In 1914, Harry and his son Ronald both joined the army. They were posted to the 4th Battalion of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) in the 49th Division and arrived in France together in April 1915.

Harry Moorhouse (Lieutenant Colonel) & Ronald Moorhouse (Captain) 4th Battalion of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Born 1896, Leeds. Died 9 October 1917, Zonnebeke, Flanders Fields 

Born 1895, Wakefield. Died 9 October 1917, Zonnebeke, Flanders Fields 

Even though Harry was wounded twice (in August 1915 and again in July 1916), he kept returning to his unit. At the beginning of October, the battalion was part of the divisional reserve. By that time, Harry was in command with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and Ronald was now a Captain in his father’s battalion. 

On the night of 8/9 October, when a heavy fire held up the division’s assault troops, the 4th KOYLI was ordered forward in support. Ronald advanced with his company on the first objective, just in front of Kronprinz Farm (on the road between ’s Graventafel and Mosselmarkt). The Germans held the high ground, and the fire raining down on the two Battalions was devastating. Captain Moorhouse was mortally wounded as he bravely led a company of men up the slope in an attempt to capture the high ground and silence the guns. He was carried to his father’s headquarters, whereon his father, Harry left the headquarters to find medical help and was shot dead by a sniper a short time later. Ronald died within the hour. The attack broke down and the troops were forced to return to their original starting positions. They are the only father and son to die together at Passchendaele. Since their bodies were never recovered, Lieutenant Colonel Harry Moorhouse and Captain Ronald Moorhouse are now both commemorated by name on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

The road between ‘s Graventafel and Mosselmarkt was at the centre of the advance on Passchendaele and there are a number of memorials and cemeteries located nearby: Canadian Memorial, New Zealand Memorial, Passchendaele New British Cemetery and the largest cemetery in Europe, Tyne Cot. Discover the story of the Battle of Passchendaele at Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917.

Back to top