I am his grandson and he is willing to answer absolutely anything about his time in WW2. Please be patient as I answer as many questions as detailed as possible.

[Edit] - If this gets enough attention, I will begin uploading as many pictures as possible, including different boats and ships and their crews.

[Edit #2] - We had no idea this would get so much attention. We are taking a break for perhaps the remainder of the night and will continue tomorrow, Merry Christmas to all of you. - 18:43 GMT

[Edit #3] - Here is a picture until he returns tomorrow! http://imgur.com/XQlKj - 18:55 GMT

[Edit #4] - Front Page! Wow! Due to the popularity we are now continuing! - 20:10 GMT

[Edit #5] - We are stopping again now until tomorrow. Pictures to follow as were are currently at my house and not his. We will try and answer every single question! - 21:27 GMT

[Edit #6] - Here is his wife, Ruth: http://imgur.com/XjMQT - 21:40 GMT

[Edit #7] - Reminder that this thread will continue today at some point, with as many pictures as possible, we still intend to respond to every single question! Hope you all had a Merry Christmas! - 26th December 2012, 12:52 GMT

[Edit #8] - Apologies for our lateness. Unfortunately he will not be answering any questions until perhaps the end of the week, HOWEVER, to make up for this, I will be uploading as many pictures of him as possible. Watch this space! - 19:58 GMT

PICTURES: * March 1941 - Light Heavy Weight Champion of the Royal Marines * 1942 - In the middle of the Indian Ocean * 1955 - Luton

[Edit #9] - Many more pictures to follow. We have a scrapbook of hundreds and are shifting through them. Those pictures uploaded so far were directly scanned into my computer. The following pictures have been glued into the scrapbook, therefore we will be taking photos of the photos. - 21:00 GMT

Comments: 1265 • Responses: 58  • Date: 

icameforthecookies917 karma

No need to ask questions. Just thanks.

SgtErnestMoore626 karma

(This made him smile). Thank you.

Thadenvy365 karma

Tell him I said Merry Christmas.

SgtErnestMoore438 karma

He said Merry Christmas to you too!

AjdinSamurai95 karma

Random European here.Can you just say hi to your grandad an by the way how old is he if it's not too rude to ask.And yeah by the way Merry Christmas.

SgtErnestMoore199 karma

Hello, I am nearly 91. Born on 6th February 1922.

[deleted]477 karma


SgtErnestMoore678 karma

The most dangerous situation was landing on D-Day on Omaha beach with the American Rangers. They were good. There were 500 casualties between 6am and 6pm in the afternoon.

ja4d315 karma

Random American here. Thank you, Sergeant. Your courage and sacrifice is appreciated by so many of us. EDIT: spelling

SgtErnestMoore248 karma

Thank you very much and Merry Christmas.

illusiveab117 karma

Can you describe what you were thinking and feeling approaching the battle of D-Day? What was it like to be there and not knowing what would happen to you? It's cool to see vivid re-enactments like movies but nothing beats first hand experience.

SgtErnestMoore409 karma

Everything was silent. I was in a boat with fellow British Troops. The American's however, were shouting out threats in an attempt to boost morale. My thoughts were always back home with my family.

tophat02292 karma

My grandfather was an American Ranger and was on the beach with you. You are both heroes.

SgtErnestMoore266 karma

Is he still alive? If so, did he ever attend any reunions.

tophat02228 karma

He is. He's 88. To my knowledge he hasn't. We enjoy hearing his stories, and I have a Nazi Flag taken from a Post Office he "visited" :)

gnomishmidgets198 karma

Come on guys, lets get these two skyping.

tophat02103 karma

Unfortunately he's almost totally deaf and nearly blind. :-(

SgtErnestMoore147 karma

What's his name?

Brian175168 karma

I was in the modern 1st Ranger Battalion from 06-10. Darby's Rangers didn't hit Omaha beach, but 2nd and 5th did. If you were there with them, hats off to you. The famous phrase, 'Rangers lead the way,' stems from that day.

