Eric James MOODY
No. 556286 Trooper, North Somerset Yeomanry,
Royal Armoured Corps.
Died 20 September 1941, aged 19 years.
Buried in Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery,
Damascus, Syria, Grave P.47.
The North Somerset Yeomanry was an armoured regiment of the Territorial Army, and, with other British and Commonwealth forces, was deployed to Syria in 1941 to fight the Vichy French. Syria was at that time a French colonial possession, but was controlled by the Vichy French, who were collaborators with Germany. This state of affairs was seen as a threat to British interests in the Middle East. The Vichy French in Syria were defeated after heavy fighting.
The cemetery in which Trooper Moody is buried contains over 500 British and Commonwealth graves from the Second World War.
Eric James Moody was the son of John William Moody and Hilda Beatrice Moody of South Bank, Middlesbrough. Born in 1921, he won a North Riding County Council Scholarship to attend Coatham School as a day boy in September 1933. He was then aged eleven and joined Cochrane’s House, in Form IIA. Eric left after three years, in July 1936. In 1940 he was on the first published list of Old Coathamians in H.M. Forces and he was first listed on the School’s Roll of Honour in July 1942.