DONALD FREDERICK MURRAY

Born: 10th May 1902, Southwold, Suffolk.

Died: 4th February 1940; age: 37.

Residence: 121, Brunswick Road, Ipswich.

Occupation: Office Boy.

Enlistment Details: Location: Chatham, Kent; Date:10th May 1920 – signed up for 12 years. Height: 5ft 7 1/4ins, fresh complexion, grey eyes & dark brown hair.

Service:

Ganges – Boy II – 7th November 1917

Ganges – Boy I – 9th May 1918 – 2nd February 1919

Calypso – Boy I – 3rd February 1919

Calypso – Ordinary Seaman – 10th November 1919 – 31st August 1920

Pembroke I – Able Seaman – 1st September 1020 – 28th October 1920

Commonwealth – Able Seaman – 29th October 1920 – 9th April 1921

Pembroke I – Able Seaman – 10th April 1921 –  7th November 1921

Dragon – Able Seaman – 8th November 1921 – 5th January 1922

Pembroke I – Able Seaman – 6th January 1922 – 2nd October 1922

Royal Sovereign – Able Seaman – 3rd October 1922 – 16th September 1924

Pembroke I – 17th September 1924 – 30th September 1926

Abdiel – Able Seaman – 1st October 1926 – 14th January 1927

Tyrain – Able Seaman – 15th January 1927 – 29th April 1927

Pembroke I – Able Seaman – 30th April 1927 – 22nd June 1927

Royal Oak – Able Seaman – 23rd June 1927.

 

Volunteered – 27th August 1931

Pembroke I – Able Seaman – 22nd June 1932

Valiant – Able Seaman – 9th January 1934

Pembroke I – Able Seaman – 16th August 1934

Seamew – Able Seaman – 19th Jnuary 1935

Calcutta – Able Seaman – 10th April 1935

Tern – Able Seaman – 29th April 1935

Dorsetshire – Able Seaman – 19th December 1935

Pembroke I – Able Seaman – 15th March 1937

Wishart – Able Seaman – 6th February 1938

Cardiff – Able Seaman – 16th March 1938

Pembroke I – Able Seaman – 14th June 1938

Wander – Able Seaman – 15th October 1938

Boadicea – Able Seaman – 5th May 1939

Pembroke I – Able Seaman – 12th May 1939

Sphinx – Able Seaman – 4th February 1940.

 

Rank: Able Seaman; Service Number: C-J 81418.

Regiment: Royal Navy, H.M.S. ‘Sphinx’.

 

Grave Reference:

  1. Collective Grave 11.

Wick Cemetery,

Wick,

Highland,

Caithness-shire,

Scotland.

 

Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Frederick & Harriet Murray; husband of Alexandra Wilgress Murray, of Otley, Suffolk.

 

CENSUS

 

1911   Reform Club, Lower Brook Street, Ipswich.

 

Donald was 8 years old and living with his mother & sisters.

Harriet Murray (nee Lanham), 38, a manageress of Reform Club – at home, born Bunwell, Norfolk.

Evelyn Alma H. Murray, 12, born Haverhill, Suffolk.

Muriel Lanham Murray, 10, born Haverhill.

Ena Mary Murray, 4, born Ipswich.

 

Donald’s father was Frederick Murray, born 1972, Stockbridge, Hampshire – died August 1932, at 21, Oxford Road, Ipswich. A Draper.

 

In 1939, Ipswich, Donald married Alexandra Wilgress Miller, born January 1901, Swilland, Suffolk, of Red House, The Green, Otley.

 

Probate to Alexandra Wilgress Miller – widow, of Red House, The Green, Otley.

3rd and 4th February 1940

 

H.M.S.’Sphinx’ was a Halycon-class minesweeper, built by William Hamilton & Company, at the Port Glasgow, Scotland, and launched on the 7th February 1939. She was commissioned in July 1939, by the Royal Navy and assigned to the 5th Minesweeping Flotilla, of the NoreCommand, based at Dover, Kent, to carry out minwsweeping in the English Channel and the North Sea. In December 1939, H.M.S.’Sphinx’ was transferred to Rosyth, the coastal port of Dunfermline, Scotland.

 

On the 3rd February 1940, H.M.S.’Sphinx’ was minesweeping in the Murray Firth, when at 09:12am, she came under an aerial attack from two German Dornier aircraft. A bomb passed through her bridge and upper deck before exploding in her forward mess deck. Commander John Robert Newton Taylor and 4 crew were killed.

 

On the 4th February, the wind was gale force and the sea very rough, when H.M.S. ‘Sphinx’ without her engines was taken in tow for Invergordon. At 04:55am a huge wave hit her broadside and she capsized. The crew found themselves thrown in the water and covered in the oil that had earlier been deliberately pumped from the tanks to calm  the sea. Many choked to death.

 

46 crew survived, 49 lives were lost. Donald was laid to rest in a collective grave, after a service at Wick Old Parish Church. Members of the R.A.F were pallbearers and carried the coffins draped in Union Jacks.

 

 

Posted in Second World War

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ALLAN ARTHUR FREANE 1

ALFRED JAMES MURRELL 1

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