• Arthur MOORE

Air Mechanic 2nd Class, Australian Flying Corps Service No. 2732b. 21 Mar 1875 - Lyme Regis d. 31 Oct 1931 - Longreach, Australia.Born in Lyme and an engineer by trade, he emigrating to Australia in 1902 and lived at 88 Langshaw Street, New Farm, Brisbane with his sister.He enlisted as a Private in the Australian Flying Corps at Brisbane, 13 Dec 1917 and was promoted Air Mechanic 2nd Class, 31 Jan 1918. He embarked onboard His Majestys Australian Transport (HMAT) Nestor for England 28 Feb 1918, arriving at Liverpool 20 Apr 1918. After disembarking he was first sent to Hallfield Camp, Wendover, Buckinghanshire before joining the Australian Nucleus Flight at Stonehenge, Wiltshire 9 Aug 1918. He remained in the UK returning to Australia aboard SS Port Dewisow leaving England from Devonport 29 Sep 1919. He disembarked at Melbourne 13 Nov 1919 and was discharged from service 6 Dec 1919.His Obituary reads as follows: On October 10, 1931 it was the Western Stars solemn duty to report some sad news. The news had reached Roma from Longreach that Mr Arthur Moore, superintendent of Longreachs Oil Bore had been killed in an explosion. Known as a careful man who rarely took a drink and who was intimate with the science of boring for oil, his death was a mystery. From reading Moores log books, the coroner deduced he was making a third attempt to shoot the bore and had a consignment of caps newly arrived from Brisbane and a metre-long torpedo with six plugs of gelignite. The mixture exploded prematurely as he tried to place a battery cap. It was likely a faulty explosives timer concocted from a pocket watch brought an end to the life of one of Romas great but unheralded oil men. Arthur Moore was an Englishman, born in Lyme Regis, Dorset in 1875. How he spent his early years is not known but he arrived in Australia in 1910 thirsting for adventure in a new land. He entered into the service of the International Boring Company and was posted across Queensland boring artesian water for the states growing demands. Aged 40, he signed up in 1916 for the AIF and went off to Europe with the newly formed Australian Flying Corps. After the war finished he stayed on in England to train in oil development. On his return he came to Queenslands growing oil capital: Roma. Here he was placed in charge of the government oil bore on Hospital Hill in 1920 as the first non American to hold this position. It was Moore who released a big flow of oil at QG Number 4 well while removing casing and this was the first oil to be condensed in Roma. It was here he met local woman Esther Essie Nind, the only daughter of two well-known Roma residents. Moore married Essie in 1921 aged 45 (she was 27) and they had one daughter. After visiting America, Moore was convinced there was oil in commercial quantities in Roma. Prospecting in Queensland, he said in 1923, should be carried out on the same type of plant used for drilling artesian water. In 1924, the Western Star reported Moore was made manager of the newly formed Queensland Petroleum Limited who secured prospecting permits over Forest Vale and Mitchell Downs. Moore was hired to be superintendent for three years but the plan failed and Moore went to Texas to learn more about drilling. He later took charge of drilling operations in New Guinea. Romas booming oil business lured him back in 1928 to become manager of Roma Cornwall Dome oil operation until it went bust. Moore went back to England where he was accepted into the Institute of Petroleum Technologists of London. He would also drill in New Zealand before heading to Longreach. He was remembered as one of the first non Americans to be feted in the field of drilling and someone who kept meticulous notes on all aspects of oil exploration.