SgtErnestMoore136 karma

I can recollect 101 Division of the Rangers, but no more I'm afraid.

speaker_monkey56 karma

What capacity did you work with the Americans on dday?

munchingfoo86 karma

If he was still a cpl in the SBS at the start of DDay it is very likely that he was the first person attacking the beach in a kayak with a light on the back to highlight to the landing craft and amphibious tanks the safe route to the beachhead. I guess we'll have to wait until tomorrow for the real answer!

SgtErnestMoore382 karma

I was one of the first to attack on D-Day. First Special Service Assault Group. There was only 23 of us.

mithunc112 karma

You are a goddamn hero.

SgtErnestMoore224 karma

There were thousands like me. Some had to unfortunately give their life up. Some had to pay the final sacrifice.

Kazumz50 karma

It must have been a scary moment stepping onto ground back then. I admire the bravery and courage that it took. You have my respect Sir and thank you!

EDIT: then > back then

SgtErnestMoore59 karma

Thank you very much. Merry Christmas.

mafe899235 karma

What are your feelings when you now think of Germany/Austria etc.?

SgtErnestMoore545 karma

I have been Austria on holiday since WW2, and have even married a German girl. Her name is Ruth and we met in Krefeld, Germany when I was on The Royal Marine volunteer reserve. I have just come back from Germany after visiting Cologne for the Christmas fair.

Brandenburger223 karma

Frohe Weihnachten from your brothers on the mainland!

SgtErnestMoore246 karma

(My grandmother laughed at this, a picture of her will follow)

MartySwa221 karma

My Grandfather served in WWII as well. After watching the movie "Saving Private Ryan", he didn't say much. I was shocked he even watched it at all. After a long silence, he abruptly stated "the smell of war can't be captured in a movie". I never asked him any details and he has since passed. It is one of my bigger regrets. His experiences died with him. I should have asked.

  1. Would you state war has a smell? If so, could you describe it?
  2. Is there a movie that you've seen that you felt captured WWII better than any other?

SgtErnestMoore214 karma

War smells primarily of, how can I say it, it's whats the word when you see dead bodies? Traumatised. I cannot recall the smell itself.

coombsfh186 karma

Hi there,

Could you ask your Grandfather two questions please

  • Are you as proud of the UK now as you were when you were directly serving and...

  • What does he think of "Help for Heroes?"

SgtErnestMoore404 karma

No I'm not as proud of the UK. I believe the Great has gone out of Great Britain. People come to the country and are treated much better than I am.

It shouldn't be necessary, the Government should directly pay, however I do support it.

Adamancy26 karma

I'm an American who has had the privilege of living in the UK for going on three years. I must say, don't drop the Great in Great Britain yet, especially when heroes like you are still living there. Thank you for your service and Merry Christmas sir.

SgtErnestMoore5 karma

Merry Christmas and thank you.

mikeytrojca168 karma

What was your weapon of choice in WW2?

SgtErnestMoore345 karma

Bren gun. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bren_light_machine_gun It was very accurate. This was the main appeal of it. The Browning was also good, firing 1200 rounds a minute. Our rifles were P14s used in the first World War. They were Canadian and also very accurate, a good shot could get 10 rounds off a minute. The American's were much better for spraying.

TomShoe101 karma

1200 rounds per minute from a browning? Were they the kind you would mount on an airplane or what?

SgtErnestMoore177 karma

Similar. They could also be mounted on tripods.

mistergog161 karma

What's your fondest memory of the service?

SgtErnestMoore457 karma

Meeting my wife! (She's in the room at the moment, take notes guys)

bsheairs143 karma

First off, thank you for your service and happy holidays. What would you say was your biggest accomplishment during your service?

SgtErnestMoore311 karma

Making Europe a safer place for everybody to live in and to just be lucky to survive the war.

lawless8879 karma

Did many friends survive? Do you have or had contact with people you served with? Such as ww2 soldier meetings etc

SgtErnestMoore119 karma

I have only contact with 1 person. He were an ex-sailor on a motor mine-sweeper, we were attached to his boat for food and sleeping when based in Cherbourg, France.

thewildrose138 karma

What was the most memorable moment of the war for you?

SgtErnestMoore297 karma

The end of the war, there were celebrations in the streets and parties everywhere. Everybody danced.

umans1131 karma

Any close calls while sweeping for mines?

