Denis Luke Maurice
1 SAS (B Squadron)
- DATE OF DEATH
18th January 1943
Enfidaville War Cemetery,Tunisia V.C.18
- ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
parent unit 21st King George's Own Horse (Central India Horse),I.A.C.
son of Hon. Justice Sir Stephen and Lady Lillie Murphy,Costebelle,Kyrenia,Cyprus
educated Lancing College 1930-34
RMC Sandhurst 1935
commissioned 2Lt Unattached List,Indian Army 27.8.1936
harassing enemy supply lines in Tunisia - died
In January 1943 Denis Murphy was placed in command of a patrol of eleven men from B Squadron 1st SAS on operations to harass enemy supply lines in Tunisia ahead of the allied advance there.
They entered their area of operation in the Nalut area on the night of the 16th/17th of January finding a ?network of enemy roads? there. They attempted to locate the road to Dehibat, which lay some 20 miles to the north west, but without success. As a result they halted to rest at 3am on the morning of the 17th.
After three hours they moved south and halted again at 9.30am in a wadi. A guard was mounted on the sides of the wadi; some of the men slept while others carried out repairs to vehicles and equipment.
At midday the guard was withdrawn and preparations were made to move off. At 12.20pm a heavy fire opened up on the patrol from the western side of the wadi made up of rifle, machine gun and mortar fire.
One of the patrol members was Sergeant A.E. Badger who reported the following:-
Captain Murphy ran from jeep to jeep endeavouring to get the crews organised and the jeeps started.
Sergeant Badger managed to start the engine of his vehicle and opened fire with his Vickers machine gun at the enemy who by this time were attacking from both sides of the wadi. Having fired three magazines Badger?s gun jammed and he noticed that by this time that, although one other jeep was returning the enemy?s fire, another was in flames. Shouting to Privates A. Hearn (who was slightly wounded) and R. Guard to jump aboard he managed to escape to a position six miles to the southeast. Soon after they were clear of the area they noticed that all fire in the wadi had ceased. They waited until 8.30am on the 18th in case others were able to join them, but none did, and they departed.
When Badger had last seen Denis Murphy he was unhurt and was trying to start one of the Jeeps.
Three other men died with him:-
Lance Sergeant Fred Senior
Private Malvern Nixon
Private John Leslie Brown
DATE OF DEATH:
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