Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order of Saint John and League of Mercy group awarded to Colonel Sir C.W. Murray

London Medal Company Knight Commander of the Order.

Group of 18: The Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Knight Commander, K.C.B., Civil Division, neck badge and breast star, silver, silver-gilt and enamels, the neck badge bearing hallmarks for London and date letter ‘r’ for 1912; Order of Saint John, Bailiff Grand Cross, Sash Badge and Breast Star set, silver-gilt and enamel; Order of Saint John, Knight of Justice neck badge and breast star set, silver-gilt and enamel; Order of the League of Mercy, silver-gilt and enamels; South Africa Medal 1877-1879, Clasp: 1879; (CAPT: C W. MURRAY. 61TH: FOOT.); Afghanistan Medal 1878-1880, no clasp; (CAPT: & BT. MAJ: C.W. MURRAY. 61ST: FOOT.); Egypt and Sudan Medal 1882-1889, reverse dated 1882, 1 Clasp: Tel-El-Kebir; (MAJ: C.W. MURRAY. 1/GLOUC:R.); 1914-1915 Star; (COL. SIR C.W. MURRAY.); British War Medal and Victory Medal; (COL. SIR C.W. MURRAY.); Jubilee Medal 1887 in Silver, rim engraved; (COL: W. MURRAY. M.P. ROYAL BODY GUARD.); Coronation Medal 1902 in Silver; Coronation Medal 1911; Turkey – Ottoman Empire: Order of Osmanie, 4th Class Officer with rosette attached o ribbon, some enamel damage to this insignia; Egypt: Khedive’s Star, dated 1882; Japan: Order of the Rising Sun, 3rd Class neck badge, silver and enamels; Imperial Japanese Red Cross Society Silver Order of Merit, silver and enamels, with Rosette affixed to a separate place in frame; Imperial Japanese Red Cross Society Special Membership Medal in  Silver, with Rosette affixed to a separate place in frame.

The remarkable and regimentally unique Knight Commander of the Civil Division of the Order of the Bath, Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order of Saint John, Zulu War 1879, Afghanistan 1880, Egypt 1882 Order of Osmanie, and Great War group awarded to Colonel Sir C.W. Murray, Kt, KCB, GCStJ, 61st South Gloucestershire Regiment, the only man of his regiment to serve in Zululand, Afghanistan, Egypt and Bechuanaland, he was Mentioned in Despatches in all, later MP for Bath from 1892 to 1906, CB in 1902, Knighted in 1905, KCB in 1917, he latterly became Chairman of the Japan Society, BRCS ‘Special Service’ and King’s Messenger on the Western Front 1915-1916, a Member of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms, and Gentleman Usher of the Scarlet Rod of the Order of the Bath. 

These all housed spread over two frames, together with miniature medals for the Civil Division of the Order of the Bath, in gold; Order of Saint John, gild and enamel; Order of the League of Mercy, silver-gilt and enamel; South Africa Medal 1877-1879, Clasp: 1879; Afghanistan Medal 1878-1880, no clasp; Egypt & Sudan Medal 1882-1889, dated 1882, 1 Clasp: Tel-El-Kebir; 1914-1915 Star – this possibly a gold miniature; British War Medal; Victory Medal – this possibly a gold miniature; Jubilee Medal 1897 in Silver; Coronation Medal 1902 in Silver; Coronation Medal 1911; Order of Osmanie, silver, gold and enamels; Khedive’s Star dated 1882; Japan: Order of the Rising Sun, gilt and enamel; Imperial Japanese Red Cross Society Silver Order of Merit and Imperial Japanese Red Cross Society Special Membership Medal in Silver. 

Charles Wyndham Murray was born on 22nd February 1844, the son of the Reverend Thomas Boyles Murray, Prebendary of St Paul’s Cathedral in London, and Helen, daughter of Sir W. Douglas, K.H. His father is remembered at St Paul’s Cathedral by a pair of candle holders at the main entrance which were given in memory of his father by Thomas Douglas Murray (1841-1911) barrister, author and Egyptologist, the elder brother of Charles Wyndham Murray.

