National Army Museum, Waiouru, New Zealand : Military History & Army War Museum

Killed in Action Gallipoli

Pte Murray, Sir George Grey Collection, Auckland Libraries

Private R Murray, Sir George Grey Collection, Auckland Libraries

8/1293 Private Reginald George Murray of the Otago Infantry Battalion was tragically killed by a Turkish sniper on 28th April 1915 at Gallipoli.

Reginald Murray was born in Otaki on 4 April 1889 and attended school locally before finding a job as a painter.

He enlisted at Trentham Camp on 22 October 1914 along with his brother Lindsay. Both were in the Otago Infantry Battalion and embarked on 14 December 1914 aboard the Willochra for Suez, Egypt.

Life at Zeitoun Camp, Egypt, was a mixture of tough training and visits to Cairo, which was a short train ride away. The training was interrupted by patrolling the Suez Canal and in early April, preparations were made for embarkation to Lemnos and then Gallipoli.

Private Reginald Murray's KGV Memorial Plaque

Private Reginald Murray’s KGV Memorial Plaque

On 25 April 1915, the Otago Battalion went ashore around 2.30pm and by 4.00pm were all on the beach and made their way to ‘dig in’ on Plugge’s Plateau, coming under heavy Turkish fire throughout the afternoon. For the next few days, the Otago boys resolutely held their position. For Reginald Murray and the other men of the 8th Southland Company, they moved from Walker’s Ridge to fill a ‘gap’ in the firing line between Russell’s Top and Pope’s Hill, with Turkish snipers being particularly active in this area.

On 28 April, a party was organised to bury 50 Australians lying on the beach in the vicinity of Fisherman’s Hut. Reginald Murray was instructed to go and fetch water and while he was carrying the water, possibly to the burial party, he was shot and killed by a Turkish sniper. He was 26 years old. 8/377 Captain William Fleming, Commanding Officer of the 8th Southland Company ensured that his personal effects were sent home.

Today, Private Reginald Murray is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey, Panel 75. His brother Lindsay would survive the war and return to Otaki. The National Army Museum holds his KGV Memorial Plaque on display in our Medal Repository.