Murphy, William Hugh (Hugh)
No. 1535737, 170 Battery, 57 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
Died in service on Monday 12 August 1940 (aged 27)
Killysuggan Graveyard, Newtownards, Co. Down (Plot 3 Row 5 Grave 10)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
William Hugh Murphy was born on 21 April 1913 in the townland of Gransha, Kircubbin and he was a son of Hugh and Sarah Ellen Murphy (nee Magee, sometimes McGee) who were married on 22 April 1912 in St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church, Nunsquarter, Kircubbin. Hugh Murphy (aged 24) a labourer from Gransha was a son of Patrick Murphy, a labourer. Sarah Ellen Magee (aged 23) a seamstress from Rureagh was a daughter of John Magee, a labourer.
The Murphy family lived at 68 Court Street, Newtownards and they had at least two children:
William Hugh (born 21 April 1913 in Gransha)
Mary (born 26 April 1914 in Gransha)
Prior to the outbreak of the Second World War William Hugh Murphy worked as a plasterer. He joined the Royal Artillery in December 1939 and saw active service in France. He was stationed in England when he died on 12 August 1940 and his death was registered in Portsmouth. His remains were brought home to Newtownards for burial and his funeral took place on 19 August 1940.
There was a service in St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Newtownards before the interment in Killysuggan Graveyard. In a letter to Gunner William Hugh Murphy’s parents, one of the officers of his unit wrote, ‘His loss is deplored by us all. We all loved him for his cheerfulness and humour, and he was always keen and willing. If any member of his section wanted a little help to do a job, he was always ready to give a hand’. A sum of money subscribed by the officers, NCOs and men was forwarded to Mrs Murphy to buy a wreath or to be ‘used for whatever purpose his parents thought fit’.
Gunner William Hugh Murphy (No. 1535737) was 27 when he died, and he is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.