Fred Moore

©Musée de l'ordre de la Libération

Colonel Fred Moore, Honorary Chancellor of the Order of Liberation, 8 April 1920 - 16 September 2017

Fred Moore was born in Brest on 8 April 1920. He was brought up in Amiens, where his father, a former officer of the Royal Navy who became a French citizen in 1926, opened a shop in 1921.

After completing his schooling at the Lycée d’Amiens, Moore trained as an optician at the École Nationale d’Optique, in Morez, in the Jura.

Too young to be mobilised, in May 1940 he enlisted as a volunteer with the 117th Air Battalion stationed at Chartres, but was not allowed to join his unit.

Having gained his driving licence in 1938, Moore was eventually assigned to the 1st Transport Regiment, before taking part in the Dakar expedition in September 1940.

Sent for cadet training at Camp Colonna d’Ornano, Brazzaville, in December 1940, on 14 July 1941 he was appointed a junior officer and sent to Beirut to serve with the Levant forces.

On 1 September 1941, he was assigned to the Moroccan Spahis, as leader of 2nd Platoon, 1st Squadron of the Army Corps Reconnaissance Group (GRCA), in Damascus, in training for the Libya campaign.

In April 1942, he went to Egypt with his unit, which soon became the 1st Infantry Regiment of Moroccan Spahis (1st RMSM). From then on, as leader of the 2nd Reconnaissance Platoon, he took part in all the campaigns with 1st Squadron, 1st RMSM, fighting in Egypt, then Libya.

In 1943, Moore distinguished himself in Tunisia, in particular on 6 March at Oued Gragour, where, outnumbered, he engaged his platoon with dogged determination against enemy armour, holding them back twice. This delaying action gave time for the bulk of the troops to arrive and defeat the enemy. In April, he took part in the fighting around Djebel Fadeloun with General Leclerc’s “Force L”.

In July 1943, he was assigned for a month and a half to General de Gaulle’s guard of honour in Algiers, before returning to the 1st RMSM in Morocco, where the 2nd Armoured Division (2nd DB) was being formed.

On 10 April 1944, he embarked at Oran for England with his unit.

Promoted in June 1944 to the rank of lieutenant, Moore landed at Grandcamp, Normandy, with the 2nd DB, on 2 August 1944. He fought in Normandy as commander of 2nd Platoon, 5th Squadron (the renamed 1st Squadron) of the 1st RMSM. Between 15 and 29 August 1944, he and his platoon put three German anti-tank guns out of action and captured over a hundred prisoners and a significant amount of equipment, losing only two men in the process.

In the liberation of Paris on 25 August 1944, he played an active part in the taking of the École Militaire, then, on 27 August, in the battle of Dugny-Le Bourget, at Seine-Saint-Denis.

Next came the Vosges campaign where, showing boldness and initiative, on 23 September 1944 he joined the fighting in the Mondon Forest, inflicting heavy material and human losses on the enemy at Buriville, on the Luneville-Strasbourg road.

In the Alsace campaign, he fought actively at Mittelbronn near Sarrebourg on 20 November, in the liberation of Strasbourg on 23 November, then in the taking of Plobsheim, Krafft and Gerstheim on 28, 29 and 30 November.

In April 1945, Lieutenant Moore took part in operations on the La Rochelle front, before participating in the final combats in Germany.

After being demobilised in April 1946, he opened his own optician’s shop in Amiens.

Promoted to the rank of reserve captain in 1950, Moore was called up again in May 1956 and assigned to the 6th Regiment of Moroccan Spahis. He served in Algeria until November 1956, as commander of 4th Squadron.

He was promoted successively within the reserve, first to squadron commander in October 1958, then to lieutenant-colonel in 1966 and colonel in 1971. He was commanding officer of the 54th Divisional Infantry Regiment (RID) of the Oise from 1962 to 1978.

He was made an honorary colonel on 8 April 1982.

Elected as a member of parliament for Amiens (the first constituency of the Somme department) in 1958, he served as a technical advisor to the Ministry of Industry (1962-64) and as a member of the Economic Council (1964-66). In 1969, he retired from all his political functions to devote himself to his work as an optician.

Between 1969 and 1974, he was national vice-chairman of the Order of Opticians, chairman and CEO of Société Industrielle de Développement Électronique et Nucléaire (SIDEN), and also served on the boards of a number of companies.

From 1977 to 1982, he was general secretary of the French opticians union and its European equivalent, EUROM.

In March 2004, Moore was appointed a member of the board of the Order of Liberation; by decree of 11 October 2011, he succeeded François Jacob as the Order’s chancellor.

On 16 November 2012, he was appointed general secretary of the Order of Liberation’s governing body, the Conseil National des Communes “Compagnon de la Libération”. After having his appointment renewed in October 2015, he retired from his functions in January 2017 and was made Honorary Chancellor of the Order of Liberation.

Fred Moore died on 16 September 2017 in Paris, where he is buried.

• Grand Croix of the Legion of Honour

• Compagnon de la Libération, by decree of 17 November 1945

• Croix de Guerre 1939-45 (various citations)

• Médaille des Evadés

• Médaille Coloniale, with additions for “Libya” and “Tunisia”

• Croix du Combattant Volontaire 1939-45

• Croix du Combattant Volontaire de la Résistance

• Officier des Palmes Académiques

• Médaille des Services Militaires Volontaires

• Médaille Commémorative des Services Volontaires dans la France Libre

• Médaille Commémorative des Opérations de Sécurité et de Maintien de l’Ordre en Algérie

• Presidential Unit Citation (USA)

• Officer of the Order of Nichan Iftikhar (Tunisia)

• Officer of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite (Morocco)


Publication :
• « Toujours Français Libre ! », Elytis, Bordeaux 2014


ITW [P. 5] Les Chemins de la Mémoire-n°232 - Déc. 2012/Jan. 2013 (in French)
Remembrance sites | Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération