No. 5592, 6th Battalion, Connaught Rangers
Killed in action on Thursday 8 March 1917 (aged 31)
Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery, Belgium (Grave M. 75)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s)
In the Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 database it is recorded that Private Joseph Murray (No. 5592) was born in Newtownards, lived in Newtownards and enlisted in Lurgan.
Joseph Murray was born on 24 April 1885 in Newtownards Workhouse and he was a son of Eliza Murray from the townland of Ballyblack.
Joseph Murray and Agnes Kirk were married on 17 May 1905 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office. It is recorded on their civil marriage registration certificate that Joseph Murray, a labourer from Ballyblack, was a son of Joseph Murray, a labourer. Agnes Kirk from Ballyhay, Donaghadee was a daughter of Francis Kirk, a farmer.
Joseph and Agnes Murray (nee Kirk) had at least two children:
Francis (born 9 October 1905 in the townland of Granshaw, Comber)
James (born 27 June 1908 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
Agnes Murray (nee Kirk) died of tuberculosis at Ballyhay on 16 June 1909 (aged 29) and her brother, Francis Kirk, was with her when she died.
Joseph Murray and Annie Cochrane were married on 10 May 1910 in Comber Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mary’s). Annie Cochrane, a spinster (aged 30) who was born in County Derry, was a daughter of John Cochrane, a labourer. In April 1911 Joseph and Annie Murray (nee Cochrane) were living in the townland of Tullyhubbert, Moneyreagh with Joseph’s two sons, Francis (aged 6) and James (aged 3), together with his two step-daughters, Tilly Cochrane (aged 12) and Sarah Cochrane (aged 8).
Annie Murray (nee Cochrane) died of debility and anaemia on 4 October 1911 (aged 32) in the townland of Clonkeen, County Westmeath where, at that time, Joseph was working as a labourer.
During the Great War, Private Joseph Murray (No. 5592) served with the 6th Battalion Connaught Rangers in 47th Brigade of the 16th (Irish) Division. He went to Gallipoli on 3 October 1915 and from there via Salonika to the Western Front.
On 2 February 1916 Private Joseph Murray (No. 5592) and Agnes McCullough were married in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s). Private Joseph Murray (aged 29) was a widower from Newtownards and his father wasn’t named on the marriage registration certificate. Agnes McCullough (aged 18) from Newtownards was a daughter of George McCullough, a labourer. Their daughter Margaret was born on 4 July 1917 – four months after her father was killed.
Private Joseph Murray (No. 5592) wrote his will on 12 January 1917 and in it he left all his property and effects to his wife Agnes who was living at 10 Wallace’s Street, Newtownards.
Private Joseph Murray (No. 5592) was 31 when he was killed in action on 8 March 1917, he was buried in Kemmel Chateau Military Cemetery in Belgium and he is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).
In the booklet produced for the Unveiling and Dedication of Newtownards and District War Memorial held on Saturday 26 May 1934 Joseph Murray is described as a Rifleman in the Royal Irish Rifles.
On 10 October 1917 Agnes Murray (nee McCullough, aged 19) and Rifleman Arthur Cain were married in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s). Rifleman Arthur Cain (No. 44872) stationed at Clandeboye Camp was a son of John James Cain, a carter, and he was serving with the 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. Arthur Cain had enlisted on 4 May 1915 and previously served overseas with the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (No. 4116). Having been wounded in both hands, Rifleman Cain was discharged from the Army on 5 February 1918 because he was no longer fit for war service and he was awarded the Silver War Badge (No. 511828).