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Frederick Joseph Murray was born in Preston in the fourth quarter of 1896. He was the son of John Murray (b. 1863 in Preston) and Margaret Murray (maiden name not known, b. 1863 in Lancaster) who married in Preston in 1884. In 1911, they were living at 6 Trinity Square, Preston, where John was a waterproof cover maker. Their five (of seven) surviving children were also living at the same address: Elizabeth b. 1885, Ignatius b. 1895, Frederick b. 1896, James b. 1900, and Madge b. 1905. In 1911, at the age of 14, Fred was already working in the mill as a ‘cotton reacher to drawer in’.

Fred is commemorated on the Lostock Hall War Memorial, so it seems that he and possibly brother Ignatius, both cotton mill workers, were working at one of the mills in Tardy Gate or Lostock Hall.

Fred joined the 1st Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, and was probably among the numerous small drafts of men who arrived in France at intervals in the spring and summer of 1916. The first half of the year was relatively quiet as the army prepared for the great assault which would be the Battle of the Somme. Fred fought through, and survived, the three main phases of the battle: 1-17 July; mid-July to September; September to November 18, but was killed in action on November 26. Although the main action of the Battle of the Somme was concluded, trench fighting continued and in late November, 1st Battalion were in the trenches at Bazentin-le-Grand. This is probably where he died, but his body was never recovered. He was 19 years old.


Private Frederick Joseph Murray

He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. His effects – £1 6s 2d – and the war gratuity of £3 were paid to his parents as joint legatees who at the time were living at 4 Stewart Street, Preston.

Ignatius also served in the War in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. He was 13290 PTE. I. MURRAY who served in 8th Bn and went to France on 25th September 1915. He survived and was transferred to Class Z reserve on 21st March 1919. He later lived in Chorley and died there in 1962.

Rank: Private
Service No: 23997
Date of Death: 26/11/1916
Age: 19
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment 1st Bn.
Panel Reference: Pier and Face 11 A.

Bill Brierley
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