Personal info

  • Name: Henry William MURRAY
  • D.O.B: 1st December, 1880
  • D.O.A: 5th February, 1917
  • D.O.D: 7th January, 1966
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Captain, 13th Battalion (NSW), 4th Brigade, 4th Division, Australian Imperial Force

North-east of Gueudecourt, France 4-5 February 1917

4-5 February 1917

More details about:
The First World War 1917 

On 1 February 1917 15th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, attacked Stormy Trench, a strategically important German position south of Bapaume and north-east of Gueudecourt. Although partially successful, the Australians were forced to withdraw. 13th Battalion was then detailed to capture the trench. In preparation, Captain H W Murray, A Company, carried out a perilous reconnaissance in no man’s land. The second attack was launched on 4 February at 10pm, in the hope of securing maximum surprise. The 13th Battalion captured the trench but had to hold out through the night against fierce German counter-attacks. Murray’s Company was reduced from 140 men to 58.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery when in command of the right flank company in attack. He led his company to the assault with great skill and courage, and the position was quickly captured. Fighting of a very severe nature followed, and three heavy counter-attacks were beaten back, these successes being due to Captain Murray’s wonderful work. Throughout the night his company suffered heavy casualties through concentrated enemy shell fire, and on one occasion gave ground for a short way. This gallant officer rallied his command and saved the situation by sheer valour. He made his presence felt thoughout the line, encouraging his men, heading bombing parties, leading bayonet charges, and carrying wounded to places of safety. His magnificent example inspired his men throughout. 

Second Supplement to The London Gazette of 9 March 1917. 10 March 1917, Numb. 29978, p. 2451

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