John Wilson ( Aka as Moore)

John was born in 1887, his mother was Alice Wilson. She was unmarried at the time of his birth.

He was baptised in St. Mary’s Church, Saxlingham Nethergate on 3 June 1888.

In November 1890 she married William Moore in St. Mary’s Church, Saxlingham Nethergate, he was a bricklayer. They lived on Pitts Hill, Saxlingham Nethergate.

In the Census records William describes John as his son, however when John married, his father’s name is left blank.

John had several siblings;

William F Moore born 1891

Albert G born 1893

Alice E born 1895

Walter born 1897

Gertrude S born 1899

Arthur C born 1901

Edith Minne born 1902, died 1903

Robert born 1904

John attended Saxlingham Nethergate Church and was in the choir.

 He was also a talented bell ringer. He rang in several peals at Saxlingham Nethergate before the First World War. There is no record of his having rung any peals later in life.

In 1911 the family were living at Tower Cottage, Saxlingham Thorpe. He was working as a domestic gardener.

Tower Cottage, Saxlingham Thorpe

On 30 April 1912 he joined the 4th Norfolk Territorial Regiment. He was 5 feet 7 inches tall with 34 inch chest. He gave his occupation as footman for Reverend R. W. Pitt. His next of kin was given as his mother Alice Moore, Saxlingham Thorpe.

 Many young men joined the Territorial regiments whilst having other occupations. They had no expectation that they would be required to go to war when they joined.

He commenced preliminary training on 10 May 1912. By 25 October he had completed 45 drills and attended the annual training between 27 July and 10 August 1912.

It is presumed that he continued the training during 1913.

On 5 August 1914 when war broke out the men in the Territorial regiments were called up.  He was embodied and promoted to Corporal. He remained in England.

On 27 December 1914 John married Julia Foxhall, born 15 September 1890, in St. Mary’s Church, Saxlingham Nethergate.

The following report appeared in the Eastern Daily Press on 1 January 1915.

A large number of parishioners assembled at the parish church on Wednesday to witness the marriage ceremony performed by the Rev. R. W. Pitt between Miss Julia Foxhall of Dereham and Corporal Frederick Wilson of Saxlingham Thorpe, C Company 4th Battalion Norfolk Regiment. The service was fully choral, the hymn ‘How Welcome was the Call ‘ being sung as the bride passed down the aisle and the hymn ‘ O Father all creating was also rendered. Miss Maples presided at the organ and played the wedding march as the happy couple left the church. The bride who was given away by her sister was attired in a tailor made costume of navy blue with hat to match and was attended by two bridesmaids, Miss Mary Howes and Miss Elsie Secker- who wore brown costumes and hats to match. The bridegroom was attended by his brother Private Albert George Wilson, 4th Battalion Norfolk Regiment as best man.

Other members of the battalion who were on leave were also present at the ceremony.The happy couple were taken from the church in the Rev.R.W. Pitt’s motor car. After the ceremony a large number of guests were entertained by Rev. R.W. Pitt in the old schoolroom. The presents were numerous and costly including an armchair from Rev. and Mrs. Pitt, a tea service from the indoor and outdoor staff at Saxlingham Rectory and a dinner service and tumblers from the church choir of which the bridegroom was a member.

( It mentions the best man as being Albert George Wilson but it would have been Albert George Moore. The reporter assumed they had the same surname)

John served in the Norfolk Regiment until 3 August 1915 when he was discharged as being unfit for military service. He did not serve abroad.

John and Julia had a son, Ernest Frederick born 10 October 1915. He was baptised in the church in Witton, Norfolk on 16 February 1916. At that time John and Julia lived in the village and he was working as a chauffeur.

John died in December 1931. It is not known of what he died.

In 1939 Julia was living in 8 Exeter Street, Norwich and their son, Ernest was an aircraft engineer living in lodgings in Bilbrook, Staffordshire.

He continued to live in that area and his mother died there in 1976.


England & Wales, Birth, marriage, death index 1837-2005

UK Census Collection

1939 Register-

Norfolk Electoral Rolls-Southern Division Saxlingham Nethergate and Thorpe,  (Absent Voters Lists 1918-1920)

British Army Service Records

Norfolk, Church of England Diocesan Baptismal Records, Saxlingham Nethergate,  Witton, & Banns of marriage, East Dereham.

St Mary’s Church Saxlingham Marriage records (transcribed by Mary Muir)

Photographs of bell ringers,  St Mary’s Church, Saxlingham Nethergate.

Photograph of Tower Cottage, courtesy of Michael Wilkinson, Newton Flotman

Eastern Daily Press Newspaper, 1 January 1915, page 2

If anyone has any photographs or information about this person, please contact me. Email