Murray, Thomas (Tom)
Stoker 1st Class
No. D/KX 103032, HMS Redmill, Royal Navy
Died as the result of enemy action on Friday 27 April 1945 (aged 35)
No known grave
Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, England (Panel 94 Column 3)
Thomas (Tom) Murray was born on 25 October 1909 at 2 Oban Street, Belfast and he was the third son of Thomas and Sarah Murray (nee Hilditch) who were married on 15 December 1901 in St. Anne’s Church of Ireland Church, Belfast. Thomas Murray (aged 24), a labourer from 10 Shield’s Street, Belfast was a son of William Murray, a tailor. Sarah Hilditch (aged 23), a fancy box maker from 22 Coolbeg Street, Belfast was a daughter of William John Hilditch, a labourer. The Murray family lived at 2 Oban Street, Belfast and later at 57 Southwell Road, Bangor.
Thomas Murray worked as a labourer and bottle blower and he and Sarah had at least nine children including:
Annie (born 7 March 1903 at 5 Blondin Street, Belfast)
William (born 24 November 1904 at 9 Keenan Street, Belfast)
Mary (born 16 July 1906 at 2 Oban Street, Belfast; died of pneumonia 9 April 1908)
Unnamed child (born prematurely 8 July 1908 at 2 Oban Street, Belfast; died 8 July 1908)
Thomas (born 25 October 1909 at 2 Oban Street, Belfast)
Sarah (Sadie, born 4 June 1912 at 2 Oban Street, Belfast)
Agnes (born 24 August 1914 at 2 Oban Street, Belfast)
Joseph (born 16 September 1918 at 2 Oban Street, Belfast)
Prior to volunteering on 8 December 1939 Tom Murray worked as a machine operator for Messrs Murray and Sons Ltd., Belfast. He commenced service with the Royal Navy on 28 February 1940 at HMS Arthur (a shore establishment at Ingoldmells near Skegness, Lincolnshire). He served aboard several ships including HMS Inglefield.
During the Second World War Tom’s brother Joseph served with the RAF South East Asia Command (SEAC) and his brother-in-law, Sergeant Denis Pearce (his sister Agnes’s husband), served with the 8th Army.
Tom Murray and Margaret Lough were married on 29 April 1929 in Belfast Registrar’s Office. Thomas Murray (aged 19), a labourer from 2 Oban Street, Belfast was a son of Thomas Murray, a labourer. Margaret Lough (aged 18) from 33 Welland Street, Belfast was a daughter of Alexander Lough, a labourer.
Tom and Margaret Murray (nee Lough) had two daughters:
Mary Muriel (Muriel)
The Murray family lived in Belfast at 23 Crystal Street and 57 Gaffakin Street and in Bangor at 54 Victoria Road and 88 Bryansburn Road.
Tom Murray’s last posting was aboard HMS Redmill which was built in 1943 by the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyards Inc., Hingham, Massachusetts, USA for the US Navy and commissioned on completion as a frigate in the Royal Navy. On 27 April 1945, about 25 miles west of County Mayo, HMS Redmill was hit by two German Navy Acoustic Torpedoes (GNATS) fired from the German submarine U-1105. HMS Redmill lost about sixty feet from her stern but remained afloat and was towed to Lisahally on the Foyle.
[The ship was declared a total loss and in 1947 the hulk was returned to the US Navy. She was sold for scrap to the Athens Piraeus Electricity Company Ltd., Athens, Greece].
Stoker 1st Class Tom Murray (No. D/KX 103032), aged 35, was one of more than 20 men who died. His family placed Killed on Active Service notices in the 12 and 26 May 1945 editions of the County Down Spectator and they contained the texts:
He died that we might live
At home at last with Christ, which is far better
Other texts included:
Gone from earth’s sorrows into Everlasting Peace
Gone from a world of sorrow into a haven of peace
Tom Murray’s daughters were aged 15 and 13 when he died on 27 April 1945. Margaret was working and Muriel was still at school.
Tom Murray’s brother-in-law, Junior Engineer Officer William Lough, died on 20 September 1941 when the MV Cingalese Prince was torpedoed off the coast of Brazil.