Moller, John Arthur


He was the second son of Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Appleby Moller MC, and Kitty Frances Muriel Moller (daughter of Arthur L.F. Rawlins), of 11 Eaton Terrace, Knightsbridge, London SW1. He came from Horris Hill into Mr. F.W. Goddard’s House in September 1936, and had a most distinguished career. He was a Commoner Prefect, but it was an athlete rather than as a scholar that he won distinction. In 1938 he got his Flannels for cricket, and the same winter was in Commoner XV and on dress for VI. In 1939 and 1940 he was in Commoner VI, being captain of a strong VI in 1940.  He was also Captain of Boxing, won the Weight and was a Sergeant in the JTC.

After serving for six months in the Young Soldiers’ Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment, he went to Sandhurst OCTU in July 1941, and was commissioned in the Grenadier Guards in January 1942. He joined 2nd (Armoured) Battalion, to which John Philip Utterson-Kelso, Moller’s exact contemporary at Winchester (C 1936-1940), had also been posted: Moller outlived him by a month.

He went to France with 2nd (Armoured) Battalion in July 1944, as part of the Guards Armoured Division.

Moller was killed in action at Nijmegen on September 19th 1944, at the age of twenty-one, during Operation Market-Garden. Senior officers later said that, had he lived, he would surely have won a high award for his gallantry and initiative.

He was killed at the Nijmegen road bridge while in command of the leading Troop.   Major General Verney’s   “The Guards Armoured Division: A Short History” (Hutchinson 1955) records that strong opposition was met at a small roundabout and several tanks were knocked out.  An 88mm gun opened fire. Moller instantly located this and knocked it out, and also two other ‘88s’, but then ran out of ammunition, and a fourth ‘88’ scored a direct hit on his tank. But for his gallantry the bridge could not have been successfully rushed the next day.

He rests in grave 22.F.1 of the Jonkerbos War Cemetery. On his grave the legend reads:

He knows he at the end

Shall life inherit.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission site gives Moller’s middle name as Alan.

War: World War 2

  • Surname: Moller
  • Forenames or initials: John Arthur
  • House: D
  • Years in School: 1936-1940
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Grenadier Guards
  • Date of Birth: 3rd December 1922
  • Date of Death: 19th September 1944
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner B2
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Jonkerbos War Cemetery: Grave22.F.1