Mary Moran

Hubert Joseph Murray (1892-1956)
Mary Merl Moran (1898-1989)

his page has been assembled with the help of Donna Wieland, one of James Kenney and Mary Walker’s great-great-grandchildren.

Mary Merl Moran was the second of fifteen children of Lawrence Moran & Janet Margaret Ada Kenney, born on 01 May 1898 in the West Maitland area.

Hubert Joseph Murray (also known as Ted Murray) was born on 15 Aug 1892, also the West Maitland area (although at the time of writing we could not find this record online). His parents were John and Catherine Murray. From his sister’s early death in 1936 it appears there were seven or eight offspring; from the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate on Tue 11 Feb 1936:

FORDE.-The relatives and friends of Mr. PATRICK MURRAY, Mr. and Mrs. HUBERT JOSEPH MURRAY and FAMILY, Mr. and Mrs. AMBROSE MURRAY (b. 1896) and FAMILY, Mr. JOHN MURRAY (b. 1900) , Mr. and Mrs. FRANCIS MURRAY (b. 1903), Miss IRENE MURRAY (b. 1903), and Mr. F. J. MITCHELL and FAMILY, are respectfully invited to attend the funeral of their late beloved Sister and Sister-in-law, SARAH FORDE, to move from J. Meighan’s Funeral Parlours, King-street West, Newcastle, This (Tuesday) Afternoon, at 2.40 o’clock, for the Catholic Cemetery, Sandgate, via Civic Station. J. MEIGHAN Funeral Director.

Another reference to his brother John was a report on an enquiry into a fire that destroyed a house belonging to Hubert, as well as furniture they both owned. From The Maitland Daily Mercury, Thu 15 Jan 1931:

Abermain Fire

Mr. A. W. Johns, the newly appointed Coroner for Kurri district, conducted his first inquiry this morning at the Kurri Kurri Police Court.

The inquiry was in connection with a fire that occurred at King Street. Abermain, on December 27, at 1.30 a.m., and in which the five-roomed weatherboard cottage owned by Hubert Joseph Murray was totally destroyed by fire. The house was unoccupied at the time.

The building was insured for the sum of £400 and furniture for £250, in the owner’s name, and a further sum of £250 on furniture in the name of J. and F. Murray, all in the Royal Insurance Company, which was represented by Mr. E, R. Stohl.

Hubert Joseph Murray said that he was the owner of the house. He was away at Port Stephens when the outbreak occurred. He did not know of the fire till the following Tuesday.

He had bought the house in a damaged condition for £60, and had no idea what it had cost, him to recondition it. He had no idea as to how the fire originated.

Vincent E, Carroll, coal carter, gave evidence as to discovering the fire, and stated that the premised were totally destroyed before the brigade arrived.

John Murray stated that he stored his furniture at his brother’s place on November 7.

The Coroner found that there was no evidence to show as to how the fire originated,

Hubert and Mary married in 1915. Hubert was a miner. Over the years he was involved in several altercations and court cases.

Firstly, Hubert was charged with assault of a policeman; from The Maitland Daily Mercury on Thu 22 Feb 1923:


Cases arising out of trouble in a billiard room at Abermain on February 10 were dealt with by Major F. W. C. Crane, P.M., at the Kurri Police Court. Patrick Murray and Hubert Joseph Murray, brothers, were charged with having assaulted Constable J. R. O’Connor, at Abermain on February 10, and James O’Connell was charged with having incited a prisoner Hubert J. Murray, to resist arrest. The three defendants were also charged with haying made use of indecent language. Sergeant Stein prosecuted, and Mr. J. Reid appeared for the defence.

Constable O’Connor at 9.30 a.m. on February 10 was in Charles street, Abermain and heard bad language in the billiard room, which he entered. He heard Hubert Mur ray use indecent language, and told him he would summon him for the language. Hubert Murray followed him, and after some talk said, among other things, “You are a ____. You could not lock me up.’” He arrested Hubert Murray, who assaulted him. Hubert was kicking and struggling violently. Patrick Murray and James O’Connell were using language to incite the prisoner to resist arrest. Hubert offered to go if he were allowed up. Witness released his hold, and when they got up Hubert kicked witness. O’Connell had a billiard cue, and appeared to be about to strike witness when a man pushed O’Connell, and the cue broke a window. Patrick Murray rushed in, struck witness in the face with his fists, and witness dropped on his knees. Hubert then rushed witness, and caught him round the neck. Witness was hurt by heavy blows on the neck, and head. When he recovered sufficiently they had gone.

To Mr. Reid: Hubert Murray was not sober, but O’Connell and Patrick Murray were sober, in the struggle with Hubert, witness pushed him on the scat, and had him by the throat. He threw Hubert on the floor, and was standing over him. When Hubert kicked witness, he (witness) draw his baton. When he hit Hubert with the baton, Patrick Murray rushed witness and hit him. Witness then put the baton away. He did not think O’Connell touched him. He had a fight with O’Connell once. He would not say Hubert was hopelessly drunk.

