On the morning of our Annual Initiation Day started, the Murray Club along with Churchhill LOL 871 joined together to remember Bro. Gordon Hill. Gordon died at the end of 2021 and had no family. He is buried at Ballyoan Cemetery. The Club and Lodge together commissioned a Memorial Stone, so that the grave would not be unmarked and the Brother remembered appropriately. A brief reading and prayer were said and a wreath laid in Memory of a good Brother.
The 332nd Commemoration of the Relief of Derry took place on the 14th August 2021. While more than the 30 who took part in August 2020 due to Covid regulations, the Association continued to be cautious and reduced the main Parade in Londonderry to the General Committee and eight Parent Clubs. The colour and spectacle of thousands of Apprentice Boys with banners and bands on the main Parade wasn’t to be.
There is a gallery of images for the 2021 Commemoration of the Relief of Derry, from our Galleries Page. Unable to host the Service of Thanksgiving for the Relief of Derry on the day of the Apprentice Boys Commemorations, a Service was held on the evening of the 12th August led by the Dean of St Columb’s Cathedral.
As is tradition the heralding the main Commemorative events, the firing of a cannon one and three times for the Brave 13, took place at midnight in the 13th August.
This was followed by members of the Murray Club symbolically touching the four gates of the City Walls, closed to the armies of King James.
The morning’s Commemorations started as they would any other year, with General Committee and the eight Parent Clubs walking the Walls.
Having held an Act of Remembrance at the Cenotaph the parade returned to the Memorial Hall, from where the main Parade undertook the traditional route of the full Association.
Returning back to the Memorial Hall later in the afternoon. The flags that had been erected earlier that morning on Walker’s Plinth were taken down, and the day ended with the close of General Committee which had been opened before the day commenced.
Meanwhile around the country, Murray Clubs participated in local parades in local towns, keeping alive the memory of the Brave 13.
Bryansford & District Murray started the day by sharing a message on social media:
In the evening Bryansford joined other Clubs of Apprentice Boys in Rathfriland:
Ballywillan Murray joined others in Coleraine for a Commemoration Parade:
In Aghadowey, the Murray Club started the day with a short Service of Remembrance at the local Cenotaph:
Aghadowey Murray then joined other Clubs from the Coleraine area, in Coleraine, for the afternoon:
In Newtownstewart the local Murray Club started the day with an Act of Remembrance at the local Memorial, followed by a Parade and then a Family Fun Day:
Joining Newtownstewart Murray were Clubs from Plumbridge, Sion Mills, Raphoe, Castlederg, Ardstraw, and Cappagh. Bands accompanying were Newtownstewart’s Red Hand Defenders, Eden Flute Band, Castlederg Young Loyalists Old boys, and Donemana Sons of William.
Finally, Upperlands Murray Club held an Act of Remembrance at the local Memorial, before parading though Upperlands and on to Maghera to join other Clubs to Commemorate the 332nd Relief of Derry:
The Murray Club has Clubs in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Canada and Australia. This website explains the importance of Col. Adam Murray and why our Club is named after this particular hero of the Siege. If you would like to know more about the Club please use our contact page.
The Annual Remembrance Sunday at the National Cenotaph in London was a much smaller, though no less poignant, event in 2020.
Very much scaled back Acts of Remembrance took place at War Memorials and Cenotaphs across the UK, at the weekend and today, the 11th November, without crowds and with numbers attending severely restricted within Official Covid guidelines and regulations.
For Apprentice Boys, in Londonderry, Officers of General Committee and a representative of each of the Parent Clubs laid a wreath at the War Memorial in the Diamond on Saturday 7th at 11am. Gordon McMorris, President, representing the Murray Club.
Today, on the 11th November, wreaths were laid in `Greenock at the War Memorial, Wellpark, by Vice President, Bro Robert Lamont, and Past President and SAC Worthy Chairman, Bro Thomas Porteous.
Further south, wreaths were laid at Horwich and in Manchester by Lancashire & Cheshire Murray Club.
Acts of Remembrance honour all those who served, and remember the Fallen in all war and conflicts. Sometimes it is difficult to think of ‘all‘, but the challenge and sacrifice of the many can often be best expressed in an individual story. In comments at the Wishaw Murray Remembrance on Saturday past, the Club President Alan Love, spoke of the experience of one who served:
Today gives us an opportunity to pay tribute to the father of one of our members Bro Charles Kelso. Gunner Kelso served with the 155th Lanarkshire Yeomanry. In March 1941, he sailed from the River Clyde with the 155th bound for India in preparation for a spell in the North African Desert against Rommel’s Afrika Corps. However in August due to the increasingly warlike aggression of the Japanese, they were instead sent to Malaya. When the Japanese invaded the Malayan Peninsula the 155th were thereafter continually in action until the fall of Singapore on 15th February 1942.
After the fall of Singapore the men of the 155th were to suffer dreadfully as Prisoners of War to a cruel and ruthless enemy. Many of the men of the 155th were to suffer and die in the bowels of the deadly Kinkaseki Copper Mine on Taiwan. More men of the Regiment died as POWs than those who fell in action.
Gunner Frank Kelso was a prisoner in the notorious Kinkaseki POW Camp on Taiwan now recognised as being one of the worst in the Far East, where POW were subjected to the most inhumane treatment imaginable, being forced to slave in the deep, dark depths of a copper mine that was extremely hot and dangerous. The food was insufficient which led to many types of disease resulting from lack of food and vitamins. Dysentery, pellagra, beri beri, ulcers, pneumonia, diphtheria and many other ailments took their toll on the men. Add this to the lack of medicines, while those medicines that were available were often withheld by the Japanese, making it extremely difficult for the medics in the camp to keep the men alive.
Many men died in the camp and when others became too sick and weak to work in the mine they were moved out to other camps. Gunner Kelso’s health was so bad in Kinkaseki POW Camp that in 1943 he was moved to Taihoku 6 where he remained until after the war. Of the 500 prisoners in Taihoku 6, 74 died as POW.
Gunner Frank Kelso, an unsung local hero.
Bro Murray Douglas Dunbar laid a wreath on behalf of Wishaw Murray Club.
In memory of many, in honour of all.