Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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477620   Private Harrison Moore Murphy
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 20/04/2017
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: Royal Canadian Regiment (Canadian Army)
Date Of Birth: 20/05/1886
Died: 16/09/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 30
Summary      
Private Harrison Moore Murphy was the only son of Captain Moore Murphy and Mrs. Elizabeth Murphy of Gortreagh, Cookstown. Harrison was born in Kent. At the out break of war he volunteered and joined the Royal Canadians, and spent some time in England training with his regiment in February 1916, when he visited his parents in Cookstown for a few days leave. Harrison’s parents received a letter from him, dated 15th September 1916 which was full of hope and cheerfulness. Harrison was killed in action the following day.
Private Harrison Moore Murphy
Further Information
Harrison Moore Murphy was the only son of Captain Moore Murphy and Mrs. Elizabeth Murphy.
Harrison was born in Hythe, Kent, England on 20th May 1886.
The 1901 census records Harrison as age 15, living with the family at house 6 in Gortreagh, Orritor, County Tyrone. He was still at school.
Harrison attended Queens University, Belfast from 1908 and 1910 and graduated with a B.A. from the Faculty of Science.
The 1911 census records Harrison as age 24, living with the family at house 1 in Gortreagh, Orritor, County Tyrone. He is described as a Graduate of the Royal University of Ireland.
Family: Moore Murphy, Elizabeth Murphy, Elizabeth Y Murphy (born about 1883), Margaret Murphy (born about 1885), Harrison Moore Murphy (born 20th May 1886).
Harrison’s father, Captain Moore Murphy, was an invalid and had spent most of his life in Military service, being 15 years in India and was posted to South Africa where he commanded a company of South Wales Borders. He had many active service and campaign medals before retiring due to illness.
Harrison emigrated to Canada and lived and worked as a farmer.
Harrison enlisted in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 22nd August 1915 and joined the Royal Canadians.
Canadian Attestion Papers - Harrison M Murphy 1/2
Canadian Attestion Papers - Harrison M Murphy 2/2
He spent some time in England training with his regiment in February 1916, when he visited his parents in Cookstown for a few days leave.
Harrison’s parents received a letter from him, dated 15th September 1916 which was full of hope and cheerfulness. Harrison was killed in action the following day.
Private Harrison Murphy was serving with the Royal Canadian Regiment when he was killed in action on 16th September 1916. He was 30 years old.
The Canadian Circumstances of Death Register records that Private Murphy was killed in action. Whilst taking part in an attack on an enemy trench south west of Courcelette, he was hit in the head and killed by an enemy bullet.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 30th September 1916: Private H M Murphy
Captain and Mrs Murphy, Gortrea, Cookstown, have been advised by the Canadian Record Office, London, that their only son, Private Harrison Moore Murphy, B.A.., Royal Canadians, was killed in action on 16th September. The King and Queen have sent a letter of sympathy. The deceased, who has graduated B.A. at Queen’s College, was an able and promising young man of 28. He was in Toronto at the outbreak of the war, and volunteering, joined the Royal Canadians. He was some time in England with his battalion, and in February last, immediately prior to going to the front, he spent a few days at home with his parents. His last letter to his mother was dated 15th September, the day previous to his death, and was full of hope and cheerfulness. His father, Captain Murphy, who is now an invalid, spent his life in the army. He was 15 years in India, and was through the South African War in command of a company of South Wales Borderers. He possesses two active service medals. Both he and Mrs Murphy are, naturally, heartbroken at the loss of their only boy, but state that their consolation is that he died doing his duty, and that, hard as it is, they would prefer his gallant death to his being alive and being a shirker. The greatest sympathy is felt for them and their two daughters in their great bereavement.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 30th September 1916:
MURPHY – Killed in action on 16 September, Private Harrison Moore Murphy, B.A., Royal Canadians, only son of Captain and Mrs Murphy, Gortrea, Cookstown, aged 28 years.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 7th October 1916: Private H M Murphy
Captain and Mrs Murphy, Gortrea, Cookstown, have been advised by the Canadian Record Office, London, that their only son, Private Harrison Moore Murphy, B.A.., Royal Canadians, was killed in action on 16th September. The King and Queen have sent a letter of sympathy. The deceased, who has graduated B.A. at Queen’s College, was an able and promising young man of 28. He was in Toronto at the outbreak of the war, and volunteering, joined the Royal Canadians. He was some time in England with his battalion, and in February last, immediately prior to going to the front, he spent a few days at home with his parents. His last letter to his mother was dated 15th September, the day previous to his death, and was full of hope and cheerfulness. His father, Captain Murphy, who is now an invalid, spent his life in the army. He was 15 years in India, and was through the South African War in command of a company of South Wales Borderers. He possesses two active service medals. Both he and Mrs Murphy are, naturally, heartbroken at the loss of their only boy, but state that their consolation is that he died doing his duty, and that, hard as it is, they would prefer his gallant death to his being alive and being a shirker. The greatest sympathy is felt for them and their two daughters in their great bereavement.
Captain Moore Murphy sold his home at Gortreagh soon after and returned to England to live with his daughter. He died in December 1916.
Private Harrison Murphy has no known grave and is commemorated on Vimy (Canadian) Memorial, France.
The CWGC record Private Harrison Moore Murphy as the son of Captain Moore Murphy and Mrs Elizabeth Murphy. The CWGC also record he had obtained a B.A. from Queen's University, Belfast, Ireland.
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Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Gortreagh, Oritor Orritor Census listing in Gortreagh, Oritor 54.655725 -6.785333
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Murphy family 1901 census lists Harrison as age 15 at house 6 in Gortreagh, Oritor, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists Murphy family 1911 census lists Harrison as age 24, a graduate of the Royal University of Ireland, at house 1 in Gortreagh, Oritor, Tyrone
3 Canadian Great War Project Details of Private Harrison Moore Murphy
4 Canadian Virtual War Memorial Details of Harrison Moore Murphy including memorial image
5 Circumstances of Death Registers Details of Private Harrison Moore Murphy's death
6 Harrison Moore Attestation Papers Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force Attestation Papers includes dob
7 Queen’s University War Memorial 'Murphy, Harrison Moore '
8 Queens Univ. Book of Remembrance 1952 Page 43. Faculty of Science 1908-1910
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2020