Lieutenant Colin O'Hara-Murray

 

Unit : "A" Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Ulster Rifles.

Army No. : 155042

Awards : Military Cross.

 

Lieutenant O'Hara-Murray commanded No.10 Platoon of "A" Company during the Normandy campaign. Promoted to Captain following the Rhine Crossing, he was awarded the Military Cross for his actions in Germany. His citation reads:

 

During the period from the Airborne landing at Hamminkeln on the 24th March until he was wounded three days before the end of the campaign in North West Europe. Captain O'Hara-Murray has shown at all times when under fire the highest degree of courage and disregard of personal safety. On at least two occasions his personal example so inspired his Company that a possible set back was turned into a resounding success: furthermore, during all the many small battles in which his Company was engaged during the long advance Captain Murray was always to be seen in the forefront of the battle encouraging his men and displaying the utmost keenness to get to grips with the enemy. On March 24th after the Company Commander had been killed on landing, and the second-in-command injured, Captain, then Lieutenant O'Hara-Murray took over command of the Company and organised and personally led an attack on a group of buildings held by about 20 enemy. Despite heavy fire which caused a large number of casualties Captain Murray, by his magnificent leadership and disregard of personal safety kept the attack going with the result that all the enemy were either killed or captured. Later, during the same day, Captain Murray spent six hours under continuous fire from snipers getting in wounded from crashed and burning gliders about 300 yards in front of his own Forward Defended Localities. At Lengerich on April 2nd the Company was advancing to occupy some high ground when it met heavy opposition from determined snipers and machine gunners who caused several casualties. Two of the three tanks supporting the Company were knocked out at the same time. Captain Murray rallied the Company, scorning to take cover himself and put in an attack which he again led 30 yards in front of the troops, and which was again successful, due entirely to his magnificent personal courage and leadership. This officer has displayed conspicuous courage since the battle of Ste Honorine in Normandy on 7th June 1944. During the airborne landings in Normandy on June 6th 1944, and particularly during the battle for Ste Honorine on June 7th, this officer displayed the same conspicuous courage under fire and after he had been severely wounded. Further, during January and February this year, whilst the Battalion was manning a part of the Maas line, Captain then Lieutenant O'Hara-Murray distinguished himself by volunteering for and carrying out repeated and successful patrols on the enemy bank.

 

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