Jim Murray

James (Jim) Murray (NZ 7998)

James Murray as a young man James Murray in 2013 James Murray in 2016 James Murray in 2016

James Murray as a young man, and in 2013, and 2016

James (Jim) Murray (NZ 7998) was one of the gun crew of 'A' Turret of HMNZS Gambia. His job was to load the cordite. In 2013, Jim was one of a delegation of veterans who was flown to Noumea, New Caledonia to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the war in the Pacific. In this 2016 video he describes his experiences during WWII on the ship. Jim was born in 1928 and was 88 when this video was recorded in 2016.

Video: https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/memories-service-james-murray-2016
Firing Last Shots - Rodney Times - April 26, 2013

I made a transcript of the video's audio, and that is avilable here (PDF, 1Mb).

HMS Jamaica, sister ship to HMS Gambia. The interior of a 6" triple Mark XXIII mounting. Note the crew wearing anti flash gear. From this angle you can see the centre and right 6" Mark XXIII guns of the three contained within this turret. The crew member in the foreground has over his shoulder a 30 pound cordite propellant charge. Note a further charge is emerging from the cordite hoist in the floor. It is still in its protective case. Photo: Lt. H. A. Mason. Imperial War Museums A 16320 "The boys in Durban. Ian Boys is the centre one there, and that is the rickshaw puller. The natives down there doll up and they put all head dresses on and everything and they'd stand approximately nine and ten feet high, and bottle tops all round their ankles and they would get you in the rickshaw and away you'd go." Members of the crew of HMNZ Gambia in Tokyo in 1945 Jim's shipmates. Ian Boys, with the Ragg twins Souvenir of HMNZS Gambian with the British Pacific Fleet, February to October, 1945 Jim Murray's medals. L to R: 1939 - 1945 Star, Burma Star wih Pacific Clasp, NZ Defence Medal, NZ War Medal 1939-1945, NZ War Service Medal, and NZ Service Medal 1946 – 1949 Jim Murray's hari-kiri knife Jim Murray's Imperial Japanese navy decoration Jim Murray's Japanese glasses Jim Murray's Japanese shot glass Jim's shipmates. L to R: Jim Murray, Billy Marr, Merv Bovais, Ian Boys, and Buster Hayes 40th Anniveresary Reunion of the Commissioning of HMNZS Gambia in 1983 at Hokitika, New Zealand 40th Anniveresary Reunion of the Commissioning of HMNZS Gambia in 1983 at Hokitika, New Zealand Ex-crew members at the 40th Anniveresary Reunion of the Commissioning of HMNZ Gambia in 1983 at Hokitika, New Zealand Ex-crew members at the 40th Anniveresary Reunion of the Commissioning of HMNZS Gambia in 1983 at Hokitika, New Zealand


Jim Murray and Bob Kennedy with their Japanese glasses

When I was putting this page together I noticed an odd coincidence. The first picture is of Jim Murray who now lives in New Zealand. The second is of Bob Kennedy who now lives in South London, Ontario. But in August 1945, they were both on HMNZS Gambia in the Tokyo Bay. Jim as a gunner in "A" turret, Bob as a Royal Marine.

On August 20, there was a RN/RM landing force from the ship that took the surrender of Yokosuka Naval Base. It would be nice to know if both these men were in that land force and that was where the glasses were liberated from.