23997 PTE. F. J. MURRAY L.N.LAN.R.
Frederick Joseph Murray was born in Preston in the fourth quarter of 1896. He was the son of John Murray (b. 1863 in Preston) and Margaret Murray (maiden name not known, b. 1863 in Lancaster) who married in Preston in 1884. In 1911, they were living at 6 Trinity Square, Preston, where John was a waterproof cover maker. Their five (of seven) surviving children were also living at the same address: Elizabeth b. 1885, Ignatius b. 1895, Frederick b. 1896, James b. 1900, and Madge b. 1905. In 1911, at the age of 14, Fred was already working in the mill as a ‘cotton reacher to drawer in’. The newspaper article tells us that by the time War broke out, the Murrays were living at 2 Albert Terrace, Lostock Hall, and that Fred was working at the Leyland Rubber Works.
Fred joined the 1st Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, and was probably among the numerous small drafts of men who arrived in France at intervals in the spring and summer of 1916. The first half of the year was relatively quiet as the army prepared for the great assault which would be the Battle of the Somme. Fred fought through, and survived, the three main phases of the battle: 1-17 July; mid-July to September; September to November 18, but was killed in action on November 26. Although the main action of the Battle of the Somme was concluded, trench fighting continued and in late November, 1st Battalion were in the trenches at Bazentin-le-Grand. This is probably where he died, but his body was never recovered. He was 19 years old. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. His effects – £1 6s 2d – and the war gratuity of £3 were paid to his parents as joint legatees who at the time were living at 4 Stewart Street, Preston.
Ignatius also served in the War in L.N.LAN.R. He was 13290 PTE. I. MURRAY who served in 8Bn and went to France on 25 September 1915. According to the newspaper article, Ignatius was wounded on 22 May 1916 and he recuperated at Felixstowe. He presumably returned to the front at some stage. He survived the War and was transferred to Class Z reserve on 21 March 1919. He later lived in Chorley and died there in 1962.
Service No: 23997
Date of Death: 26/11/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment 1st Bn.
Panel Reference: Pier and Face 11 A.
Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL