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James Murray

Rank: Gunner
Townland: Dunbrian/Dunbrain
Town/Village: Arvagh
Civil Parish:
Catholic Parish:
Alternative Address:
Census 1901:
Census 1911:
Regiment/Unit: Royal Field Artillery, 1st /5th Hampshire Howitzer Battery
Regiment Number: 44913
Date of Death: 07-02-1917
Cause: Died, P.O.W. at Afion Kara Hissar (Afyonkarahisar), Turkey
Memorial: Baghdad (North Gate) Cemetery, Waziriah, Al-Russafa, Baghdad, Iraq ( A two volume Roll of Honour of

James was born in Dunbrian, Co. Longford according to the Longford Leader of the 18 September 1923, with the Irish Independent suggesting he was from near Arvagh, Co. Cavan. Sadly, his army records did not survive WW2, and further details were therefore lost.

Gnr Murray enlisted in Dublin. He served in Mesopotamia, and fought at the Siege of Kut and was like taken as a prisoner of war after the surrender of the Kut garrison on the 29 April 1916. 

He died whilst being held as a prisoner-of-war at Afion-Kara-Hissar/ Afion Karahissar working camp, (modern-day Afyonkarahisar). This P.O.W. camp was particularly well-known for the exceptionally brutal treatment of the prisoners, including the sick. James's actual date of death is uncertain, but it became known in February 1917. Of the approximately 2,962 British soldiers of all ranks who were taken prisoner at Kut, 1,782 died in Turkish captivity. In addition to British soldiers, ANZAC, Russian and French (naval) men were also held. James's body was reinterred in Baghdad in 1927, along with most of his comrades from various camps in the former Ottoman Empire. 

James was survived by his brothers Michael, Patrick and Bernard.

Parents Names:

Link to CWGC entry; Longford Leader, list of Longford's Great War dead;  article on the experiences of an ANZAC p.o.w. also at Afion Kara Kissar; Notice of death (in Turkish hands), Irish Independent 11 Feb 1917; description of the Siege of Kut by Lt Gallup of the 1/5th Hampshire Howitzers

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