Menu

PRINT

Lieutenant William Barnard RHODES-MOORHOUSE VC

Royal Flying Corps

William Barnard Rhodes-Moorhouse 1887-1915
William Barnard Rhodes-Moorhouse 1887-1915

William Moorhouse was born in London in September 1887, the son of Edward and Mary Ann Moorhouse.  His mother was of Maori descent. There were four children – William and his sisters Anne and Mary and their brother Edward. The family moved to Northamptonshire in 1887, living first at Lamport Hall and moving to Spratton Grange in 1899. William was a pioneer in flying both in Northamptonshire and nationally and was regularly seen in the skies of the county in his Bleriot XI type monoplane. In 1912 he added Rhodes to his surname to comply with the terms of his grandfather’s will.

He volunteered immediately war was declared and joined the Royal Flying Corps in August 1914.  He was first sent to Farnborough Naval Air Station workshops and was in charge of inspecting engines for the RFC aeroplanes. In March 1915 he joined No 2 Squadron at    Merville in northern France and began work as a reconnaissance pilot flying BE2 bi-planes.

On 26 April 1915 he was sent on a dangerous mission that was to earn him the Victoria Cross. The citation reads:

 “….for most conspicuous bravery in flying to Courtrai and dropping bombs on the railway line near that station.  On starting the return journey he was mortally wounded, but succeeded in flying for 35 miles to his destination, at very low altitude, and reported the successful accomplishment of his object.  He has since died of his wounds.  This officer was flying a BE2b.”

William Rhodes-Moorhouse was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross and promoted to Lieutenant (backdated to 24th April 1915). He was also awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  His body was returned to England and buried in Parnham in Dorset. He is remembered in Spratton with a commemorative stone in the centre of the village and on the Spratton War Memorial. He is also remembered on the War Memorials at Lamport, Northamptonshire, and Beaminster, Dorset. Beaminster also has a commemorative stone. His name is at the head of a list of air VCs in the RAF church of St Clement Dane in London. His medals, including the Victoria Cross, are on display in the Imperial War Museum, London. 

See also ‘Lieutenant William Barnard Rhodes-Moorhouse VC RFC – A Northamptonshire Hero’ by Enid Jarvis published by Spratton Local History Society.

BE2 aircraft
BE2 aircraft
BE2 aircraft
BE2 aircraft
Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
Commemorative stone to Lt William Rhodes-Moorhouse unveiled in Spratton in April 2016 on the centenary of the Victoria Cross flight in April 1915
Commemorative stone to Lt William Rhodes-Moorhouse unveiled in Spratton in April 2016 on the centenary of the Victoria Cross flight in April 1915
Commemorative stone to Lt William Rhodes-Moorhouse unveiled in Spratton in April 2016 on the centenary of the Victoria Cross flight in April 1915
Commemorative stone to Lt William Rhodes-Moorhouse unveiled in Spratton in April 2016 on the centenary of the Victoria Cross flight in April 1915

MEN WHO SERVED

ADNITT
ARCHER
ARTHUR
AUSTIN
BALDERSON
BALDWIN
BATTAMS
BILLING
BLAKESLEY
BLUNDELL
BOWERS
BRANSON
BROWN
BUCKBY
BUSWELL
CAPON
CATTELL
CLARKE
COOKE
COPSON
CRANE
DICKENS
DICKERSON
DUNKLEY
ELDRED
ELSDALE
ERSKINE
FOWLES
FRANKLIN
FRISBY
GAMMAGE
GIST
GOODEN
GOODWIN
GREEN
HAYTER
HIDER
HIGGS
HOBLEY
HODGE(S)
HODSON
HORNE
HUNT
JOHNSON
JUDD
KENCH
KNIGHT
KNIGHTALL
LEATHERLAND
LEESON
LEONARD
LETTS
LIVESEY
MAINS
MANNING
MANNINGHAM-BULLER
MARTIN
MASON
MIDDLETON (WYKES)
NORMAN
PAGE
PASSEY
PATEMAN
PAYNE
PHEASANT
POWELL
REEVE
RHODES-MOORHOUSE
RICHARDSON
SMITH
SNEDKER
SPEECHLEY
STEVENS
TARPLEY
TARRANT
TAYLOR
THORNTON
TIRRELL
TITE
TREDWELL
TURLAND
VINEY
VOKE
WADHAMS
WARD
WARWICKS
WHATTON
WOOD
WYKES
By accepting or continuing to browse you agree to our cookie policyACCEPT