Plain-clothes Constable Emmett arrested Patrick Murray at West Maitland. Murray said, “The policeman was drunk. He was knocking my brother about, and I tapped him on the jaw. Wouldn’t you have done the same?” He understood that Patrick Murray was a very decent fellow when sober.

John McNabb, licensed billiard room keeper at Abermain, saw the three defendants in his room on February 10; when Constable O’Connor entered the room. There was a bit of swearing before O’Connor re-entered. O’Connor and Hubert were arguing the point about the language. Constable O’Connor was knocked about a bit and dazed.. He could not say the constable was called improper names. To Mr. Reid:: Hubert asked witness and others if he had used bad language, and they said no. He did not see O’Connor have Hubert by the throat. He saw O’Connor hit Hubert with the baton. It was then that Patrick Murray rushed in.

For the defence, Hubert Joseph Murray, a married man, with a wife and three children, said he had been drinking wine and did not remember much about the billiard room trouble. He remembered O’Connor accusing him of having used language. He also remembered O’Connor having him by the throat on the floor. The next he knew was when he was arrested next day. His throat was sore. Constable O’Connor told him he used the baton and that was where he made a mistake.

Patrick Murray, a stone-worker, corroborated the evidence about the charge of bad language made by Constable O’Connor against Hubert, and about the argument. When O’Connor hit at Hubert, who quietened down and was speechless, he (witness) rushed over and hit the constable. He did not use the language mentioned by O’Connor.

James O’Connell, a labourer, corroborated the evidence of events leading up to the assault. He saw O’Connor hit Hubert on the jaw with his baton. Witness rushed over with a cue, and McNabb intervened and blocked him. Witness said, “It is the most cowardly thing I’ve ever seen done. I would not see a China man hit like that.” He did not use the language O’Connor complained of.

Mr. Reid, while admitting that deliberate assaults on the police should be dealt with in a drastic way, urged that in the present case what had occurred was the result of impulse.

Major Crane said he was impressed by Mr. Reid’s representations, but something had to be done to protect the police. The case was not so bad as the one at Cessnock and he could deal with it in a different way, but people would have to understand that the police must be protected, otherwise men would not enter the service. Patrick Murray was fined £10, with 14/ costs, or three months for assault, and £5, with 8/ costs, or one month for language; Hubert Murray £10 or three months for assault, and £3 or one month for language; James O’Connell £3 and 8/ costs, or one month, for inciting a prisoner to resist; and £3 and 8/ costs, or one month, for language. The sentences were cumulative, but time was allowed for payment.

Hubert next appeared as a witness (The Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Wed 10 Mar 1926) in Sydney in a Royal Commission inquiring into the question of safety in coal mines:

… Hubert Joseph Murray, miner, working at Abermain No. 3, referring to the danger of electric machines; said on one occasion he saw a flare from a machine, and on another a cable was on fire. The manager attributed the latter to a naked light, but he considered it was due to electricity.

On more than one occasion Hubert was charged with allowing stock to stray. From The Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder, Fri 23 Nov 1928:

Cases at Kurri Court

Impounding Officer G. Walters, of the Kearsley Shire Council, carried out what might easily be termed a successful raid on the straying stock at Abermain. As a result of his efforts nineteen persons appeared before Mr. D. W. Reed, P.M., at the Kurri Kurri Police Court on Wednesday.

Fines of 10/-, with 8/- court costs, were imposed on … Hubert J. Murray.


There were two separate reports of an incident involving Hubert and a cow. Firstly, The Newcastle Sun carried this on Tue 9 Apr 1935:


A black Jersey cow named Peggy assumed a new sense of dignity to-day when she became the subject of litigation at Cessnock Police Court. But she failed to live up to the occasion.

Peggy was allegedly owned by William Sullivan of Mount View-road, Cessnock. Last June, she was put on agistment in a paddock at Kitchener. She disappeared and, according to Sullivan’s story at the Police Court today, she reappeared at the house of Milton Waters at East Cessnock.

Sullivan sued Waters for detention. When Hubert Joseph Murray confirmed Sullivan’s statement of ownership by asserting that the cow had been purchased by him, the inevitable discussion as to brands arose.

Then came Peggy’s big moment.

Mr. Sheridan, P.M., solicitors, litigants, witnesses, court officials, and others went to inspect her.

There was an atmosphere of the stock yards as they lined the railed fence that had transformed Peggy from an ordinary cow to Exhibit A.

But Peggy was bashful; she resented the manner in which greatness had been thrust upon her, and without thought of her dignified position, decided to avoid notoriety by hiding behind a shed.

A witness stepped forward, and Peggy was led back, minus her dignity, steered by a horn and tall. The brand was inspected. Back In the courtroom the hearing was resumed.

