Greater love hath no man than this
“I think I would like to be a BB Officer”. Mr. A.E. Milan, a Lieutenant in the 99th London Company was entertaining a group of company boys to tea at his home back in the 1920’s when young Eddie came out with this surprising ambition. It would be wonderful if Eddie did eventually become a BB officer Mr Milan thought, for he had been the very first boy to enrol in the 99th when it had been formed in 1926 at St James’ Church in Mitcham Lane, Streatham.
Three years later Archie Milan was invited to form and be Captain of a new Company at nearby St Andrew’s Church, South Streatham which was to become the 92nd London Company.
Meanwhile Eddie had moved to the newly developed Vale area with his family and asked if he could transfer to the new Company together with his elder brother John. Thus Edward Brindle Moon, “Eddie” to his friends, became the very first boy to enrol yet again. Already a Lance Corporal he became the first Corporal, the first Sergeant, Staff-sergeant and Warrant Officer in the 92nd London. Finally the great day came when he was appointed their first “Old Boy” Lieutenant, his early ambition fulfilled.
Eddie was typical of the kind of boy who forms the “backbone” of any BB Company. He was modest and dependable with a strong sense of duty, a Christian character and always ready to serve others.
However, at the end of the Annual Camp in 1939 came the 2nd World War and Eddie, anxious to serve his country in its time of need, joined the Army even before he would have been officially called-up. To his dismay he was posted to a very mundane and “cushy” job operating a telephone switchboard in Kent, his only consolation being it enabled him to keep in touch with and give occasional help to the 92nd London when circumstances permitted.
Bored with his role in the army he applied to become a glider pilot. He was accepted, successfully completed the tough training and became a sergeant in the Glider Pilot Regiment. His training was put to the sternest test in the days following “D” Day in 1944, when he was engaged in conveying troops across the channel. During a brief rest from this hazardous occupation he found time to spend a few days at the 92nd London Annual Camp at Ufton Nervet, Berkshire. He might well have basked in the glory which his recent experiences would have given him in the eyes of the boys, but he chose instead to spend his time doing odd jobs about the camp.
Eddie returned to his unit and his last mission was to be involved in the fateful and tragic Battle of Arnhem, Holland (“The Bridge Too Far”). Surrounded by the enemy and in the thick of the fighting, Sgt. E. Moon went out from cover to aid a wounded comrade lying in the open and was shot by a German sniper and killed. He had disregarded all thought of self and died a true hero.
After the war Mr and Mrs Moon presented to the 92nd London a fine silk colour, emblazoned with the cross of St. Andrew, in memory of their son. The Moon Colour was dedicated at St. Andrew’s Church, South Streatham on the 6th October 1946 at an Old Boys Reunion Service. The Company carried these colours for nearly 30 years before they were finally laid-up on the 19th October 1975. The colours are still treasured in memory of Edward Moon, a fine example of true Christian manliness.
As a final footnote, it should be recorded that eight Old Boys of the 92nd London were killed in action during the 2nd World War. During the life of the company their names were always read out at Founders Day Bible Class, an occasion attended by Old Boys from far and wide:-
Ernest Henry Brown
Wallis Neville Chellingworth
Roy Thomas Gibson
Douglas James Holdaway
Frank Dennis Hope
Edward Brindle Moon
Charles Henry Yates