Joe grew up in a County Durham mining community. He served at Gallipoli with the Hood Battalion of the Royal Naval Division, before being transferred to the western front and fighting at the Somme.
After being wounded at the battle of Arras in April 1917, Murray spent 1918 on light duties attached to the Naval Police at Milford Haven.
On 5 October, I was told I was demobilised for work in the mines. I arrived home a couple of days later with a civilian suit. Oh dear me, a lousy thing – demobilised! That was the end of that! It was plain that the war would soon be over. My old dad said: “Now look, Joe, you have a week or two off!” I said: “No, these last 6 to 12 months I’ve had a lovely time, dad. I haven’t done any work. I’ve enjoyed myself really, fed like a turkeycock!”
Murray soon found that life in Burnopfield, County Durham had changed. He had changed.
I lost a brother aboard HMS Good Hope on 1 November 1914, and all my school pals were dead. I felt a stranger in my own village. But I was pleased I had gone through it and survived. I’d changed from a boy to a man. When I left, I was a boy, a proper raw rookie, but with the experiences I’d got more self-confident.
“These last 6 to 12 months I’ve had a lovely time. I haven’t done any work. I’ve enjoyed myself really”