2073 TROOPER WILLIAM McKEE MURPHY
North Irish Horse
Aged 23 of pneumonia.
Interred in St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen. Plot O 5, Row C, Grave 7
William was a son of Thomas Murphy of Leslie Hill, an estate on the edge of Ballymoney. Some of the local families found work here and many of them lived in houses on the estate. The fami- ly worshipped in St. James's Presbyterian Church in the town and William is named on a lovely plaque inside the church. He enlisted in January 1916 and after his training was finished he was taken to France, arriving there in early January 1917. It was mid winter and the weather was cold and very wet. Freezing temperatures at night kept the troops in a state of near exhaustion. It was difficult to keep the men fed and even more difficult for the men to keep dry and they had to sleep in wet clothes. It was during this time that William contracted pneumonia. He was taken to hospital at Rouen but the illness had taken too much of a hold and he died a few days later. He had only been in France for a month. He is buried in the local cemetery at Rouen along with four other Ballymoney boys. A report in the local papers at the time stated that another brother, James, was in hospital, dangerously ill, in France but he seems to have recovered and survived the war.