SgtErnestMoore293 karma

Yes, plenty. I was coxswain on the #1 leading boat and the 4th boat hit a contact mine and exploded, killing all but 2 men. Later on I went to Brest, France and I commanded the first boat in, despite only being Sergeant. My Lieutenant was on the 4th boat, the men favoured myself instead of him.

ShadowMagnus124 karma

What's your opinion of the level of training current special forces currently commit to? What was it like passing selection and getting into the SBS? Thanks for the AMA by the way, I've been considering joining the forces when I'm older.

SgtErnestMoore235 karma

Twice to my knowledge they've had to lower the standards for joining the forces because people of my caliber are simply not about anymore. We used to run to school, now parents take children by car. We had to work at a much younger age too, we just tended to be much fitter.

Passing selection was very difficult, when we used to do assault course,s most people were worried about getting round, but I was a big-headed and had to try and beat the record. Many times I succeeded.

Err, joining the forces is a good life as long as you do what you're told and keep clean.

ShadowMagnus55 karma

Thanks for the advice. I'm currently an Air Cadet but I was looking toward joining the Navy/Royal Marines.

papawhiskey8943 karma

You want to join the Navy or RM? They are very different beasts. Be sure to get on as many work experience trips/regimental visits as possible as this should enable you to make your mind up either way. Be sure not to mention the air cadets.

SgtErnestMoore94 karma

Join the Navy by all means, it offers a good life on the open air, keeps you healthy... also good pension.

z0mBiEs23109 karma

What was it like serving your country? Are you proud that you did? And if you can, what was your most funniest moment you can remember? Thanks!

SgtErnestMoore388 karma

I was born on 6th February 1922 in Desborough, Northamptonshire, England. I was very proud at the time to serve my country and when they played the regimental march of the Royal Marines, my chest used to swell out an extra 2 inches.

My funniest moment is when a boat turned over and 3 sailors swam away, one of them shouted "I'm drowning!" All of a sudden he stood up, realising it was so shallow he could walk!

There was always good humour on the ships, we were like brothers.

z0mBiEs23104 karma

Also, what did your average day consist of?

SgtErnestMoore192 karma

Training; 9 months square bashing, that means drill, with breaks for school, physical training and sports. Then, 6 weeks Navy gunnery, including hydraulics. Then 6 weeks field training, camouflage, firing rifles and machine guns etc, then a fortnight on parade until you passed out. We were paid 2 shillings a day. After training you got 3 shillings a day.

On a ship at sea; you done 4 hours on, 4 off, therefore you never had the same shift every day, from 4pm in the afternoon to 8pm at night, you done 2 hour shifts on dog watch.

z0mBiEs2341 karma

Thank you so much for answering sir!

SgtErnestMoore53 karma

Thank you and Merry Christmas.

britishtwat33 karma

My ears perked up when i read Northamptonshire. Glad to hear something about this county that isn't deathly boring.

SgtErnestMoore29 karma

Northamptonshire is still my home, before the war, there was always plenty of work because of the shoe trade. Since, everything has been outsourced. This compared to other areas of the country where there was no work. I worked in the shoe trade, which offered good pay, until I was 17, when I joined up.

cmeremoonpi84 karma

Did you get married before or after the war?

SgtErnestMoore161 karma

We got married after the war, 1954 in both Germany and England.

cmeremoonpi72 karma

Why both countries?

SgtErnestMoore148 karma

First we married in a register in Luton, UK and a year or so later in Germany because my wife's priest was there.

damnshiok60 karma

I'm interested in how you met your German wife. Did the fact that she was German make it difficult for you guys to be together?

SgtErnestMoore183 karma

I first met her in 1954, I was a Royal Marie volunteer reserve and I belonged to the Reine Raiding Squadron. She was on a swing bridge. Myself and a Corporal heard screaming and thought somebody had fell into the river. We ran over thinking they were drowning. Turns out his future wife and her friend were screaming, fighting over ownership of an umbrella. I knew immediately she would be my future wife..

PineappleDough80 karma

What were some of the most shocking images/sounds that you will never forget?

SgtErnestMoore245 karma

Shouting and screaming and how the bodies lay on the ground. (I'm sorry, I would ask him for further detail but it is Christmas Day)

TuckRaker67 karma

Did you serve with any Canadians? If so, what were your thoughts on them?

