The Fighting Murphy’s of the Irish Guards

All photos by kind permission of George Murphy and his family

George Cornelius Murphy (sitting) and Sons George Michael, Cornelius Silas and Philip. Circa 1921.
George Cornelius Murphy with his wife Matilda Cleary

George Cornelius Murphy. D.C.M. having just finished a riding drill course at Bulford. He rejoined the Army at the age of 45 in 1915 and went to France with 133rd Coy, Royal West Surrey Regiment. “Labour Corp” and was awarded the D.C.M. in Sept 1917 at Pilkem Ridge.

St Patricks Day (Circa-1950) Drill/Sgt “Binky” Stewart presenting Shamrock George Cornelius Murphy D.C.M. ex Irish Guards now Chelsea Pensioner.

Cpl George Michael Murphy and his Grandfather, Chelsea Pensioner, George Cornelius Murphy, 1st. Bn Irish Guards on St. Patrick’s Day 1952

Cpl George Michael Murphy 1st Bn Irish Guards on St Patricks Day 1952 at the Guards Depot Caterham, with his Grandfather, Chelsea Pensioner George Cornelius Murphy. D.C.M., Queens South Africa Medal 1899, with clasps, South Africa 1901, Transvaal, Orange Free State, Cape Colony, British War Medal 1919, Victory Medal 1919, Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, Meritorious Service Medal.

George Cornelius Murphy Chelsea Pensioner, Sgt, 1947

Royal Hospital Chelsea

Sergeant George Cornelius Murphy, D.C.M. talking to Brigadier B. C. S. Clarke, D.S.O. (Colonel of Worcestershire Regt.)


A most impressive ceremony took place at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, on Sunday the 28th September 1947, when the Governor, General Sir Clive G. Liddell, K.C.B., C.M.G., C.B.E., D.S.O., by command of His Majesty the King, handed back Colours and Trophies to certain Regiments at a ceremonial parade.

The King’s Colour was handed over by Chelsea Pensioner George Cornelius Murphy, D.C.M. Sergeant Murphy joined the Army in 1882, and, after 14 years’ service in the West Yorkshire Regiment, he joined 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment at Aden in 1896 as a master tailor. He went to South Africa with the battalion but was specially selected to join the Irish Guards when they were raised in 1900. He finished his time in the Guards. In 1914 he joined the Rifle Brigade at the age of 50 and won the D.C.M. in the same trench as his son in the Irish Guards and on the same day. He has three sons in the Irish Guards. As a Chelsea Pensioner, he was the master tailor at the Royal Chelsea Hospital. His brother, Michael Murphy, joined the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment at Crownhill in 1897. He was commissioned from Colour Sergeant at the outbreak of war and killed serving with the 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment in March 1915, at Spanbrouck Molen. Sergeant Murphy carries his years lightly a fine, upright figure with a white moustache, he stepped out bravely to “Royal Windsor” to hand over his Colour.

Chelsea Pensioner 1951 Portrait painted by an American Artist at the Festival of Britan Exhibition.

Drill Sgt. George Michael Murphy, 1st. Battalion, Irish Guards
Company Office No 5 Company Irish Guards Guards Depot Caterham on St. Patrick’s day 1936.

Company Office No5 Company Irish Guards Guards Depot Caterham on St Patrick’s day 1936. Black armbands are in mourning for King George V. Left to right- Lieutenant Faulkner, C.S.M. Philip Murphy (“The Hound”),?

Company Sergeant Major Philip Murphy
C.S.M Philip Murphy The Hound circa 1940/42
Serjeant Philip Murphy Irish Guards (Circa 1921/1924)
Philip Murphy

This family group was taken in 1941, where his family were evacuated to, in 1940 during the Battle of Britain. It was taken in the grounds of “Malcomb” House which was on the Duke Of Richmonds Estate in Goodwood Sussex. From the left George Murphy (11), Miss Betty (House Keeper-Companion to Mrs Sturdy (Lady of the house), C.S.M. Philip Murphy, Irish Guards. Eileen (9), May Murphy, Maureen (12) and the Pekinese (Pooky).

Sergeant Cornelius Silas Murphy Circa 1921, he married Elsie Annetta Palmer (my Great Aunt) on 30 March 1929, he died in 1934.
George Edward Murphy on left, Irish Guards Recruit, at Guards Depot Caterham.

This is an extract from a book written by Sergeant John Patrick Kenneally V.C. referring to Lance Sergeant George Edward Murphy who was killed in action at Anzio 1944. The C.S.M. he refers to is, in fact, L/Sgt Murphys uncle, C.S.M. Philip Murphy ( The Hound) who was C.S.M. at the Guards Depot Caterham from 1934 to 1942. On page 134 he writes: “I picked up news I did not want in the latest casualty list. The first name George Murphy. Poor ‘Spud’ had been killed only that morning, he and his whole section had walked into double-backed machine guns and had been cut in half. What a loss not only to me but the Regiment, he was the type of guardsman that was irreplaceable. His face and form are still very clear to me after all these years. He was a superb young man, I was happy that at least he had had some pleasure and fun in our interlude at Castellammare.

George Murphy, my cousin.