The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

John Brendan Murray

MURRAY, John Brendan

John Brendan Murray was born in Flemington, a suburb of Melbourne, in 1887 to Patrick Murray and Mary Healy. A second child, Francis De Sales, was born in Perth in October 1900, the family also having been in Fremantle for some years. In June 1901 Mary Murray went to court in Perth seeking a separation order from her husband, and maintenance. She said that he had gone to America, returning in January 1900, then left for the goldfields of Kalgoorlie in February, never sending her a penny. She also said that he was a first class tradesman, earning sixteen shillings a day in Kalgoorlie. Mary received one pound per week maintenance and custody of the children. When she died in 1912 she was described as the “relict of the late Patrick Murray, formerly of Melbourne”.

When John Murray enlisted in the Australian Army in August 1914 he gave his brother Frank, then aged fourteen, as his next of kin with an address in Kalgoorlie. John enlisted at Blackboy Hill military camp in Perth. He embarked for England in December 1914 and was fighting in the Dardenelles the following June, receiving a ‘Complimentary Notice’ in July for providing valuable assistance in a difficult situation.

In August 1915 he was transferred to a hospital ship with a shrapnel wound and was then sent back to England. A year later he was in France, having been promoted to Lance Corporal and in August 1917 he was promoted to Corporal, assigned to the 1st Motor Transport Company, Supply Section. In March 1918 he had leave in Paris and in the UK in October.

It was while returning from this leave on 10th October 1918 that he was travelling on RMS Leinster when the ship was torpedoed. He survived the sinking and having been treated in hospital, he was released. He was granted an extension of his leave to recover from the sinking, and after another brief period in France he returned to Australia in early December 1918. It is not known what happened in his life afterwards.



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