Thames and Avon Branch of the Murray Club
Apprentice Boys of Derry
Formed in 1847 the Murray Club is named after Colonel Adam Murray who bravely led his men in the defence of Londonderry during the famous siege. Colonel Murray and his soldiers were involved in many of the battles and skirmishes against the Jacobite forces of the Pretender to the English throne, James II, during these troubled times. His soldiers wore a white ribbon on their sleeves so they could easily be identified by their brothers in arms and even to this day some Murray Club members still observe this tradition.
Another tradition still adhered to is that the Murray Club always takes it's place at the rear in any parades. This is in recognition of the many rearguard actions Colonel Murray and his men were involved in during the siege and is a position of honour. In fact the parent club actually parades behind it's branch clubs, unlike the other Apprentice Boys Clubs who are always at the head of their branch clubs.
Colonel Murray was a ferocious fighter and actually killed the French General Maumont during a skirmish at Pennyburn Mill. Many times Colonel Murray and his men sallied forth from the besieged city to inflict casualties on the forces of James. Colonel Murray is buried at Old Glendermot, as is another of the siege heroes, Colonel John Mitchelburne. A parade is held annually when a memorial service takes place to commemorate these two great soldiers. The parade is organised by the two clubs who bear the names of these heroes.
In Saint Columbs Cathedral, near to the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall, there are various items from the siege and included among these are the watch, the snuffbox and the sword that belonged to Colonel Murray. There is also a silver plate bearing the Murray Crest.