Charles Wyndham Murray was educated at Highgate School from 1853 to 1856, and then at Marlborough College, and was then commissioned as an Ensign into the 61st South Gloucestershire Regiment of Foot in November 1862, and saw service on garrison duty in the Channel Islands and Ireland. Promoted to Lieutenant in October 1865, he would have been posted with his regiment to Bermuda in 1866, and then to Canada in 1870, and having returned home, he passed through the Staff College in 1872, having been promoted to Captain. In 1872 his regiment moved to Ireland. In 1875, he was appointed Deputy-Assistant Quartermaster-General in Cork, and then moved to the Intelligence Department in Dublin, his regiment having in the meantime been posted to the Channel Islands in 1875, England in 1876, and Malta in 1878. In 1878, Murray found himself serving as Brigade Major of the 1st Brigade, and was then posted to Turkey, where he took up an appointment as a military attaché.

With the outbreak of the Zulu War in South Africa, Murray, whose regiment was still on garrison duty in Malta, was himself appointed Aide de Camp to Major General Crealocke, the commanding officer of the 1st Division. Murray was appointed to the post in March 1879. In May 1879 he was appointed Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General to Clarke’s Flying Column, and was then attached to the Mounted Infantry under Major Barrow, and deployed with Clarke's column on reconnaissance missions. Murray surveyed and reported on the whole route followed by the Column to the Black Umvolosi, beyond Ulundi. Murray was present in the search for the Zulu King Cetshweyo, and selected the route to be followed by the Column to the Middle Drift, being Mentioned in Despatches for gallant and distinguished services and promoted to Brevet Major for his services. He is the only officer of the 61st South Gloucestershire Regiment to have received the South Africa Medal 1877-1879 with clasp for 1879.

Posted out to India where his regiment was sent in 1880, Murray arrived in time to take part in the final stages of the Second Afghanistan War, he being attached in the spring of 1880 for duty with the 72nd Highlanders at Kabul, he was then appointed Orderly Officer to Brigadier General Baker, and accompanied his column, in that capacity, in the expedition to the Logar Valley in May and June 1880, as well as serving as a Staff Officer at the Pishin Outposts, he being Mentioned in Despatches for his gallant and distinguished services in Afghanistan in 1881. His regiment did not take part in the Afghanistan campaign, and as such, Murray, once again, gained a rare medal to his regiment, this being in the form of the Afghanistan Medal 1878-1880 without clasp. Murray was promoted to Major in July 1881 whilst his regiment was still stationed in India, he having returned for regimental duty, his regiment having by then been retitled the 2nd Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment.

Murray however then received a posting to Egypt to take up the post of Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster-General to the Base and Line of Communication troops, and as such was present during the Egyptian War of 1882, and at the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir on 13th September 1882, he becoming once again an odd man from his regiment present in this campaign. For his services in these operations in 1882, Murray was Mentioned in Despatches for his gallant and distinguished services, promoted to Brevet Lieutenant Colonel and was awarded the Turkish Order of Osmanie 4th Class.

Murray then found himself posted to South Africa again, and here during 1884 to 1885 found himself serving as Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster-General on operations in Bechuanaland, but no campaign medal was awarded for these minor operations, nevertheless, Murray was once again Mentioned in Despatches for his gallant and distinguished services. Murray relinquished his commission in 1890, and married Emma Cecilia Walker in the same year.

Having decided to enter a second career in politics, Murray was elected Conservative Member of Parliament for Bath, and held this position from 1892 continuously through to 1906, but otherwise lived at his country seat, ‘Culverlands’ at Burghfield in Berkshire. Murray was appointed to the Royal Body Guard as a Member of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms, and in this capacity officiated on the occasion of the Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897, the Coronation of King Edward VII in 1902, and the Coronation of King George V in 1911. He was also a member of Carlton and Army and Navy Clubs. For his services as a politician, Murray was appointed a Companion of the Civil Division of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath in 1902, and granted a Knighthood in 1905.

Murray was then appointed Chairman of the Japan Society from 1913 to 1918, and also saw service during the Great War on Special Service with the British Red Cross Society in the Personnel Department at Boulogne, being also appointed a King’s Messenger on the Western Front from 1915 to 1916.

For his services as Chairman of the Japan Society, Murray was awarded the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun 3rd Class, and the Imperial Japanese Red Cross Society Silver Order of Merit, and Imperial Japanese Red Cross Society Special Membership Medal in Silver. Murray was also appointed a Gentleman Usher of the Scarlet Rod of the Order of the Bath in 1913, and held this position till his death in 1928, being appointed a Knight Commander of the Civil Division of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath in 1917. Murray is confirmed as having been appointed a Knight of Justice of the Order of Saint John, and latterly the Bailiff Grand Cross of the Order of Saint John. Murray died on 1st November 1928, being buried in Brookwood Cemetery, his wife having predeceased him six years earlier. They had no children.    

18 December 2017