Golfers to honour club pro who became First World War hero with ceremony on the 100th anniversary of his death

Paul Murray and club captain Grant Dixon with a photo of Private Michael Moran playing.
Paul Murray and club captain Grant Dixon with a photo of Private Michael Moran playing.
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Golfers will gather to honour their club’s pro who gave his life in service during the First World War.

Members of Seaham Golf Club will host a remembrance service to mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Michael Moran, who died after he became wounded as he fought for the British Army in France in 1918.

Michael Moran, pictured in action.

Michael Moran, pictured in action.

The Irishman came to Seaham as its professional in 1914, just three years after the club’s launch.

Born close to the Royal Dublin Links, he won the Irish PGA five times in a row, a record which still stands together, and in 1913 he finished third in the Open at the Royal Liverpool Golf club, making him the first from his country to win money at the competition.

A year after his move to Seaham, a course launched with the financial help of Lord Londonderry with the Marquess of Londonderry its first president, Moran enlisted with the Army and joined the Southern Irish Horse Regiment.

He served on the Western Front and was wounded and captured during the Spring Offensive of 1918.

It was after the war that they identified his date of death and we wanted to mark the 100th anniversary.

Paul Murray

After the 32-year-old Private’s death on April 10, he was buried at Le Cateau Military Cemetery in France, with his loss only confirmed after the end of the conflict.

In 1920, the Moran Cup was inaugurated in his honour and is open to all PGA Southern Branch Irish Professionals and is played at the Royal Dublin Golf Club.

Tuesday’s ceremony has been organised by the help of club members including Paul Murray, a Queen’s Bodyguard Yeoman of the Guard for the last six years, and a serviceman of 36 year before his recent retirement as a Captain in the Royal Engineers.

He said: “We have got a lot of ex-services who are members at the club and I think there’s a lot done for the forces around Seaham and its branch of Royal British Legion is strong.

Michael Moran, who was Seaham Golf Club's professional before he went on to serve in the British Army.

Michael Moran, who was Seaham Golf Club's professional before he went on to serve in the British Army.

“It was after the war that they identified his date of death and we wanted to mark the 100th anniversary.”

Members of the town’s Royal British Legion will be in attendance at the noon ceremony. as will mayor Sonia Forster.

Club Captain Grant Dixon has been invited to take part in a Pro-Am competition incorporating the Moran Cup at the Royal Dublin Golf Club on April 27 as it too marks 100 years since the player’s death.

Seaham Golf Club memorial event for WWI veteran Private Michael Moran.

Seaham Golf Club memorial event for WWI veteran Private Michael Moran.

Seaham Golf Club memorial event for WWI veteran Private Michael Moran. From left  club captain Grant Dixon and Paul Murray

Seaham Golf Club memorial event for WWI veteran Private Michael Moran. From left club captain Grant Dixon and Paul Murray