James Keith MURRAY MM+Bar

MURRAY, James Keith

Service Numbers: 8379, Q214581
Enlisted: 27 September 1915, Place of enlistment - Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 14th (QLD) Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC)
Born: Kapunda, SA, 29 May 1891
Home Town: Blackall, Blackall Tambo, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Station Overseer
Died: Natural causes, Blackall, Queensland, 29 May 1950, aged 59 years
Cemetery: Blackall Cemetery, Qld
Memorials: Allendale North School & District Honour Roll, Kapunda Congregational Church Memorial Window
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World War 1 Service

27 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 8379, Place of enlistment - Adelaide, South Australia
10 Oct 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Gunner, 6th Field Artillery Brigade
24 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Gunner, 8379, 6th Field Artillery Brigade , HMAT Botanist, Melbourne
24 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Gunner, 8379, 6th Field Artillery Brigade , Embarked on HMAT 'A59' Botanist from Melbourne on 24th November 1915, disembarking Suez, Egypt on 21st December 1915.
23 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Bombardier, 8379, 6th Field Artillery Brigade , Battle for Pozières
7 Aug 1916: Honoured Military Medal, "On the night of 7th, August near POZIERES, the wagon lines of this Battery wee shelled for four hours. Bombardier MURRAY was in charge of the stable piquet. Eleven horses were killed and fifteen wounded by shell fire. Bombardier MURRAY showed great coolness, got the men organised, and remained in the horse lines releasing the horses which he handed to gunners and drivers to take away, until all the horses were clear. His promptness cleared the lines quickly, saved horses, and avoided confusion and the risk of personnel consequent thereon"
30 Jul 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 6th Field Artillery Brigade , Was made Temporary Corporal on 5th June 1917.
10 Aug 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 6th Field Artillery Brigade , Was made Temporary Sergeant on 10th August 1917.
14 Sep 1917: Honoured Military Medal and bar, "On the 14th September, 1917, at ZILLMERE, the 18th Battery position was heavily shelled from 3 p.m. to 4.50 p.m. with 6.9" and 8". At 3.35 p.m. an ammunition dump alongside No. 1. gun was hit and it and the gun pit caught fire. These men (2375 Sergeant James Keith MURRAY and 8300 Bombardier William Clift CHAMBERS) on Lieut. Dodd calling for a party rushed out of the shelter trench in the face of heavy fire and with water from adjacent shell holes succeeded in putting it out. Later the pit was again hit and it and the ammunition and an adjacent pit caught fire. These men again went out with Lieut. Dodd in the face of the shelling and succeeded in saving the guns and ammunition. They displayed great gallantry and determination in the face of considerable danger. Sergeant MURRAY was awarded the Military Cross in September, 1916 Bombardier CHAMBERS was awarded the Military Medal in A.I.F. Order of June 29th 1917.
19 Apr 1919: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, 6th Field Artillery Brigade , Embarked on Sardinia from Devonport, England on 19th April 1919.
27 Jul 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Sergeant, 8379, 6th Field Artillery Brigade

World War 2 Service

19 Apr 1942: Involvement Sergeant, Q214581
19 Apr 1942: Enlisted Blackall, QLD
19 Apr 1942: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Sergeant, Q214581, 14th (QLD) Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC)
21 Oct 1945: Discharged
21 Oct 1945: Discharged Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Sergeant, Q214581, 14th (QLD) Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps (VDC)

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"Bmdr. Keith Murray, the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Murray, of Allandale, near Kapunda, who has received the military medal for conspicuous bravery, comes of a good pioneering stock. His grandparents were the late Mr. Abraham Shannon (on his mother's side), and Mr. Pulteney Murray, of Glen Turret (on his father's side). Bmbr. Murray went to the front last year. Mr. John Murray, a well-known cricketer (formerly of St. Peter's College), who is now in camp, is a cousin. The late Lieut. Kenneth Murray, son of the late, Mr. Hope Murray and Mrs. Murray, who was killed in action recently, was also a cousin." - from the Adelaide Register 28 Sep 1916 (nla.gov.au)



Blackall and Central Queensland business and racing circles suffered a grievous loss on Monday by the passing of Mr. J. K. Murray in the Blackall Hospital, aged 59 years. The late Mr. Murray had not been in his usual robust health lately, but his death was totally unexpected by his large circle of friends, which extended over all the Central West.

Returning from World War 1, Mr. Murray was on Wellshot, under the late Mr. James Inglis as overseer, and after leaving there, commenced as a shearing contractor in Blackall, and rapidly built up one of the most extensive shearing contracting businesses in the district. It was also as a racing man that the late Mr. Murray enlarged his wide circle of frinds. His colours were seen on all Western tracks, and he was a member of most of the racing clubs of the West and a member of the Barcoo Amateur Club's committee at the time of his death, and as such, was one of the grounds committee of that body. Among the well-known horses that Mr. Murray raced were Kamseem, Tiberian and Vertangi, and these also carried his colours in recent months on Rockhampton tracks. The two former came to Blackall for the recent Barcoo Amateur meeting. He also had in his Blackall stables at the time of his death, Takabay and Takinine. His stables were models for warm climates, all bough roofing, and each closed box had an open box fronting it, giving each horse a winter or a summer box, as desired.

His funeral at which Rev. S. Cowen of the Church of England officiated, was one of the largest ever seen in Blackall, testifying to the high esteem in which he was held by all classes. Prior to the ceremony at the cemetery, there had been a service in the church. He is survived by two sons, Allan and Boyd, of Blackall. His wife predeceased him some years ago." - from the Longreach Leader 02 Jun 1950 (nla.gov.au)