Joe Mur­ray

BBC History Magazine - - WWI Eyewitness Accounts -

I in­ter­viewed Joe for the Im­pe­rial War Mu­seum: he had the most phe­nom­e­nal mem­ory – even more re­mark­able as he was al­most to­tally blind and couldn’t read from any notes. He de­scribed his mem­o­ries of the war as like a film he could re­run at will in his head.

Joe had served with the Royal Navy at Gal­lipoli in 1915, and then on the western front, where he was wounded in 1917.

Af­ter the war he re­turned home to County Durham, but walked all the way to London to seek em­ploy­ment. Joe’s ad­ven­tur­ous life in­cluded to­bacco-grow­ing in China and prospect­ing in Spits­ber­gen, be­fore he got a job on the London Un­der­ground. He fea­tured in the BBC Great War se­ries and wrote two books: Gal­lipoli as I Saw it and Call to Arms. Joe died in 1994, aged 97.

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