Major Joseph Leo (James Ross) Murphy DSO & bar, QSA, Manc Reg

For a man with DSO and bar, he is difficult to fathom. Born Dublin, Birth Cert gives parents. Presumably in Ireland in 1891 census as not in England. He was in South Africa in 1901 census, and nowhere to be found in 1911. I assume that he was living around Manchester to have joined Manchester Militia in 1900. No trees on Ancestry. He appears to changed his name to "Ross Murphy", and died as Joseph Leo James Ross Murphy. The DSO book has no details other than his 2 DSOs

Given his seniority, he must have been hired to be a DI1, and for whatever reason it did not work out, and he left after the interview.

1882 Jul 22. Born Dublin. RIC Register has him as Catholic

1900 Sep 21. Militia. 5th Battalion, the Manchester Regiment, Joseph Leo Murphy, Gent., to be Second Lieutenant.

Lieut. Murphy, J. L. appears in two Queens South Africa Medal Rolls. 5th Bn. Manchester Regiment. Note: "serving with 1st Bn. Manch. Rgt" entitled to Q.S.A. with clasps South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902. Not entitled to the K.S.A. On a second roll for 1st Bn. Manchester Regiment. Lieut. Murphy, J.L. entitled to clasps Orange Free State, Transvaal, and Natal. There is a note that the O.F.S. clasp was added to the roll 13.8.04, and in the 'Remarks' column is a note "2 clasps issued 23.8.04."

1901 Feb 27. Militia. 5th Battalion, the Manchester Regiment. Second Lieutenant J. L. Murphy to be Lieutenant. .

1901 Feb 15. Seconded for service with line battalions in South Africa. 5th Battalion, the Manchester Regiment, Lieutenant J. L. Murphy.

1904 Apr 2. The undermentioned Supernumerary Lieutenants to be Lieutenants:— J. L. Murphy.

1905 Feb 8. Militia. 5th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment, Lieutenant J. L. Murphy to be Captain.

1907, The family business, Ross & Co, were campaign furniture manufacturers but he like his brother Leopold were not involved in the business as it ceased trading in 1906/07 after 147 years. Leopold also joined the Manchester Regiment but died in 1903 following a fall from a horse.

1911 Married in Dublin , Edith I M Loraine/Edith I M Rayner. Their son appears to have been born in Londonderry as Michael George Terence Murphy in 1913

1915 Jan 11. Lands in France

1917 Aug 26. Manch. R.—Capt. J..L. Murphy to be Maj.

1918 Sep 15. Major Murphy joined 2nd Manchesters and assumed command on 8/10/18.

1919 Feb 15 DSO Gazetted. Citation on Jul 29 Gazetted . Maj. Joseph Leo Murphy, Manch. R. (Spec Res.), attd. 2nd Bn. After the battalion had attacked and broken through the Fonsomme and Beaurevoir Line on October 1st, 1918, he was in command of the right wing which was entirely in heavy shell and direct machine-gun fire during the bridging of the River Lys, south of Oyghem. In spite of many casualties, he successfully handled his company and ferried and later bridged the river, enabling the attacking infantry to cross it exactly to time. He conducted the whole operation in the most cool and masterly manner.

1918 Nov 16. Set off for Home with Colours arriving 1/12/18. 

1919 Apr 2. Gazetted bar to DSO. Maj. Joseph Leo Murphy, D.S.O., Manch. R., Spec. Res., attd. 2nd Bn.. Citation 9 Dec 1919. (D.S.O. gazetted 1st January, 1919.). He handled his battalion with the greatest dash and ability in the forcing of the passage of the Oise-Sambre Canal near Ors on the 4th November, 1918. In spite of heavy artillery, rifle and and machine-gun fire he got his battalion across the canal and continued to drive back the enemy, capturing a field battery of 5.9 guns and many prisoners and machine guns.

1920 Aug 10.Joined ADRIC with service no 186.

1920 Aug 13. "Resigned , pay to 13 Aug 1920"

1932 Jul 22. Militia. Manch. R.—Maj. J. L. Murphy, D.S.O., relinquishes his commn. and retains the rank of Maj.

1937. Enid I Ross-Murphy died Denbighshireage 63

1940 He has changed his name to Ross-Murphy

From the family Talking about the confusion over Ross and Ross Murphy the following maybe of interest. My father Cecil Francis on his baptismal certificate has his surname as Ross Murphy but on his birth certificate is recorded as Cecil F R Murphy as are some of his army records. His brother Mervyn on his birth record is RM, but British military records have him as Murphy, Mervyn Clement Ross.. The Ross and Murphy came together with the marriage of James Murphy (1) and Margaret Ross on 1 November 1819. Children of the marriage used a mix of just Murphy or Ross Murphy with one son, James (2), who died in the US in February 1859 recorded as R M. His son, also James (3) is recorded in the 1901 census as Ross-Murphy. Another son John 1827 – 1892 used R M.

1948 Oct/Dec. Died Holywell, Flintshire age 66 ( proximity to Llandudno on MIC, and details below)

Joseph Leo Murphy who died 26.11.1948 in Flintshire was born about 1882. In the probate record his full name was given as Joseph Leo James Ross MURPHY, and his address was Pentreffynnon Hall, Whitford, Flintshire. Probate was granted on 6.1.1949 to Terence Ross Murphy, furniture buyer. Effects £3153  13s  8d.





WO 372/14/153779