Waters produced a receipt to prove that he had bought the cow from Sullivan’s wife, but Mr. Sheridan held that as Mrs. Sullivan held no title, she could not effect a sale.

The Magistrate ordered the cow to be returned to Sullivan, and Waters was ordered to pay £2 10s costs.

Mr. A. V. Cunningham appeared for Sullivan, and Mr. J. H. Waller appeared for Waters.

The Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder added a couple of facts, including the fact that the Sullivans had separated in 1935:

… Hubert Joseph Murray, also known as “Ted” Murray, residing at Government-road, Abermain, said that Sullivan bought some stock from him in 1930. Witness branded his stock CM with a wave. He had seen a brown jersey cow in the police yard. He had inspected the cow, and would say it was identical with one he sold to Sullivan at Abermain for £10. To Mr. Waller: He did not tell Waters that he could not remember who bought the cow.

John Murray, brother of the previous witness, said that in the year 1930 he was carrying on the business of buying and selling stock in company with his brother at Abermain. He identified the jersey cow in the police yard as one they sold to Sullivan. Witness was present when the deal was made.

Next, Hubert’s property was used for greyhound racing, though it was unclear whether this was illegal at the time. From The Newcastle Sun, Wed 7 Apr 1937:


At the Kurri Police Court to-day before Mr. C. G. Carr-Boyd, P.M., Edward Richards and Alfred Thomas were charged with betting in an unlicensed paddock at Abermain on March 14, while greyhound racing was in progress.

Thomas was fined £30 or 60 days and Richards £20 or 40 days.

Mr. W. J. Enright appeared for the defendants, who pleaded not guilty. Inspector F. J. Noble prosecuted.

Mr. Enright argued that betting on grounds within a shire which were not specifically defined was not an offence under the Gaming Act. The Magistrate said it appeared to him that the ground had been defined.

Sergeant A. E. Lane, of Newcastle, gave evidence that greyhound racing was held in what was known as Murray’s Paddock, off the main road at Abermain. There were many motor cars and people there.

Constable W. Johnson gave evidence that Richards took money and Thomas made entries in a book. Later Richards paid two men some money. Someone called out, “Look out, police,” and Thomas put the book under his coat.

Constable O. T. Watts, of Abermain, said that greyhound racing occurred at Murray’s Paddock every Monday afternoon. A mechanical hare was driven by a motor cycle on a stand.

Hubert Joseph Murray, the owner of the paddock, classified the dogs and was timekeeper.

The Maitland Daily Mercury added some more detail on Wed 7 Apr 1937: before fining Richards and Thomas:

… Constable O. T. Watts, of Abermain, said Murray’s paddock was practically on the boundary of Abermaln and Weston. Greyhound racing was conducted there on March 14. He saw eight races run.

To inspector: The hare was propelled by a motor cycle erected on a stand. Hubert Joseph Murray conducted the trials and classified the dogs, Reginald Darlington was judge and color steward, Ambrose Murray was starter. [Ed. Reginald Darlington was Hubert’s brother-in-law.]

The Magistrate stated that he
would like to consult authorities on the question, but before adjourning the court to do so, said it appeared to him that the ground had been clearly defined. The Murrays held dominion over the area and had assigned a portion of it to dog racing. All the people were there with the permission of Murray, and were there for the purpose of betting on the races being run.

On Tue 1 Dec 1942, The Newcastle Sun reported on a claim Hubert made for compensation for succumbing to pneumoconiosis whilst mining.


Alleging that he had developed pneumoconiosis while working as a shift man in Abermain No. 2 Colliery, Hubert Joseph Murray, of Weston, claimed compensation from J. and A. Brown and Abermain-Seaham Collieries Ltd. He claimed that he had been totally incapacitated since February 22 and his condition was not improving.

Murray said that he was off work from December 11, 1941, to February 22, 1942, with an injured hand and was paid compensation for that period. He did not go back to work on February 22 because he had no energy. He had lost weight, and felt worn out and knocked up. His wages had been £6 a week.

The hearing was adjourned to the next sitting of the Court.

Some three months later his claim was awarded “with costs on the appropriate scale” (Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, Fri 26 Mar 1943).

Hubert died on 15 Aug 1956. Mary lived on for more than 30 years, passing away on 16 Jun 1989. The couple had six children, all born in Abermain.

01. Hubert Lawrence John (b. 1915, d. 25 Apr 1986)

02. Daphne Veronica (b. 31 Aug 1916, d. 09 Dec 1921)

03. Ambrose (b. 04 May 1918, d. 25 Apr 1986)

04. Thelma Amilda (b. 28 Feb 1922, d. 19 Dec 1922)

05. Francis Joseph (b. 28 Mar 1923, d. 1986)

06. James Patrick (b. 24 Feb 1929, d. 1989)

Daphne and Thelma died young and were buried alongside their parents:

Mary Merle Murray

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