Private John Seeds Murphy


John Seeds Murphy was born on 19 April 1888 at 65 Clanbrassil Terrace, Belfast, the last of three children of draper (later commercial traveller) Henry Murphy and his wife Margaret (née Robinson). At the time of the 1912 Ulster Covenant he was living at 2 Rosmead, 167 Cavehill Road, Belfast, with his parents and sisters, and working as a draper.

Murphy enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 3 September 1914 (No.1100 – later Corps of Hussars No.71233). On 1 May 1915 he embarked for France with D Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 51st Division.

In May 1916 D Squadron came together with A and E Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February-March 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Murphy remained with the regiment throughout the war. He was wounded in September or October 1918 during the Advance to Victory offensive.

On 26 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

After the war Murphy returned to Belfast, marrying Jane Ethel McRoberts in the Duncairn Presbyterian Church on 2 August 1927. By 1962 he was living at 167 Cavehill Road and working as a sales representative.He died on 15 November that year in the Musgrave and Clark Clinic, Belfast.


Postcard sent home by Murphy just days after his arrival in France.