Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Private George Turkington Murray

 

 

Murray 1

 

George Turkington Murray was born on 24 June 1892 at Kilkeel, County Down, the first of six children of book-seller Thomas David Murray and his wife Anne Jane Murray (nee Turkington).

Murray grew up in Belfast. By 1911 he was living with his family at 238 Oldpark Road. His father was working as a city missionary and George as a handkerchief manufacturing clerk.

According to a later newspaper report, Murray was a well-known local footballer:

[He] represented Cliftonville Strollers at the Irish Junior Alliance for many years, and served on various committees of that body. He was connected with the County Antrim Association, and for a time was in charge of Cliftonville Olympic team. He was one of the most popular Cliftonians, his unassuming disposition gaining him many friends.

In January or February 1917 Murray enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim (No.2369).

However in July that year he transferred to the South Irish Horse (No.3147), and soon after embarked for France as a reinforcement for one of the two South Irish Horse regiments there.

At the end of August 1917 these regiments were dismounted and brought together to form the 7th (South Irish Horse) Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment. Murray was issued a new regimental number – 25637.

On 12 December that year the 7th Battalion was in the lines on the south of the Cambrai front. Its war diary for the day states:

Battln relieved in evening by 7/8 R. Innis. Fus. & returned to billets at St. Emilie. Billets shelled & 28 men killed & 40 wounded. ... Battln moved out of billets & occupied Railway Cutting.

Murray was one of the men killed in that bombardment.

Initially buried at Ste. Emilie British Cemetery (map reference 62c.E.24.b.8.9), in Plot 3 Row C Grave 4, after the war his body was moved to Templeux-le-Guerard British Cemetery, Somme, France, grave II.G.41. His gravestone inscription reads:

25637 PRIVATE
G. T. MURRAY
ROYAL IRISH REGIMENT
12TH DECEMBER 1917 AGE 25

 

Templeux 2

 

Newspaper image kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (www.greatwarbelfastclippings.com). Gravestone image 1 kindly provided by Pierre Vandervelden. See his website www.inmemories.com. Gravestone image 2 kindly provided by Richard Evans - see his website Nelson, Glamorgan and the Great War http://www.nelson-ww1-memorial.org.uk.