Image copyright: Copyright expired - public domain,
Public Domain Mark This image is in the Public Domain

ID number P02467.285
Collection Photograph
Object type Black & white - Film copy negative
Photographer Unknown
Place made Australia: New South Wales
Date made 2 May 1941


Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of NX33361 Private Richard Murray, 22 Brigade Headquarters. He was one of over 2000 Allied prisoners of war (POW) held in the Sandakan POW camp in north Borneo, having been transferred there from Singapore as a part of B Force. The 1494 POW's that made up B Force, were transported from Changi on 7 July 1942 on board the tramp ship Ubi Maru, arriving in Sandakan Harbour on 18 July 1942. In May 1945 Private Murray was one of only 30 POWs still alive at Ranau. He and Pte Keith Botterill stole rice from the Japanese to build up food stocks as they intended to escape. When the theft was discovered Pte Murray stepped forward to take responsibility, knowing he would be killed. He was bayonetted and his body thrown into a bomb crater at Ranau on 20 May 1945. Pte Murray sacrificed his life to save his friend. Pte Botterill did escape, he was one of only six survivors of the Sandakan death marches. Pte Murray was the son of Frank and Catherine Murray and the husband of Margaret Murray, of Hurstville, NSW. His body was recovered from Ranau and is now buried in the Labuan Cemetery Section 21, Row E, Plot 7. (Photograph copied from AWM232, items 4 and 5. Personal information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database.)