Indian Mutiny Medal and Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal Pair - Regimental Sergeant Major J.T. Murray, 73rd Regiment of Foot
- Product Code: MM-4776
- Regiment: 73rd Regiment of Foot Availability: Out of Stock
An Indian Mutiny and LS&GC medal pair awarded to Regimental Sergeant Major Joseph Thetford Murray, 73rd Regiment, later Militia Quartermaster, who served as the
regiment’s Sergeant Major for more than 12 years.
Indian Mutiny Medal (No Clasp) named to Serjt. Mr. J.T. Murray, 73rd Regt.
Victorian Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal named to 2766 Serjt. Major Josh. Murray 73rd Foot
The medals have some minor edge bruising, contact marks and surface wear but are generally in good condition. Swing mounted for wear.
Joseph Thetford Murray was born in Trim, County Meath, in July 1822 and attested into the 73rd (Perthshire) Regiment of Foot on 29 April 1848 at Birr, Ireland. Murray was 25 years of age, rather old for a recruit, but it was the height of the Great Irish Famine and over 400,000 Irish men, women, and children had died of starvation and related diseases in 1847. With his trade listed as “Nil” on his discharge papers, one can’t help but wonder if Murray enlisted to avoid a similar fate. Still, the rapid promotions that followed over the next four years suggest a man with abilities superior to the typical recruit.
At the time of his enlistment, the regiment’s six service companies were in South Africa fighting a series of wars with the Xhosa tribes, while the regiment’s four depot companies were stationed on the Channel Island of Jersey. After serving with the 73rd’s recruiting company in Ireland, Murray joined the depot in Jersey. During this time, he was promoted corporal 6 December 1848, sergeant 11 November 1850, and colour sergeant 11 June 1852. Murray was appointed the Depot’s acting sergeant major on 9 February 1855 after less than 7 years of service, an exceptionally rapid promotion.
Murray embarked for South Africa on 5 November 1855, where he joined the 73rd’s service battalion as a colour sergeant at Fort Fordyce, Cape of Good Hope. By the time of his arrival, the clashes with the Xhosa had ended and, as a result, Murray did not qualify for any medals while in South Africa.
Murray was promoted to be the 73rd’s sergeant major on 24 February 1857, after less than 9 years of service. Murray would remain the regiment’s sergeant major for over 12 years. While in South Africa, he married Margaret Eliza McCormick. Together, they had 3 children before her premature death on 23 March 1873.
Murray accompanied the 73rd when they deployed to India to suppress the Mutiny, sailing aboard the HMS Simoom on 9 March 1858. Although the major battles were over by the time they landed on 24 April 1858, sporadic fighting continued. Detachments of the 73rd fought in several small engagements with rebel forces on the Oudh and Gorruchpore frontiers, until fighting ceased on 24 May 1959. For this service, Murray received the Indian Mutiny Medal.
After serving in India for 3 years and 5 months, Murray returned to England in August 1861. He remained at home until the 73rd were ordered to the Far East in late 1866, landing in Hong Kong in early 1867. While deployed there, Murray was recommended for Long Service & Good Conduct Medal on 25 March 1868, which was issued on 22 July 1868.
After serving in China and the Strait Settlements for 2 years and 2 months, Murray returned to England, arriving at the regiment’s depot on 29 April 1869. He was discharged on 6 May 1869 after more than 21 years of service.
Upon his discharge, Murray enlisted in the 4th Royal Lancashire Militia (The Duke of Lancaster’s Own Light Infantry) as their sergeant major, becoming their quartermaster on 1 April 1878. He was still serving with them when the regiment became the 3rd (Militia) Battalion of the South Lancashire Regiment in 1881 as a result of the Childers Reforms. Murray retired from the militia on 7 May 1883. Murray died on 11 October 1891 and was buried at St. Elphin, Warrington.
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