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About Sir John Moore
Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore, KB, (13 November 1761 – 16 January 1809) was a British soldier and General. He is best known for his military training reforms and for his death at the Battle of Corunna, in which he defeated a French army under Marshal Soult during the Peninsular War.
He was born in Glasgow, the son of John Moore, a doctor and writer, and the older brother of Vice Admiral Sir Graham Moore. He attended Glasgow High School, but at the age of eleven joined his father and Douglas, the young 16 year old 8th Duke of Hamilton, (1756–1799), his father's pupil, on a grand tour of France, Italy and Germany. This included a two-year stay in Geneva, where Moore's education continued.
Military and political career 1776–90
He joined the British Army in 1776 as an ensign in the 51st Foot then based in Minorca. He first saw action in 1778 during the American War of Independence as a lieutenant in the 82nd Regiment of Foot (1778), which was raised in Lanarkshire for service in North America by 8th Duke of Hamilton. From 1779-1781 he was garrisoned at Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1779, he distinguished himself in action during the Penobscot Expedition in present-day Maine, when a small British detachment held off a much larger rebel American force until reinforcements arrived.
After the war, in 1783, he returned to Britain and in 1784 was elected to Parliament as the Member for Lanark Burghs, a seat he held until 1790.
In 1787, he was made Major and joined the 60th briefly before returning to the 51st. In 1791 his unit was assigned to the Mediterranean and he was involved in campaigning in Corsica and was wounded at Calvi. He was given a Colonelcy and became Adjutant-General to Sir Charles Stuart. Friction between Moore and the new British viceroy of Corsica led to his recall and posting to the West Indies under Sir Ralph Abercromby.