Monday, May 21, 2012

Murray, Henry

Mr Henry Murray, who died at Lumsden on Friday and was buried on Sunday last, is an old resident of that district. He has lived for the best part of the list 20 years in the district lying between Balfour and Lumsden.

He was born at Hedley, Middlesex, about the year 1831. In the year 1854 he was employed as a butcher by the commercial department of the army, and in that capacity went to the Crimea the same year. There he served all through the war, and could tell many incidents of that memorable campaign. He had been frequently in the hospital at Scutari, and there had often met with, and could describe, Miss Florence Nightingale.

At the conclusion of peace in 1856, a goodly number of old Crimeans found their Way to the colonies to search for gold; among these was Henry Murray, who came out to Victoria in 1857. It seems to have been fortunate for England that there was such an outlet for these men of the army and navy whose services the peace had rendered unnecessary at that time.

Our Crimean warrior having arrived in Victoria, went in for "making his pile," just as many another one has done, and probably was no more successful in the end than the majority of the diggers have been. Whenever he was down on his luck, through striking a patch which proved a "duffer," he would seek work at his original business that of a butcher.

At butchering he had the reputation of being very proficient, having been trained to it in his young days under his father, who was also a butcher, and carried on business in Hedley. Harry Murray, as he was familiarly called, had digged and prospected at one time or another on the Avoca, Dunolly and Fiery Creek, and was one of those who were taken in by the noted field of the Snowy River. It will be remembered by some old miners how that a fair number of miners went to Kiandra, and worked on the Snowy River, and after persevering for a long time without getting a color were so nearly reduced to starvation that the Victorian Government had to send food to them and provide means for them to remove, or a large number would have been starved to death. In 1862 Murray came over to New Zealand to Gabriel's before the Molyneux rush. That wilder of the Molyneux was a famous one, for it was severer than any other known by the Pakeha in the Otago district. So severe was the frost that at Clyde the big river was so contracted (it always is narrowest in winter) that a man with a pole in his hand on one side of the river could manage to touch the opposite bank.

In New Zealand, Murray had worked at Skippers, Moonlight, Moke Creek, Hogburn, and the Shotover, and he was one of those who, about seven years ago, went in Captain Fairchird's Government steamer to Big Bay to prospect the beaches there.

Like many another Crimean veteran, his had been a chequered career. He was not married, and as far as I can learn, had neither relations nor connections beyond the friends he had made in this district, His old friend, Mr Joseph Watson, tended and cared for him unweariedly during his last illness.— Lumsden correspondent.
Mataura Ensign, Volume 15, Issue 1211, 16 August 1892, Page 2

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