SgtErnestMoore112 karma

(Thinking hard) No, I never did with Canadians.

jimmythegeek158 karma

What was the role of the SBS after the Normandy landings? Was there still a need for it once the troops were on the Continent?

SgtErnestMoore93 karma

I never saw them afterwards. After 5 days in France, I was sent on 7 days leave, after which I had to report to Portland for mine sweeping, which I had never done before. I never saw the crew again.

mock9457 karma

Did you ever feel like the Americans were too conceited?

SgtErnestMoore181 karma

Yes you could say so, but once you got to know them, it was just their way. I had never personally lived like it, their food was immensely better than our own. I was raised on a farm with 4 brothers and 1 sister.

iamaredditer56 karma

From what I hear american food is still much better than british food. haha Im sure having a german wife you eat pretty well. Thanks for your service and have a merry christmas.

SgtErnestMoore99 karma

and a Merry Christmas to you too! (He laughed)

Mysteriousdoor18 karma

Wouldn't growing up on a farm make your food better? I live in one of the biggest agricultural states in America and thats usually how it goes down with farm boys.

SgtErnestMoore37 karma

Growing up on a farm was very hard work. You had to get used to working from an early age. At 9, I helped my father with shire horses, ploughing the fields. When I had free time, I was always climbing trees and many a time fell and broke bones. It was a mile and a half to school and we often used to run it. We also used to catch rabbits and sell them for a shilling a time at the local village.

Nationals53 karma

Merry Christmas! Thank him for his service! Having fought for freedom, what does he think about the state of world freedom today? Also, advice for living a long, wonderful life?

SgtErnestMoore165 karma

Freedom today is based on a Government where all parties don't listen to the wishes of the people, we should bring all the troops back from Afghanistan etc, its a no-win situation. Stop giving as much aid to other countries and fully support the NHS. (Sorry, he goes slightly off tangent)

The only way I can think of is that I'm the eldest of the eldest of the eldest. If you can't pick your parents I cannot help I'm afraid. I smoked 60 a day at my peak and never started until I was 25. I stopped 40 years ago after loses most of my friends through smoking related illnesses. Your veins and arteries close, and you'll eventually suffer with your circulation. I also drink little. Therefore don't smoke and drink little.

codin_aint_easy45 karma

What did you do besides mine sweeping? Where did your ship patrol? Did you ever see a UBoat?

SgtErnestMoore92 karma

Ferrying troops ashore from larger boats that came in and clearing underwater obstacles. We didn't have a ship with us, we towed over from Portland, UK to Utah Beach, France. This involved not using the engine and just simply steering. I saw an Eboat (motor torpedo boat) once. They were exceptionally fast and we were offered an extensive amount of money to capture one. When we did finally capture one, it had been offered to the Admiralty, who were the top Echelon of the Navy,but they turned it down. One time when I was on HMS Erebus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Erebus_%28I02%29, when we were coming back from shelling Ostend, Belgium. 6 Eboats came out the mists early morning and fired torpedoes. I didn't know whether or not to jump ship. In the meantime, they'd gone underneath. Luckily this was before they made their torpedoes magnetic. This is why I believed we survived.

Lord_Mudcrab44 karma

First, thanks a lot for your service mate. Was there a point where you thought you wouldn't be coming back home?

SgtErnestMoore94 karma

Thank you and Merry Christmas. (I am unsure whether I should ask him on Christmas, apologies)

GoMrJoe41 karma

My question: What did you get for Christmas?

SgtErnestMoore84 karma

Loads of socks, big tin of Cadbury's Hot Chocolate. What can you give a man who has everything? Pjs too.

Toastman0439 karma

What was your opinion of the Germans during te war? Did you hate them? Respect?

SgtErnestMoore75 karma

We both respected each other.

brockheim38 karma

Were the Germans as morally brutal as Hollywood portrays them?

