THOMAS MOORFOOT – One good turn deserves another.

MRNZ's Ian Martyn reunites Pte. Moorfoot's medals with his great-grandson, Jeremy McCann

MRNZ’s founder Ian Martyn reunites Pte. Moorfoot’s medals with his great-grandson, Jeremy McCann.

29282  PTE. Thomas MOORFOOT – 1st Canterbury Infantry Battalion, 18th Reinf, NZEF.   

The return of a medal by MRNZ in May to a North Shore descendant of Pte. Alexander Westwood CRAIG had an unexpected and happy consequence.   After successfully researching the ancestors of her husband’s family, Barry C’s wife Julie took a look at our ‘Lost Trails’ website page and decided to see if she could do a little sleuthing to try and make any connections.  As a result, Julie posted the following message to an Ancestry family tree member:  

Hi Jeremy, I noticed on your tree that you have Thomas Moorfoot WW1 killed in action, wife Ann Marie Frances Blackett m 1913 NZ. The reason I am emailing you is that we have just been reunited with a great uncles WW1 medal from Medals Reunited NZ, and on their list of medals that they are trying to find relatives for is a medal for Thomas Moorfoot, Pte, 29282. If you are interested or know of any family related to T Moorfoot, you can get his medals (they don’t charge). The website is medalsreunitednz.co.nz and their email address is [email protected]  My name is Julie C**** if you want to get in touch with me please email me on *******

Thomas Moorfoot was a Yorkshireman who had immigrated to New Zealand, and later married Anne Marie Frances BLACKETT in 1913.  At the outbreak of WW1, Pte. Moorfoot, a Labourer, volunteered for service and subsequently enlisted into the Canterbury Infantry Battalion.  He was living with his wife Anne in High Street, Rangiora, later moving to the High Street in East Oxford.  After his basic training at the Featherston and Trentham Camps, Pte. Moorfoot embarked for the Western Front at Lyttelton for war service with the 18th Reinforcements of the 1st Canterbury Infantry Battalion in October 1916. The British War Medal and Victory Medal of 29282 Pte. Thomas MOORFOOT were offered to MRNZ from a deceased estate if we would try and have them returned to the deceased WW1 soldier’s family. 

In August 1917 whilst in France, Pte. Moorfoot sustained a severe gun-shot wound to the thigh from which he recovered and was returned to the field.   On 11 November 1918, approximately 10 weeks prior to the Armistice being declared, Pte. Moorfoot was shot and Killed In Action during the Battle of Bapaume in France.  he is buried in the Grevillers British Cemetery, France – Pte. Moorfoot was 40 years of age. 

Within hours of Julie C’s post on Ancestry, I received an email from Jeremy McC. of Christchurch along with some documentary evidence of his connection to Pte. Thomas MOORFOOT.  Jeremy’s grandmother, Evelyn Victoria Moorfoot had been the youngest of Thomas’s three daughters (Nelly and Rita) therefore Jeremy was Pte. Moorfoot’s maternal great-grandson.  A few Electoral Roll and archival checks of my own confirmed Jeremy’s claim.

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I phoned Jeremy the next day and arranged to meet him at work whereupon he produced a number of birth certificates as proof of his lineage and links to Pte. Moorfoot.   Jeremy is now the proud custodian of his maternal great-grandfather’s WW1 war medals which will be mounted and displayed alongside the WW2 medals of his maternal grandfather, 10404 Pte. Fred Jones 2NZEF …. MRNZ Case #31 – closed.

Great-Grandfather - Pte. Moorfoot's WW1 medals.

Great-Grandfather – Pte. Moorfoot’s WW1 medals.

Grandfather - Pte. Jones WW2 medals.

Grandfather – Pte. Jones’ WW2 medals.

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