No.1620 Flying Officer Cecil Knight Moreton
Cecil Knight Moreton was born in Wandsworth, London in February 1896. His parents were Dr. Frederick Moreton (a medical practitioner) and Mary Moreton (nee Jarvie). His siblings were:
- Archibald Hubert (Bert) Moreton - born 1894 in London. (A.I.F. No.542 – K.I.A. Gallipoli)
- Frederick Ewart Moreton - born 1892 in London. (A.I.F. No.555 – Wounded at Gallipoli)
- Arthur Roberts Moreton - born 1901 at Warrnambool - died 1964
It is not known when the family arrived in Australia, but they had settled in Warrnambool by 1901, when their youngest son Arthur Roberts Moreton was born.*
The Electoral Roll for 1903 lists his father (Frederick Moreton) as a surgeon, and they were living at “Vennchar”, at Warrnambool.
The family relocated to Geelong around 1912, and lived at “Summerfield”, in Ryrie Street.
All of the brothers went to the Geelong College, with Cecil attending between 1909 and 1912.
"Cecil N Moreton" of Little River appeared before the Military Exemptions Court at Werribee in October 1916. He claimed “that of a family of four sons, two had enlisted prior to 2nd October 1916. One had met his death at the front [Archibald Moreton], and the other had been discharged from doing further service.” His application for an exemption was granted.
Geelong Advertiser, 26 October 1916, p.3.
Cecil Moreton described himself as a Farmer and Grazier (living at Marbury Park, Little River), when he applied to enlist in the A.I.F.
Despite having a previous exemption to fight, Cecil Moreton swore his oath to enlist in the A.I.F. at Geelong on 2 February 1917. He was sent to the Australian Flying Corps base at Laverton, and two days later he was appointed as a Private to the 9th Reinforcements for the Australian Flying Corps. Cecil then went to the 1st Depot Battalion at Broadmeadows for his initial training.
He remained there until 7 May 1917, when he was sent to the 2nd Military District in Sydney, to prepare for embarkation overseas.
After being reclassified as a 2nd Air Mechanic, Cecil Moreton embarked at Sydney on 10 May 1917 per A74 Marathon, and sailed to England with the Australian Flying Corps (A.F.C.) Reinforcements. During the voyage he got into trouble by disobeying an order given to him by an N.C.O. For this indiscretion, he was confined to quarters for three days, and made to perform defaulters drill.
Cecil disembarked at Devonport in England on 20 July 1917 and marched in to the No. 1 and 3 Camp Details at Park House near Tidworth.
On 28 July 1917, he marched out to R.A.F. Farnborough where he joined the A.F.C. Details. He remained there until 3 September 1917, when he marched out to Halton Camp East near Wendover. (This was the largest R.A.F. Station in the United Kingdom.)
While at Farnborough he wrote a letter home to his father, which was published in the Geelong Advertiser, 25 September 1917, p.3.
In it he described an attack by a German submarine on his transport ship taking him to England. He also described some unusual methods of selecting men for pilot training.
He moved again on 25 October 1917, when he was sent to the 33rd Training Squadron** at Tern Hill, where he remained until 8 January 1918, when his unit relocated to the base at Cirencester in Gloucestershire, where they became No.8 Training Squadron.
Cecil Moreton was promoted to 1st Air Mechanic on 1 March 1918, and on 12 April 1918 he was selected to “undergo instruction in aviation as a Cadet Pilot” at the. No. 2 School of Military Aeronautics at Oxford.
After two months of instruction he was posted to the R.A.F. Armament School at R.A.F. Uxbridge for one month, before he was sent back to No.8 Training Squadron at Wendover.
There is a photograph of Cecil Moreton posing beside his first crashed aircraft on the Geelong College web page. (see reference below) Cecil graduated from Flying School on 29 June 1916, and was appointed as a Flying Officer (Pilot).
Members of No.8 Training Squadron at Gloucestershire, are shown in a photograph from the Australian War Memorial collection, that includes 2nd Lieutenant Cecil Knight Morton.
There is no record of his flying activities after graduation, apart from his promotion to Lieutenant on the 29 January 1919.
An article in the Geelong Advertiser, 8 January 1919, p.3 quoted extracts from a letter that Cecil Moreton had sent home. It mentions the performance capability of his Sopwith Snipe aircraft, and the work being done by Number 4 Squadron.
On 1 May 1919, Lieutenant Moreton embarked at Devonport for returned to Australia per H.S. China. The returning men disembarked at Melbourne 8 June 1919.
Between 19 January 1920 /1931 his electoral address was "Marbury Park", Little River. This was a farming property that produced wool.
In 1920, he applied for some Soldier Settlement Blocks. In the Parish of Balliang, allotments 132 and 133. In the Parish of Mouyong, Allotments 1D and 1E. A total of 570 acres.
On 2 May 1931, Cecil Moreton married Anne Cowie at the Canterbury Presbyterian Church. She was the daughter of Mr and Mrs Cowie from Balliang.
After the marriage, Cecil Moreton’s 1934 electoral address remained at Marbury Park, Little River, and his wife Anne's was Balliang East. This inconsistency in electoral addresses continued until Cecil's death.
Cecil Knight Moreton died at Balliang East on 21 September 1973. His cremated remains are in a rose garden at the Altona Memorial Park.
Medals and Entitlements:
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
Name on the Werribee Shire Oak Board: MORETON, C.K.
Name on the Little River Honour Board: "A/M C.K. Moreton".
His name only appeared once in the Roll of Honor, Werribee Shire Banner, 6 March 1919, p.1.
Cecil’s bothers name (Moreton, H.) is listed on the Shire of Werribee Oak Board, but his other brother (Frederick Ewart Moreton) who also served, is not included.
**8 Squadron, AFC was formed at Wendover on 24 October 1917. It was originally identified as 33 (Australian Training) Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, but was renamed, along with all of the Australian squadrons, in January 1918. The squadron relocated to Cirencester on 9 January 1918, and thence to Leighterton, where it remained until disbanded in April 1919.
Unit War Diary
Pioneer Index 1837-1888 CD
Federation Index 1889-1901 CD
Edwardian Index 1902-1913 CD
Great War Index 1914-1920 CD
Marriage Index 1921-1942 CD