Born: 23 December 1914 in Bombay, India
Died: 26 August 1940. Shot down over the English Channel, off the coast of Dover, Kent
Rank: Flying Officer. Service number: 90332
George Moberly was born into a military family in Bombay, India on 23 December 1914. His father Charles Noel Moberly was an engineer in the Indian Army; rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel he was awarded the Delhi Durbar Medal in 1911, the India Volunteer Force Medal on 15 January 1917, the Volunteer Officers’ Decoration (VD) and by 1921 the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire (CIE). George’s mother was Kate (Katty) Charlotte Moberly, nee Fottrell. Born in Ireland in 1876, she married Charles Moberly in Bombay on 8 August 1908.
On the 24 April 1915 the infant George arrived at the Port of London with his parents and two older sisters, Hilda and Mildred, on the S.S. Arabia. They made the journey first class and traveled on to their new home, the Priory in Felixstowe, Suffolk.
Educated at Ampleforth School in Yorkshire, where he was a keen and accomplished rugby player, George subsequently followed in his father’s footsteps and worked as an engineer, securing a position with the Ipswich company Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies Ltd. He learned to fly at Ipswich Airport in Suffolk and gained his Royal Aero Club certificate on 17 July 1938 in a Miles Magister Gipsy Major 120 aircraft.
George received his commission in the Auxiliary Air Force on 19 July 1938, joining 609 Squadron. On 1 November he transferred to the newly formed 616 (South Yorkshire) Squadron, being one of the first two officers to join after the founding of the Squadron by the Earl of Lincoln. Pilot Officer Moberly was embodied, with his Squadron, into the RAF on 24 August 1939. On 19 January 1940 he was promoted to the rank of flying officer (Gazetted 2 February).
In action over Dunkirk in a Spitfire Mk 1 on morning patrol on 28 May 1940, George claimed a Messerschmitt 109 (Bf109) destroyed. At the time he was leading 616’s Green Section, flying as Green 1. On 1 June he claimed a Ju88 destroyed on morning patrol.
Prior to the Battle of Britain George claimed a shared Dornier 17 on 3 July and then, during the Battle, a Junkers 88 on the afternoon of 15 August, to the east of Flamborough Head, Yorkshire, and a Bf109 on the 25th.
The next day George was killed in combat off the coast of Dover, Kent when his Spitfire N3275 was shot down into the sea by a Bf109. He did not bale out but his body was subsequently recovered and George’s grave can be found in St. Mary’s Churchyard, Caterham-on-the-Hill, Surrey.
Probate in George’s estate was granted to his father, Charles Noel Moberly (company director) in the sum of £451 13s 5d.
The following obituary appeared in the Lincolnshire Echo on Friday 30 August 1940:
“Lincoln rugby player dies on active service – Flying Officer G E Moberly
“Death on active service during August ‘as a result of air operations’ of Flying Officer George Edward Moberly, Auxilary Air Force is announced.
“Flying Officer Moberly, only son of Mr and Mrs C N Moberly of “The Priory”, Felixstowe, and late of Bombay, was 25 years of age. He formerly worked in Lincoln and played rugby-football with the Lincoln club. He was on the staff of Ruston and Hornsby Ltd from January 1938, joining the firm from the associated companies of Ransomes, Sims and Jeffries of Ipswich, with which he had a family association with his mother. He was a playing member of the Lincoln RFC for about three seasons, and his fine physique made him a very fine member of the 1st XV pack. In the season preceding the war he was unable to make so many appearances for the club owing to his membership of an Auxiliary Air Force Squadron.”
ONE OF THE FEW.
Written by David Meanwell, Chairman of RAFA: Kenley & Caterham branch.
The RAF Association (RAFA) is the largest single service membership organisation and the longest standing registered service charity that provides welfare support to the RAF Family – providing friendship, help and support to current and former members of the Royal Air Force and their dependants.
Receiving no government contributions, their work is completely funded by the generosity of members and supporters. Anyone can join, you don’t need to have been in the RAF. Find out more at http://www.kenley-rafa.org.uk/