Sergeant William McMurray


The North Irish Horseman William McMurray was probably the person born on 10 September 1892 at Union Street, Lurgan, County Armagh, the second of six children of cloth printer William John McMurray and his wife Elizabeth (nee Neill). By 1911 he was living with his family at 77 Avenue Road, Lurgan, and working as a power loom tenter in a linen works, the firm of Messrs Johnston, Allen & Co, Wardville Factory, Lurgan.

McMurray was a well-know local footballer. According to the Belfast-News-Letter, he "assisted the Lurgan Rangers' team to win the Beattie Cup, the Mid-Ulster Cup, the Junior Cup, while they were also the runners-up for the Belfast Combination (1st division)". These successes were achieved in the 1913-14 season.

McMurray enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 10 September 1914 (No.1203 – later Corps of Hussars No.71279). He embarked for France with D Squadron on 1 May 1915, serving with the squadron throughout the war.

D Squadron served as divisional cavalry to the 51st Division until May 1916, when it joined A and E Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps. In February and March 1918 the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corp cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

McMurray was one of a number of men of the regiment awarded a Military Medal in the early months of 1919 for gallantry and other good service in the last months of the war.

He was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 3 March 1919.