Date of birth: 1890
Date of death: 05.07.1916
Area: Outwood, Wakefield
Regiment: King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Family information: Husband of Annie Mary Moody nee Gelder
Rank: Lance Corporal
Service number: 15417
Shortly after the outbreak of war Lord Kitchener called for volunteers to re-enforce the British Expeditionary Force in France. The 6th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry was formed by men from the West Riding who were first to answer the call and included many miners. One of these miners was Thomas Arthur Moody.
The 6th Battalion was formed at Pontefract on the 12th August 1914 and attached to 43rd Brigade, 14th (Light) Division. After completion of their training, on the 21st May 1915, the 6th KOYLI travelled via Folkestone to Boulogne to join the British Expeditionary Force in France.
The 6th KOYLI, with the 14th Division, marched towards the front and on the 30th May arrived at Bailleul, twelve miles south-west of Ypres. After a week digging trenches at Neuve Eglise, the 6th KOYLI joined the Sherwood Foresters for a period of training and instruction in trench warfare. On the 15th June, when attached to the Sherwood Foresters, two mines were blown under the trenches occupied by the 6th KOYLI, causing nineteen casualties.
That same month the 6th KOYLI went into the line at the Menin Road near Hooge. During the weeks that followed the battalion suffered casualties from enemy shelling, particularly around Zouave Wood and Sanctuary Wood. The battalion was not involved in the Battle of Loos in September 1915, or in any other major attacks, however they were participants in minor attacks and were constantly under shellfire when in the trenches.
The 6th KOYLI remained within the Ypres Salient, with the 14th Division, throughout the winter months. However, in June 1916, the Division moved to an area south of Arras with the 6th KOYLI going into the trenches near Agny. Their position, about twelve miles to the north, was to be the left flank of the British attack on the Somme, on 1st July 1916. This attack was preceded by an intense bombardment of the enemy lines, lasting over a week. The 6th KOYLI remained in their positions, continuing with normal routine trench operations, but were continually under fire from the enemy artillery and snipers.
The battalion’s position at this time was in the vicinity of the mine shaft at trench J91. The mine shaft attracted fire from the enemy howitzers and field guns on a daily basis. One such occasion was during the afternoon of 5th July, when a new gun registered on J91 from far away on the battalion’s right. It was not until 18.15 hrs that our guns retaliated.
It was here, on the 5th July 1916, that Lance Corporal Arthur Moody was killed in action. He was buried in the Faubourg D’Amiens Cemetery, formerly a French Military Cemetery, situated in the western district of the town of Arras. The cemetery was handed over for British use in the spring of 1916 and used by field ambulance and fighting units until the Armistice. The cemetery now has 2,650 Commonwealth graves from the First World War.
Thomas Arthur Moody was born on 18th January 1890, the sixth son of William and Emma Moody. He was baptised on 16th February 1890 at St Mary Magdalene Church, Outwood, when the family were living at Leeds Road, Outwood. Shortly afterwards the family moved to Coach Road, Outwood, where a seventh son was born. His father William Moody was a horse keeper at the local colliery. On leaving school, Thomas Arthur Moody followed in the family footsteps and obtained work at the colliery. In 1907 he married Annie Mary Gelder, the daughter of George and Emma Gelder of Leeds Road, Newton. In 1911 Arthur, his wife Mary and their two children were living at the home of his widowed mother in law, Emma Gelder, at 74, Stanley Road, Wakefield. At this time Thomas Arthur Moody was working as a coal miner.