Bridge of Weir

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201729 Private Ernest Murray

9th Battalion, Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

died of wounds 7th May 1918

aged 25

Boulogne Eastern Cemetery

Son of William Murray and Ann Davie
Planetree Cottage, Bridge of Weir

His Life

Ernest Murray was born on 10th November 1892 in Arbroath, Angus (then Forfarshire), the second of a family of two born to William Murray, from Fetteresso, Kincardineshire, and Ann Davie from Monifeith, Angus, who had married in St. Vigeans on 31st December 1887.

In 1891 William (32), Ann (30), and their first child Eva were living in 90 Brechin Road, Arbroath, Angus. William was working as a currier.

In 1901 the Murray family was in Demondale Place, Brechin Road, Arbroath. Eva and Ernest (8) were at school. There were two lodgers, David Alexander (28) a lemonade bottler and David Smith (71) a Hackle Maker.

By 1911, the family had moved to a 5-roomed house in Kilmacolm Road, Bridge of Weir. William was a leather dresser and Ernest (18) was a joiner in the building trade. There were three lodgers, George Speirs from Blairgowrie, William Martin from Inverness and James Mill from Arbroath, all employed in the leather industry.

Ernest Murray had attested under the Group, or Derby, system. If a man chose to attest under the Derby system he would be assigned to a Group based on his year of birth and then placed in the Reserves without pay and allowances except for one day's pay at infantry rates for the day of attestation. The new recruit would then be allowed to return to his home and his employment until such time as his Group was called up. For Ernest, this was early February 1916 when he was enlisted into the 5th Battalion, Scottish Rifles (Regimental No. 567).

Private Murray's Medal Index Card does not record when he first joined the theatre of war, but at some stage he transferred to the front with the 9th Battalion, Scottish Rifles, part of the 28th Brigade of the 9th (Scottish) Division. In April 1918 the Division was involved in the First and Second Battles of Kemmel between Armentieres and Ypres, defending their ground against the German Spring Offensive. Between 25th April and 4th May 1918 there were a series of engagements and heavy enemy shelling. We cannot be certain when he was wounded, and it may have been in an earlier encounter, but we do know that Ernest Murray died of wounds on 7th May 1918. He is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery. Boulogne was one of the three base ports most extensively used by the British Army on the Western Front and was also one of the chief hospital areas. Until June 1918, the dead from the hospitals at Boulogne itself were buried in the Cimetiere de L'Est, one of the town cemeteries. Battle of Kemmel

The retreat of the 9th Division in April 1918. Ernest Murray was probably wounded in one of the engagements in late April or early May and taken to a hospital in Boulogne, where he died on 7 May.


1891 Census 1901 Census 1911 Census Birthplace
Name Age Name Age Name Age
Eva3 Eva12Eva22 Arbroath, Angus
Ernest8Ernest18 Arbroath, Angus


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