop. Thus Moore was still in command of Royal Marines Commando Forces when the balloon went up in the South Atlantic. For his service in the Falklands War Moore was appointed KCB.

On retiring from the Royal Marines, Moore had a 15-month spell of unemployment before becoming director-general of the Food and Drink Federation. This was not to his liking, and he left after a year.

Following this he undertook a number of part-time activities, including lecturing on leadership, three non-executive directorships, some consultancy work, and a period advising the House of Commons Select Committee on Defence. He also qualified as a guide at Wells Cathedral, which he much enjoyed. He was Colonel Commandant of the Royal Marines between 1990 and 1993. A pub was named after him in Plymouth.

He was delighted to have been invited to join the Prince of Wales to review the thousands of Falklands veterans who participated in the National Commemoration on Horse Guards Parade and the subsequent march down the Mall on June 17 2007. In recent years he coped with arthritis and prostate cancer and on the weekend before his death he relished the opportunity to take the salute at the annual reunion of the Royal Marines' Association at Lympstone in Devon.

Jeremy Moore married, in 1966, Veryan Acworth; she survives him with their son and two daughters.

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