Private Henry Francis Murphy



Henry Francis Murphy was born on 23 August 1900 at Wellington Place, Dundalk, County Louth, the second of six children of accountant (later grocer and provision merchant) Henry Francis Murphy and his wife Georgina Mary (nee McDermott). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Wellington Place with his parents and three siblings.

Murphy enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 12 and 24 September 1917 (No.2688 - also Corps of Hussars No.71968). He did not see any overseas service.

Murphy was with his regiment at the Curragh when his older brother, Mathew Joseph, a commercial traveller, was shot by a British Army sentry at a road block at New Inn, near Dundalk, on the night of 4/5 June 1919. He died in hospital two days later. At the inquest into his death the jury found that "reasonable precautions were not taken by the authorities on that occasion to safeguard the general public, and more effective and less dangerous measures should have been adopted."

Murphy was initially refused permission to attend his brother's funeral, the excuse being the presence of fever at Dundalk. Following strong representations made at the inquest, the army relented and Murphy was able to attend.


Private Murphy's father also served during the war, in the Royal Army Service Corps.


The Weekly Freeman, 14 June 1919


Image, from Belfast Evening Telegraph, June 1919, kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster ( See also Belfast News-Letter, 10, 25 and 27 June 1919.