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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916


CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916


Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916


Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916


Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 23967 Leo Murphy


  • Age: 34
  • From: Kirkdale, Liverpool
  • Regiment: 22nd Kings L
  • Died on Sunday 8th December 1918
  • Commemorated at: Yew Tree Cem
    Panel Ref: Screen Wall III.A.201
Leo was born on the 17th January 1884, the son of Joseph Murphy and his wife Rosabell (née Woods). Joseph, born in Ireland, and Rosabell, from Liverpool, married in Liverpool in 1871 and had at least nine children: Leo had older siblings; Joseph born in 1872, Francis 1874 (d. at age 13), Rose Ellen 1876, Leo 1878 (died in infancy), Patrick 1880, and Mary 1881, and younger siblings Charles 1887 (died at age 1), and Charles 1889.
 
Before Leo’s birth the family lived in Rice Lane Walton, in 1881. His father was a boot maker (transcribed as boat maker on some censuses).  In 1887 they lived at 42 Chatsworth Street, and in 1889 at 1 Mason Street (based on addresses at children’s baptisms).  Leo was baptised in St. Alphonsus R.C. Church, Liverpool on 19th March. (A number of his siblings were baptised in St. Anne’s R.C. Church.)
 
In 1891 the family is living at 58 Oliver Street.  His father is a boot maker, Joseph 15, and Patrick 11, are news vendors/hawkers,  Leo is 7 and Charles 2.
 
Leo was educated at St. Francis Xavier school, from 1896 (however, his name does not appear on the school memorial).
 
By 1901 Leo has left home and is working as a page boy at a hotel at 28 Mount Pleasant (Shaftesbury Temperance Hotel), in the centre of Liverpool. His parents, with Joseph 29, Patrick 21, and Charles 12, are living at 24 Roscommon Street.  His father is 55, working as a boot maker, his mother is 52. 
 
His mother Rosabell died at the end of 1901 at age 53, address 6 Northumberland Street.  His father Joseph died in 1908 age 61, address 178 Wavertree Road.  They are both buried in Ford Cemetery.
 
By 1911 Leo is employed as a “boots” at Lockyer’s Hotel, Colwyn Bay.  He is 27, listed as Leo Francis (there are no births of Leo Francis Murphy in England or Wales and the middle name does not appear on his civil birth registration or baptism).  His brother Patrick similarly adopted the middle name John.  Leo used the home address 214 Picton Road, which was the address of his brother Patrick, now married. 
 
A newspaper article published after his death reported that Leo enlisted in the Pals (20th Bn King’s (Liverpool) Regiment) in December 1914, when he would have been 30 years old.  This is supported by the amount of the War Gratuity, which suggests that Leo served for four years in the U.K.  Unfortunately his service record has not survived, so the details are not known. His CWGC record shows him as Private 23967, 22nd (Reserve) Bn K.L.R., with 473rd H.S. Employment Company, Labour Corps as his secondary unit. (473rd Home Service Employment Company was part of the Northern Command.). We can only speculate on where he served and why he was not sent overseas.
 
After serving for four years, Leo died of pneumonia at East Leeds War Hospital after the war had ended, on 8th December 1918.  His body was brought back to Liverpool and laid to rest on 13th December in Yew Tree R.C. Cemetery, where he is commemorated on the Screen Wall.  His burial record gives his age as 34, which coincides with his birth record.
 
No medal card, medal roll, or pension card can be found. Leo does not appear on the SDGW listings.
 
His surviving brothers Joseph, Patrick, and Charles, with a share to his sister Rose Ellen, received his Army effects and a War Gratuity of £14.
 
Leo is commemorated in St. Anne’s Church, Edge Hill