Private John Scott Murphy


John Scott Murphy was born on 27 May 1890 at Croreagh, Newry, County Down, the sixth of ten children of stonecutter (later quarry engine-driver) Isaac Murphy and his wife Maria (née McCullough). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Croreagh with his parents and four of his six surviving siblings.

Murphy enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron between 25 November 1914 and 9 February 1915 (No. UD/202). On 6 October 1915 he embarked for France with his squadron, which was then serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division.

In June 1916 the Inniskilling squadron joined with C and F Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps. In August-September 1917 the Regiment was disbanded and its men, following training at the 36th (Ulster) Division Infantry Base Depot at Harfleur, were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Murphy, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt. Murphy was issued regimental number 41088.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917, and perhaps also in other battles through 1918.

On 12 July 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

By 1921 Murphy was living at Narrowwater, near Warrenpoint, where he worked as a groom to Captain Roger Hall MC. (His father at the time was employed as a gamekeeper, presumably on Hall's estate.) On 27 April that year he married Alice Smith in the Downshire Road Presbyterian Church.


One of Murphy's brothers, Isaac Murphy, also served in the war, also in the 9th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers (No.23222). He was wounded at the Battle of Langemarck on 16 August 1917, and made a prisoner of war at Erches on 27 March 1918 during the retreat from St Quentin.


This page last updated 1 July 2023.