Wednesday, August 4, 2010

James Fiddes Murray #6256

James Fiddes Murray was born March 31, 1884 in London, Ontario to Scott Murray and Judy ( has her as July which seems to me to be a transcription error) Fiddes. He died on September 7, 1948 in London, Ontario. He enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Valcartier on September 18, 1914. He was with the 1st. Battalion until January, 1917 . He then returned to Canada on January 23, 1917. He reenlisted and left for England August 10, 1917 where he served with the Canadian Railway Troops and Canadian Postal Corps until he was discharged at London, Ontario, April 8, 1919.(1)
Attestation Papers, Library and Archives Canada

He received the Distinguished Conduct Medal March 11, 1916:
“For consciencious gallantry; during a bombardment, he continually carried messages under heavy shrapnel fire. With a comrade’s assistance he rescued three men who had been buried in a “feather” trench after the remaining five in the same place had been killed. He also did fine work on three other occasions.”(2)
Distinguished Conduct Medal, Veteran Affairs Canada   

He was interviewed by the “London Advertiser” when he returned home in 1917.

“He is the second last of the original 1st. Battalion, who remain. The other, Sergt. Chas. Owens, D.C.M, Woodstock, is now the last man of the battalion that left London in August, 1914, to go to the front.
Sergt. Murray went into the trenches in February, 1915, and came out on November 29th, 1916, 22 months continuous service. During that time he had two holidays, one of eight days after ten months fighting, and one other of ten days.
“I am one of the lucky fellows,” said Murray, when questioned abut his record. “I only did what I could not help doing. I do not deserve any more credit than lots of other boys, who only had a short stay in the trenches. They did what they could, and that’s all I did.”
“I lost nearly all my pals. The majority of them are killed. One loses a lot of friends when a battalion is shot to pieces. I miss them very much, That’s war, and, this is an awful war, believe me.”
Sergt. Murray was named for the D.C.M. at Givenchy, where Lieut.-Col. Becher was killed. He carried the colonel back, and later dug three companions out of the trenches where they were buried. He volunteered as an ambulance man, and spent the night on the battlefield, looking after the wounded.” (3)

(1) Particulars of Service, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.
(2) Library and Archives Canada.
(3) “The London Advertiser”, February 1, 1917.

1 comment:

  1. Bruce:

    You can read this and delete it if you wish as this is a message and does not relate to your specific posting.

    I am trying to contact you (I am your new follower "CEF Matrix". I can not find your e-mail address anywhere on your sites - perhaps I am blind. I see Sarge and Annette are here as followers as well, probably because we all use GOOGLE ALERTS to track CEF sites. You came through on mine today.

    You have one of my BLOGS linked "Great War Soldiers of Exeter, Ontario" but the link you have is the old RCR link. You will find a number of my correct links here for the CEFSG:

    My main link site is here:

    I am assuming that you are not a CEFSG member?

    Best Regards,