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Herbert Murray

Gunditjmara man, Sapper Herbert Murray arrived on the Western Front with the 2nd Tunnelling Company in March 1918. They were tasked with digging deep dugouts in the Ypres sector and preparing underground works for the Battle of Messines. 

He suffered gas poisoning and developed heart problems during his service. In 1936, after being denied a war pension, he wrote in protest to Minister for Health and Repatriation, former Prime Minister, Billy Hughes:

I think it’s a crying shame that a man who ruined his health in the service of his country cannot get justice in his old age. 

He died in 1941, aged 56, from a cerebral haemorrhage. 

Murray’s brother William enlisted in 1916. He served with the 37th Battalion and was declared missing, presumed dead in September 1917 after their attack on Glencorse Wood. He is commemorated at the Menin Gate memorial for those with no known resting place. 


Gunditjmara man, Sapper Herbert Murray (front centre) is pictured with members of the 3rd Tunnelling Company, or ‘earwiggers’ as tunnellers were known. 
photographer unknown

View the video series In our words, to hear first hand accounts of First Peoples service from the veterans themselves, and their families.

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