MURKIN, Arthur Orpheus

No. 43424, Private, Arthur Orpheus MURKIN
Aged 23

1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment
formerly No.1590, Private, Norfolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Saturday, 9th September 1916

Arthur Orpheus Murkin was born on 3rd August 1893 in Hargrave ( Thingoe Q3-1893 4A:755), baptised Hargrave on 4th September 1893, son of Joseph John and Ellen Sarah MURKIN (née GARWOOD).

1901 census...Aged 7, he was at Weathercock Hill, Chevington with his father Joseph MURKIN [35] horsekeeper, born Hargrave; his mother Ellen [30] born London, Westminster; his brothers Charles [4] born Depden, Oliver [3] born Chevington and William [11 months] born Dalham.

On 24th November 1902, he and his brothers Charles and Oliver were admitted to Elveden Voluntary Aided Primary School, having previously attended school at Chevington.

1911 census...Aged 17, a farm labourer, he was at Chalk Hall Cottages, Elveden with his parents (father now a shepherd); brothers Charles (farm Labourer), Oliver, William, Frederick [3] and Stanley [9 months] both born in Elveden. The address given to CWGC was 99 Chalk Hall, Elveden.

His younger brother Oliver MURKIN MM died in Belgium in October 1918 see here

He enlisted in North Walsham, Norfolk .
Battalion War Diary has:-
"Battn under orders to move up to HIGH WOOD - but considerable delay owing to 3rd Bde requiring trenches for organising a fresh attack, refilling dumps, etc. Our own stores had to be re-established - N Lancs found carrying party of 200 for this purpose -who entered ELGIN trench at 12 noon.
12:30 pm - Coys began to move up ELGIN Trench, "D" Coy leading and taking over left of Btn front, meeting right of 2nd Munsters at sap 4. "B" Coy following "D" took over the right of the line in the wood. Front line Coys only got into position about 3 pm, while "C", the support Coy was utterly blocked in the trenches and was unable to get into position until after 6 PM when the attack was over. "A" Coy in reserve managed to force its way thro the crowd into BLACK WATCH trench during the evening.
4:45 pm B and D Coys attacked from the right edge of the Wood to Sap 4. A crater being blown on the right, on the site of the crater blown for the 1st Bn attack on the 3rd inst first taken by Black Watch and then lost. No artillery preparation within the wood, but a short Stokes Mortar bombardment, which was ineffective, for the instant our men went over the parapet the Germans opened a very heavy rifle and M.G. fire. Our attack was unable to reach their objective except on the right, where the crater (the debris of which injured several of our men) was occupied by 2/Lt CLARKE and his platoon.
This platoon was supported by another under 2/Lt COOPER and a Lewis gun. The German counter attacked strongly with bombs, put the Lewis gun out of action and drove out our men.
2/Lts AHG CLARKE and DK COOPER were missing (the former known to be wounded). The majority of the men of these two platoons were killed, wounded or missing. The 3rd platoon of "B" Coy on the left of the above was also hard hit, 2/Lt HG MANNING being badly wounded."D" Coy on the left of "B" met with no better success, but more men got back. 2/Lt HG JACKSON killed.
Total casualties 4 officers -135 other ranks.".

CWGC records show 43 killed, with only 16 having identified graves (all bar 2 in Caterpillar Valley Cemetery)

Arthur Murkin is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, pier and face 11A/11D
and also on the Weather Heath Memorial (Elveden Column by the A11)

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details