SgtErnestMoore91 karma

I never came across it. We actually had a lot of respect for each other. When it came to it, it was either them or you.

teknoire738 karma

What was the scariest moment in his life? Regardless of whether or not it was during his time serving in the SBS

SgtErnestMoore142 karma

Whilst in Cherbourg harbour, I had to take out the commander in charge of all the mine sweeping to look at a suspicious mine in the harbour. He said "take me along side it so I may inspect it". It was a contact mine and if you touched any part of it, it would surely detonate. He said "go closer" and so I stemmed the tide with the boat and hitched over, he put his foot each side of one of the contacts. He said "just as I thought" and we continued onwards. He must of had a lot of faith in my ability!

flatwater37 karma


SgtErnestMoore111 karma

The English food was just a basic well balanced diet. It was comprised of Ships Biscuits, which you had to soak because they were so hard, while the cocoa had grease on top of it.

Later on, they improved, American's food was much better in every way. Even had cigarettes issued!

Krywiggles35 karma

If you were a mine sweeper then I am safe to assume that you spent a good portion of ww2 in the north sea, in particular near Norway and Denmark?

Also, why were British units attached to American units on Omaha? I thought someone like you would have landed on Gold or Sword.

SgtErnestMoore52 karma

Yes I was in the North Sea many times. When I was on the Erebus. There were thousands of British troops, some handled landing craft crews that took Americans in. When I attended, the 55th Anniversary of Cherbourg, we received a book all about the war with the Americans. The British were hardly mentioned.

Jj_tinopener30 karma

Thank you, I am not sure what more I can say. But, one small question, what have you enjoyed most in the last few years!

SgtErnestMoore67 karma

Thank you and Merry Christmas. What I enjoy most these days is just having my family around me.

chump8828 karma

Wow an SBS AMA. This is incredible. What was your selection process like back in the day? I hear how difficult it is now and I'm interested as to what it was like back then Thank you for your phenomenal service. You make every one of us proud.

SgtErnestMoore35 karma

I nearly wasn't selected because I have flat feet which my daughter has inherited. Her son is the one helping me write this. The only time is made a difference was when I was stood for too long on a ceremonial parade and they ached. Quite a few were turned down. You had to be 'A1', for starters you couldn't wear glasses.

pujom27 karma

What was your ships or your flotillas specific role in the Normandy landings, like what beach?

Do you ever have any encounters with u-boats, or were you more inner coastal? How far out did you sweep?

Thank you for your service in the war. The mine sweeping men are some of the unsung heroes of the war, no doubt you saved many lives.

SgtErnestMoore52 karma

Landing was our specific role. We swept in the outer harbors first, then the inner harbor. You'd always work your way in. They were many sunken ships which blocked our path.

Thank you very much, Merry Christmas.

UptomisPrime25 karma

Thank you for serving and Merry Christmas. I'm a U.S. Marine and was wondering if you ever encountered any U.S. Marines in your life and how you felt about them as a whole, since you were a Royal Marine?

SgtErnestMoore48 karma

I've met lots of US Marines, we are very close to them. In one of my anniversary meetings, we done a parade in London, around 5 years ago. We saw a US Marines band, they were of very high standard. In WW2, some of our went with them to San Diego to train and some of them came to us to train.

OfficerCanedi22 karma

Thank you for your service

SgtErnestMoore36 karma

Thank you and Merry Christmas. At the time I was only too happy to serve the country.

JakeLV42615 karma

I saw in another post you landed on D-Day at Omaha beach. How did you feel on the beach seeing it all happen? Also, I'm curious how one gets around with such large brass balls.

SgtErnestMoore11 karma

Very scared when I was on the beach. (He laughed at the other comment.)

walczyk9 karma

Thank god nobody asked if he would rather fight 1 horse-sized german or 100 duck-sized germans.

SgtErnestMoore21 karma

Er, 1 big 'un. One big knockout. I'm quick on my feet.

rtiftw5 karma

What was/is your most vivid war time memory? Good, bad, sad, seemingly meaningless doesn't matter.

Everyone would expect some intense experience but that's not always the way memories work.

SgtErnestMoore7 karma

September 3rd, 1939 when they announced on church parade that we had declared war with German.

LinksMilkBottle5 karma

Initial reaction to the Hiroshima bombing?

SgtErnestMoore14 karma

It was a terrible deed but it saved millions of lives.

[deleted]3 karma

how did you and your boys feel about the mission?

how did you guys view Hitler?

SgtErnestMoore7 karma

Hitler was a madman... Nothing else. That covers it.