MAJ. H. A. MURRAY
24th CAN-INF (Victoria Rifles)
Harcourt Amory Murray was born on 17th June 1893 at Union Centre, N.S. in 1893. He was educated at New Glasgow High School moving on to McGill University to study Engineering prior to enlisting. Murray was a member of the English Rugby Team of 1912-13 and a member of the champion Wood Cup Rugby team in 1913.
Prior to their embarkation to France, on 2nd September 1915, the Division was inspected by His Majesty the King. The 24th Battalion was chosen to provide the guard of honour. His Majesty the King was accompanied by Field Marshal Earl Kitchener of Khartoum. Following the event, the regiment prepared to move off to France after a year of training. Boarding the "S.S. Queen" the battalion left England from Folkestone on 15th September 1915 and set sail for Boulogne. The Officers' Roll from the same day names Murray and his fellow Headquarters members:
Commanding Officer - Lieut.-Col. J. A. Gunn
Second-in-Command - Major C. H. Hill
Adjutant - Capt. C. F Ritchie
Machine-Gun Officer - Lieut. S. W. Watson
Signalling Officer - Lieut. A. G. Woolsey
Transport Officer - Lieut. H. A. Murray
Quartermaster - Hon. Capt. H. D. Campbell
Paymaster - Capt. G. F. Furlong
YM.C.A. Officer - Hon. Capt. C. G. Armour
Medical Officer - Capt. J. S. Jenkins
In the image below Murray is in the 3rd row (front to back) 4th in from the left.
STORMING OF REGINA TRENCH
Murray's Final Action
The 24th Battalion took position in the Usna Valley on 27th September prior to relieving 15th Battalion, 48th Highlanders of Canada. Due to ongoing fighting through the night, the relief was finally completed the following morning. The 24th were flanked by the 25th to their right and the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles to their left. In preparation of an advance on Regina Trench, the 22nd was attached to the 24th to hold the line during the attack.
The battalion attempted several attacks in the coming days, coming unstuck by German machine gun fire and artillery bombardments. On 1st October the order was passed down to Major Alexander that the 2nd Canadian Division was tom attack Kenora and Regina trenches in the afternoon. Major Alexander met with Capt. H. A. Murray and Capt. P. L. Hall to give orders and discuss details. At this time, Capt. H. A Murray had been wounded in the arm from the previous days' action but would not be persuaded to be evacuated upon understanding his company was to take part in an attack, albeit at a significant disadvantage.
Capt. H. A. Murray's "D" Company fought their way to Regina trench but could not maintain their purchase of the area. Fierce fighting force back the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles, exposing the 24th flank, culminating in the attack's failure. No one witnessed Capt. H. A. Murray's demise after leading the attack on the left flank. He was presumed to have fallen very close to Regina Trench but his exact location is unknown.
Maj. H. A. Murray is referenced extensively in "The 24th Battalion C.E.F. Victoria Rifles by R. C. Fetherstonhaugh"
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