Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
ff
13003876   Private John Joseph Murphy
Save as PDF
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 50th Company, Pioneer Corps (British Army)
Died: 17/06/1940 (Killed in Action)
Age: 43
Summary      
Private John Joseph Murphy was the husband of Mary Ann Murphy, (nee Quinn) Cookstown, Co. Tyrone and had 7 children. During the withdrawal of troops from Northern France, soldiers including John Joseph Murphy were being evacuated on board the S.S. Lancastria when it was attacked by German Bombers on 17th June 1940. One of the bombs went down the funnel of the Lancastria and she sank within 30 minutes, with the loss of between 2000-4000 soldiers.
Private John Joseph Murphy
Further Information
Private John Joseph Murphy was the husband of Mary Ann Murphy, (nee Quinn) Cookstown, Co. Tyrone and had 7 children, Kathleen, Joseph, John, James & Anthony (twins), Freddie and Patricia.
John Murphy had been a veteran of WW1.
During the withdrawal of troops from Northern France, Soldiers and Airmen, uncluding John Joseph Murphy were being evacuated from the Port of St. Nazaire, Brittany, France.
He was on board the RMS Lancastria when it was attacked by German Junkers 88 Bombers on 17th June 1940. One of the bombs went down the funnel of the Lancastria and she sank within 30 minutes, there were approximately 6,000 troops, crew, and civilian personnel on board. Enormous uncertainty remains to the actual loss of life and it is estimated that somewhere between 2000-4000 were drowned.
HMT Lancastria
Sir Winston Churchill felt that the country’s morale could not bare such news so ordered the press not to reveal the story. The story of the tragedy later broke in the U.S.A., and the papers on the event are not to be released until the year 2040.
John Murphy was aged 43 when he died. He is commemorated on Dunkirk Memorial, Column 153, and Cookstown Cenotaph.
Lancastria Memorial in Saint-Nazaire
The Lancastria Memorial in Saint-Nazaire
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Cookstown area Cookstown Central Born and lived in Cookstown 54.647358 -6.742761
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 Ahoy - Mac's Web Log Photo, memorial details & more information on HMT Lancastria
2 BBC WW2 People's War Survivor account of evacuation from St Nazaire and Sinking of Lancastria
3 French language Lancastria website More photos and accounts of the Lancastria's sinking
4 Lancastria website list of casualties Murphy John Joseph (43) Pte 50 Coy AMPC 13003876*
5 Wikepedia entry on RMS Lancastria Explains ongoing controversy on the sinking