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L-Cpl James Murray VC Pretoria, South Africa 1879

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He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions Elandsfonteri, Pretoria, South Africa in 1879.

Lance-Corporal. 2nd Battalion. Connaught Rangers.

London Gazetted on the 14th March, 1882.

Born in February 1859 at St Michael’s, Cork, Ireland.

Died on 19th July 1942 in Dublin, Ireland.

Digest of Citation reads:

Lance-Corporal Murray and Trooper Danaher, of Nourse’s Horse, advanced, under extremely heavy fire from approximately 60 Boers, for a distance of 500 yards, in the open, at Elandsfonteri, Pretoria, South Africa. The two men managed to bring in a private, of the 21st Foot Regiment, who was severely wounded. Lance-Corporal Murray, during this brave act, was also severely wounded.

Additional information:. A more concise statement tells that the two men went out to rescue two men of the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers, namely, Byrne and Davis, both of whom had been badly wounded. As soon as they started forward Murray’s horse was shot under him. He continued on foot.

In a letter dated 25th March 1891, Lance-Corporal Murray wrote that they both, (he and Danaher) reached them together, and whilst he was stooping to raise Byrne’s head, he was shot, the ball entering the right side and exiting close to the spine. He ordered Danaher, on seeing how useless it was for him to remain, to secure his (Murray’s)carbine and get away. Byrne died at his side soon after. He went on to tell that Davis and he, along with Byrne’s body, were taken prisoner by the Boers. They were well treated and returned, by courtesy of the Boer Commander, under a flag of truce, along with their dead comrades body. Five days later, Davis died

His medals were:-

VICTORIA CROSS

Introduced as the premier award for gallantry, available for all ranks, to cover all actions since the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854. A cross pattee. On the observe a lion statant gardant on the royal crown, with the words FOR VALOUR on a semi-circular scroll. The Cross is suspended by a ring from a seriffed ‘V’ attached to a suspension bar decorated with laurel leaves. It has a crimson ribbon

SOUTH AFRICA MEDAL with 1879 clasp

The campaign began in 1877 and culminated in the showdown between the Zulus and the British when Lord Chelmsford’s column was annihilated at Isandhlwana. The campaign concluded with defeat of Cetshwayo’s warriors at Ulundi. The observe has the Wyon profile of Queen Victoria and on the reverse, an African lion crouching in submission beside a protea shrub with a

Zulu shield and four crossed assegais in the exergue. Ribbon is gold with broad and narrow deep blue stripes towards each end.

CORONATION MEDAL 1937

Issued to celebrate King George VI’s coronation on 12 May 1937. The observe shows the conjoined busts of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in their robes of state without any inscription. The stark simplicity of this motif is matched by a reverse showing the crowned GRI over the inscription CROWNED 12 MAY 1937, with the names of the King and Queen in block

capitals round the circumference. Ribbon is blue edged with one red and two white stripes.

L-Cpl James Murray VC Pretoria, South Africa 1879

Source by Barry Sheppard

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