Murray, Alexander Donald Milles

Donald Murray was the elder son of Brigadier Cyril Alexander ‘Alick’ Murray DSO (formerly King’s Own Scottish Borderers), of Philipburn, Selkirk. His mother was Marjorie Lilias Murray, the daughter of W. Jennings Milles MD, FRCS, of Shanghai. He was the brother of Blair Cyril Murray (H1943-1947).

Murray came to Culver’s Close from Heathmount, Woodhall Park, in Short Half 1938. He played for Commoner VI in 1942, and left in March 1943 from Senior Part II, Science Division, after having been in his last term an efficient senior prefect of his house and house platoon commander in the OTC.

After leaving school he went to the RMC Sandhurst OCTU, and in February 1944 he was commissioned in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB). He at once volunteered for the Airborne (7th) Battalion, being promoted Lieutenant in August 1944.

Murray, who was OC No.5 Platoon, ‘B’ Company, 7KOSB, took part in the Arnhem landing on September 18th 1944, his platoon being at once continuously in heavy action.

Murray was lost during the night of September 18/19th, while organizing a party to cover a withdrawal. The ‘B’ company veteran recalled what happened during the night:

“At one stage we were on a night advance and myself and my platoon were in the lead. Following the usual drill, after about twenty minutes it was my turn to move to the rear of the column and the next platoon moved up to take my place in the lead. The platoon leader of that unit was a great friend of mine, Lieutenant Murray, nineteen years old and the son of a Brigadier. Within minutes, and I mean minutes, we were fired upon by a German unit, dug-in in the woods opposite. We dived into the woods and my Sergeant Shaw received injuries to the thigh and one of my corporals helped to carry him back to a farmhouse where our medical Jeep was situated. That was the last I saw of Sergeant Shaw”.

Murray had disappeared in the darkness and confusion, and was never seen alive again.

Late in August 1945, when Murray had been missing for a year, the War Office reported him definitely killed in action during these operations: his body had been found, and he is now buried in grave 16.C.18 of the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery. He was nineteen years old. On the anniversary of his death, September 18th 1945, the following notice appeared in The Times:

To the most loving and happy memory of Donald (A.D.M.), Lieutenant, The King’s Own Scottish Borderers, beloved elder son of Colonel and Mrs. Alick Murray, who gave his life at Arnhem, fighting with the 1st Airborne Division, on the night of September 18th-19th 1944, aged 19 years.  A gallant and noble son. From his mother and father.


War: World War 2

  • Surname: Murray
  • Forenames or initials: Alexander Donald Milles
  • House: H
  • Years in School: 1938-1943
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Kings's Own Scottish Borderers (1st Airborne Division)
  • Date of Birth: 6th April 1925
  • Date of Death: 18th September 1944
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner C1
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery: Grave 16.C.18