The Soldier's Details

First Name:
James Joseph
Nick Name:
Regimental #:
‘E’ Company, Special Reserve Battalion
Place of Birth:
Pinnaroo, South Australia
Father's Name:
James Vincent Murphy
Mothers's Name:
Gwendoline Ellen Murphy (nee Starling)
Pre-war Occupation:
Epitaph, Singapore Memorial, Column 136, Age 25.
Cause of Death:
Killed in Action
Place of Death:
South-West Bukit Timah
Date of Death:

General Description

Please read about ‘E’ Company in Singapore.

Murphy enlisted 22 Sept 1941 and was swept up into the reinforcements for 2/4th MGB, boarding ‘Aquitania’ anchored off Fremantle where it remained one night before heading for Singapore.  He was Killed in Action  at south west Bukit Timah, when ‘E’ Company ran into a Japanese ambush.  He was 25 years old.
James Murphy’s name is recorded on the Carnamah War Memorial.
Carnamah War Memorial
First recorded as a Labourer working in  Carnamah, then 1941 farmhand on Camac Bros’ Farm in Carnamah.
Resided in Carnamah until enlisting in the Australian Army on 22 September 1941.
Below: sister Mary’s marriage at Pinnaroo, South Australia in 1944, several years after the death of her brother.
This is the only family member our research has found.

‘Murrayville is a tiny rural service town on the Mallee Highway near the South Australian border. It is a tiny settlement in the heart of Victoria’s western desert.’  It is also not too far from Pinnaroo, South Australia.


The above notices were printed SA Newspapers.


Situated next to the Adelaide-Melbourne railway, near the town of Verdun, just south of Balhannah. During WWI anti German sentiment in South Australia had led to ‘The Nomenclature Act was passed in late 1917’, in which township names were changed. While the nearby township was changed to Verdun, the mine name remained the same. As most early literature stills mentions the township of Grunthal, many people overlook this mine as if it does not exist. 

Mining started in 1870 after the discovery of copper in 1869. The Grunthal Mining Co. began in 1871 after 3 shafts had been sunk. Several buildings were built, including smelters and an engine house. By 1876 the mine closed due to the slump in copper prices. The mine was reworked for gold in 1882, 1913 and again in 1935. However no great wealth was ever found and the mine has remained untouched since.

Unfortunately we know little of James Murphy’s life.  Should any of his family read this, we ask you to please contact us by email: