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John Murphy

34090 Private

13th Battalion Royal Scots, 45th Infantry Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division

Age: 42

Date of Death: 22.8.17

Buried: Tyne Cot Memorial Panel 11 to 14

Family history: Husband of Rachel Storrar Murphy, Walkers Buildings, New Street, Slamannan. They had three children with Rachel being pregnant with the third child at the time of John’s death. Son of James and Elizabeth Murphy, Slamannan

The action leading to his death

The 22 August found the division preparing for an attack on the German positions at Frezenberg Ridge. For five days prior to the attack, harassing fire was kept up every night by both the artillery and machine-guns and in addition all known strong points had been targeted by the Heavy and Field Artillery. The attack was launched at 4.45am under the cover of a creeping barrage and fire from thirty-two machine guns. The Germans very quickly replied with counter fire and with heavy machine gun fire which met the assaulting battalions of the 45th Brigades. On the right of the attack the fate of the leading companies of both the 13th Royal Scots and 11th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders would never be known.

Two hours after the attack had started the left front company of the Royal Scots had been reduced to nine men and one Lewis gun team. The few remaining men of the Royal Scots and Argyll’s were rallied in a line north-west from Railway Dump along the road running to Beck House. The Royal Scots made repeated attempts throughout the day to get forward by jumping from shell-hope to shell-hole but without success. The battalion being relieved after dusk on 23 August.

(Linesman map)

Medals Awarded:

The British War Medal, Victory Medal

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