Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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23877   Private Joseph James Murphy
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Dated added: 06/02/2017   Last updated: 01/02/2022
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 20th Battalion, Kings Liverpool Regiment (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 08/12/1888
Died: 03/07/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 27
Summary      
Joseph James Murphy was the youngest son of Samuel and Sarah Jane Murphy. He was born on 8th December 1888 in Ballyboy, Caledon. They were a farming family. Joseph James Murphy probably enlisted in England. Private Joseph James Murphy was serving with the 20th (Pals) Battalion of the King's (Liverpool) Regiment when he was killed in action on Monday 3rd July 1916. On the night of 3rd/4th July, the Germans shelled wood Bernafay Wood very heavily, causing many casualties, including over thirty of the 20th Battalion, which were still occupying the remains of the Briqueterie, the brick works at Montauban.
Further Information
Joseph James Murphy was the youngest son of Samuel and Sarah Jane Murphy. They were married about 1877. There is no record on GRONI, and Sarah James is listed in the census as being from Monaghan, so it seems possible they were married in County Monaghan.
Joseph James Murphy was born on 8th December 1888 in Ballyboy, Caledon. His older brother, also called Joseph, was born on 14th February 1886 but died ten months later on 13th December 1886. Joseph was one of eight children, six surviving.
Family: Samuel Murphy, Sarah Jane Murphy, William J Murphy (born 18th December 1877), Samuel Murphy (born 16th April 1879), Unknown Male Murphy (born 19th December 1880, died 19th December 1880), David Murphy (born 28th November 1881), Annie E Murphy (born 15th December 1883), Joseph Murphy (born 14th February 1886, died 13th December 1886), Joseph James Murphy (born 8th December 1888), Mary Lucinda Murphy (born 30th October 1890).
The 1901 census lists Joseph J as age 12, living with the family at house 5 in Ballyboy, Caledon, County Tyrone. Joseph was still at school. They were a farming family.
The 1911 census does not list Joseph as living with the family at house 4 in Ballyboy, Caledon.
Joseph James Murphy probably enlisted in England.
Medal card
Private Joseph James Murphy was serving with the 20th (Pals) Battalion of the King's (Liverpool) Regiment when he was killed in action on Monday 3rd July 1916. He was 27 years old.
The book the Liverpool Pals, by Graham Maddocks, notes:
‘When the wood (Bernafay) was finally occupied, on the night of 3rd/4th July by the 27th Brigade of the 9th Division, the Germans shelled it very heavily, causing many casualties, including over thirty of the 20th Battalion, which were still occupying the remains of the Briqueterie (the brick works at Montauban).’
Private Joseph James Murphy has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916.
There is a Private J J Murphy on Dungannon War Memorial, on the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers panel.
At present we believe this to be Private James Joseph Murphy of Caledon, who served with the King's (Liverpool) Regiment.
Private Murphy is also commemorated on the family headstone in the cemetery adjoining St John's Church of Ireland, Caledon.
‘In Loving memory of SAMUEL MURPHY died 26th April 1923. Also his wife SARAH JANE MURPH, died 19th October 1925. Their son JOSEPH JAMES MURPHY, killed in France 1st July 1916. Their daughter-in-law ELIZABETH, died 1st May 1953. Also their son SAMUEL MURPHY, died 19th July 1958.’
The CWGC record Private Joseph James Murphy as the son of Samuel and Sarah Jane Murphy.
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Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Ballyboy, Caledon Caledon Census listing in Ballyboy, Caledon 54.372623 -6.874962
GRONI References
TYPE - B:Birth M:Marriage D:Death | GRONI | SIBLING: brother or sister | NOTES: spelling inconsistencies, etc.
Date Type Surname First name Relationship GRONI Ref Notes
18/12/1877 B Murphy Willam Sibling U/1877/204/1012/2/122 Birch
16/04/1879 B Murphy Samuel Sibling U/1879/204/1012/2/170 Birch
19/12/1880 D Murphy Not Capt M Sibling D/1880/204/1012/2/126 died age 0
19/12/1880 B Murphy Not Capt M Sibling U/1880/204/1012/2/235 Birch
28/11/1881 B Murphy David Sibling U/1881/204/1012/2/274 Birch
01/05/1883 D Murphy Anne Sibling D/1883/204/1012/2/204 died age 1
15/12/1883 B Murphy Anne Sibling U/1883/204/1012/2/344 Birch
14/02/1886 B Murphy Joseph Sibling U/1886/204/1012/2/443 Birch
13/12/1886 D Murphy Joseph Sibling D/1886/204/1012/2/313 died age 0
08/12/1888 B Murphy Joseph Casualty U/1888/204/1012/3/52 Birch
30/10/1890 B Murphy Mary Sibling U/1890/204/1012/3/135 Birch
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Murphy family Lists Joseph J as age 12, living with the family at house 5 in Ballyboy, Caledon, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists Murphy family Does not list Joseph as living with the family at house 4 in Ballyboy, Caledon, Tyrone
3 Forum discussion (GWF) Relative confirms CWGC and that Joseph James died on 3rd July 1916
4 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
5 Tyrone Genealogy - Caledon COI photo St. John's Church of Ireland, Headstones - No 76
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2021