Military Wiki
Sir Horatius Murray
Nickname Nap[1]
Born 1903
Died 1989 (aged 85–86) (aged 85 or 86)
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1923 - 1961
Rank General
Unit Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
Commands held 1st Bn Gordon Highlanders
153rd Brigade
6th Amoured Division
1st Division
Northumbrian District
1st Commonwealth Division
Scottish Command
Allied Powers Forces Northern Europe
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Awards GCB (1962)[2]
KBE (1956)[3]
CB (1945)[4]
DSO (1943)[5]
MID (1945)[6] (1949)[7]
LM, Commander (USA) (1945)[8]

General Sir Horatius Murray GCB KBE DSO (1903–1989) was a British Army General during World War II.

Military career[]

Horatius Murray was commissioned into the Cameronians as a 2nd lieutenant in 1923.[9] He was promoted to lieutenant in 1925.[10] In 1935 he was transferred to the Cameron Highlanders and advanced to captain.[11] He attended Staff College, Camberley for two years from January 1936.[12] After Staff College he was given a staff posting at the War Office[13] and was promoted to major in August 1940.[14]

He served in World War II being appointed Commander of 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders in 1941. In June 1942 the battalion, forming part of 153rd Infantry Brigade (in turn part of 51st (Highland) Infantry Division), was shipped to Egypt where his unit took part in the Second battle of El Alamein.[15] Murray was seriously wounded in the early stages of the battle and only returned to active service again in April 1943. After a brief period as temporary GSO1 of 51st Division, Murray was given command of 153rd Infantry Brigade in the same division. After a period of rest and refit in Algeria the brigade saw action in Sicily.[15] after which it was shipped with the rest of the division in November 1943 to England for training and preparation for the Allied Invasion of Normandy.

Landing in Normandy on the afternoon of D-Day Murray saw nearly constant action with his brigade until August when he was ordered to Italy to take command of 6th Armoured Division.[16] The Division was involved in the fighting on the Gothic Line in late 1944 before being withdrawn into reserve and then joining V Corps for the Spring 1945 offensive in Italy.[16] Following the breaking of the Axis defences in the Argenta Gap by 56th and 78th Infantry Divisions, 6th Armoured Division was released to exploit across country.[1] Advancing north-west to the River Po, the division linked up with units of the U.S. Fifth Army advancing from the south to cut off Axis forces in Bologna. By 8 May the division was crossing the Austrian frontier becoming the first element of the Eighth Army to enter German territory.[1] He was mentioned in despatches in 1945 for his services in Italy.

At the end of the war, because of his relative youth, although he held an appointment as acting major-general, his permanent rank was still only major (war substantive lieutenant-colonel, temporary brigadier). In August 1945 he was advanced to temporary major-general, war substantive colonel.[17] His substantive rank was advanced to full colonel in December 1946[18] and again to major-general in January 1948.[19]

After the War Murray was appointed Director of Personal Services in 1946, General Officer Commanding 1st Infantry Division in 1947 and District Officer Commanding Northumbrian District and 50th Infantry Division (T.A.) in 1951.[20] In 1949 he was mentioned in despatches for services in Palestine between March and September 1947.

Relinquishing command of 50th Division and the Nothumdrian District in August 1953,[21] Murray saw action again as General Officer Commanding the 1st Commonwealth Division in Korea[20][22] relinquishing the appointment in November 1954.[23] In 1955 he was appointed General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Scottish Command in the temporary rank of lieutenant-general[24] and Governor of Edinburgh Castle.[20][25] The lieutenant-general's rank was made substantive shortly afterwards, in May.[26]

In 1958 Murray became Commander in Chief Allied Forces Northern Europe which post he relinquished in July 1961[27] having been promoted to full general in 1959.[28] He retired from the army in September 1961.[29] He maintained his links with the army retaining the honorary Colonelship of The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) until 1964.[30]


  • A Very Fine Commander - The Memoirs of General Sir Horatius Murray GCB KBE DSO, edited by John Donovan, Pen & Sword Books, 2010, ISBN 978-1-84884-337-0[31]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Mead 2007, p. 316.
  2. "No. 42552". 29 December 1961. 
  3. "No. 40669". 30 December 1955. 
  4. "No. 37161". 3 July 1945. 
  5. "No. 36232". 2 November 1943. 
  6. "No. 37184". 17 July 1945. 
  7. "No. 38505". 7 January 1949. 
  8. "No. 37204". 31 July 1945. 
  9. "No. 32858". 31 August 1923. 
  10. "No. 33080". 1 September 1925. 
  11. "No. 34181". 19 July 1935. 
  12. "No. 34247". 21 January 1936. 
  13. "No. 34513". 24 May 1938. 
  14. "No. 35167". 16 May 1941. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 Mead 2007, p. 314.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Mead 2007, p. 315.
  17. "No. 37239". 24 August 1945. 
  18. "No. 37906". 14 March 1947. 
  19. "No. 38197". 3 February 1948. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2
  21. "No. 39950". 28 August 1953. 
  22. "No. 40006". 3 November 1953. 
  23. "No. 40389". 21 January 1955. 
  24. "No. 40422". 1 March 1955. 
  25. "No. 40421". 1 March 1955. 
  26. "No. 40472". 6 May 1955. 
  27. "No. 42402". 30 June 1961. 
  28. "No. 41863". 6 November 1959. 
  29. "No. 42453". 1 September 1961. 
  30. "No. 43283". 127 March 1964. 
  31. “A Very Fine Commander,” Pen & Sword


  • Mead, Richard (2007). Churchill's Lions: A biographical guide to the key British generals of World War II. Stroud (UK): Spellmount. ISBN 978-1-86227-431-0. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Gerald Templer
GOC 6th Armoured Division
August 1944–July 1945
Succeeded by
Post Disbanded
Preceded by
Richard Gale
General Officer Commanding the 1st Division
Succeeded by
Francis Matthews
Preceded by
Sir Colin Barber
GOC-in-C Scottish Command
Succeeded by
George Collingwood
Preceded by
Sir Cecil Sugden
Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces Northern Europe
Succeeded by
Sir Harold Pyman

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