Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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Date Information
01/05/2020 02249
17/12/2018 ‘I regret very deeply indeed to have to convey to you the sad news of the death of your husband. He fell in action on 25th September. Captain Rush, commanding B Company, regarded your husband’s death as a great loss to the battalion and especially to B Company. With much sympathy in your sorrow.’
17/12/2018 Second Lieutenant John Small of the 9th Black Watch, in writing to Mrs Murdock says:-
17/12/2018 ‘In all probability you have already received an official intimation that your husband, CSM W Murdock, 9th Black Watch, was killed in action on 25th September. I wish to express to you the deep sympathy of the entire regiment in your great grief at the loss of so good and brave a man. We all miss him very much and so can understand in a small way what your sorrow must be. He died a hero’s death and lies buried on the battlefield just where he fell. He gave his life for a good noble cause and is now I am sure enjoying the reward of his great sacrifice. May God bless you and give you strength and courage to bear your grief.’
17/12/2018 Rev H J Collins, chaplain with the company, writing on 22nd October to the deceased wife says:-
17/12/2018 Information has been received that Company Sergeant Major William James Murdock, Black Watch, eldest son of Mr Richard Murdock, Unagh, Cookstown, was killed in action on 25th September. He had just completed his 21 years’ service a few weeks before war was declared. Shortly after enlisting he was sent to South Africa at the time of the Jameson raid, and when trouble was ended there, he was sent to India where he remained until the South African war broke out. He was again sent to South Africa and took part in a number of engagements and escaped without receiving a scratch. He served six more years in India and the last two years of his term were spent at Perth. In July 1914 he retired on pension and went to live in Edinburgh. When war was declared, he was called up and for several months he was engaged in drilling troops in England and went out to the front with his regiment during the summer. He was about 43 years of age and leaves a wife and five children.
17/12/2018
17/12/2018 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 6th November 1915: Sergeant Major W J Murdock
17/12/2018 When the war broke out, the deceased’s youngest brother George, who was employed in Scotland, immediately volunteered and is at present at the front with the Royal Scots.
23/09/2016 Information has been received by Mr Richard Murdock, Unagh, Cookstown, that his son, Company Sergeant Major William James Murdock, 9th Black Watch, was killed in action in France on 25th September. Sergeant Major Murdock had 21 years’ service in the army, and had taken part in the south African campaign, and leaves a wife and five children.
23/09/2016
23/09/2016 From the Belfast Newsletter dated 1st November 1915:
14/04/2016 At the outbreak of the First World War William had already served twenty-one years in the British Army. He first saw action in South Africa at the time of the Jameson raid.
14/04/2016
14/04/2016
14/04/2016 C.S.M. William Murdock left a widow and five children.
14/04/2016 William Murdock was the eldest son of Richard and Bess Murdock. Richard Murdock married Elizabeth McKinney on 22nd February 1870 in the district of Cookstown.
14/04/2016 William Murdock was born on 11th February 1873 in Unagh, Lissan, Cookstown. He was one of eight children (1911 census).
14/04/2016 Known Family: Richard Murdock, Eliza Murdock, Mary Murdock (born 13th January 1871), William Murdock (born 11th February 1873), Eliza Murdock (born 19th July 1876), Richard Murdock (born 20th December 1878), George Murdock (born 12th September 1881), Annie Murdock (born 16th March 1884), Sarah Murdock (born about 1888).
14/04/2016 The 1901 census does not list William as living with the family at house 11 in Unagh, Lissan Lower, County Tyrone. His father was a gamekeeper. His mother was servant and cook.
14/04/2016 The 1911 census does not list William as living with the family at house 16 in Unagh, Lissan Lower. His father was a farmer.
14/04/2016 He later went to India and was stationed there until the Boer War started. He was then sent back to South Africa and took part in a number of engagements without injury.
14/04/2016 Company Sergeant Major William Murdock served six more years in India and the last two years of his service were spent in Perth.
14/04/2016 In July 1914 he retired on a pension and went to live in Edinburgh. When war was declared he was called up and was engaged for several months training troops in England. He was sent to France with his Regiment during the summer of 1915.
14/04/2016 By September 1915 plans were in place for what became the Battle of Loos and it was during the first morning of the offensive that William was killed in action.
14/04/2016 Company Sergeant Major William Murdock was serving with the 9th Battalion of the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) when he was killed in action in Loos on Saturday 25th September 1915.
14/04/2016 Company Sergeant Major William Murdock has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial. The memorial forms the sides and back of Dud Corner Cemetery. It commemorates over 20,000 officers and men who have no known grave, who fell in the area from the River Lys to the old southern boundary of the First Army, east and west of Grenay. Loos-en-Gohelle is a village five kilometres north-west of Lens in France.
14/04/2016 William Murdock is also commemorated on Cookstown Cenotaph and First Presbyterian Roll of Honour, Cookstown.
14/04/2016 William’s father Richard died on 5th February 1917. In his will, which describes him as a gamekeeper, he left 34 pounds to his second oldest son, Richard Murdock, who was a school teacher.
14/04/2016 The attack began at 6.30am and by about 7.20am the 9th Battalion had taken the second German line and were fighting their way through the village of Loos when William was killed.
30/12/2015
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