ROSS, Murdoch

Display Number:  1304  
Name:  Ross  Murdoch
Rank:   Service Number:  
Date Joined:  14 August 1914 Mercantile Marine Date Discharged:  14 December 1918

Murdoch Ross was from a seafaring family; his father, John Ross, served in cable laying ships in the East and then worked as a carpenter at ship yards in Scotland.

Murdoch Ross signed on to the RMS Tahiti in 1911 travelling from Glasgow to Sydney. He remained with the ship, signing on with the Union Steamship Co. of New Zealand and making multiple voyages on the vessel’s Sydney to San Francisco route. At the outbreak of war in 1914, Tahiti was requisitioned as a troopship. Ross served on board until 1917, making eight voyages including being part of the convoy transporting the First Detachment of Australian and NZ Imperial Expeditionary Forces in November 1914. From 1917-1918 he was stationed at Port Chalmers dry dock, refitting and repairing troopships, and then, after the war, converting them back to passenger/cargo ships.
In the Second World War Murdoch Ross worked for the Labour Department organising the supply of labour for the wartime domestic economy. After the war he reached the position of Auckland District Commissioner of the NZ Labour Department. Ross died in Auckland in October 1976.
Father of Rear Admiral John O’Connell Ross [see 1305]


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Medal Description (Left to Right):  
  • British War Medal - Recognises the successful conclusion of the First World War. Its coverage was later extended to recognise service until 1920, recognising mine clearing operations at sea, and participation in operations in North and South Russia, the eastern Baltic, Siberia, the Black Sea and the Caspian.
  • Mercantile Marine War Medal - Awarded to members of the Merchant Navy who had undertaken one or more voyages through a war or danger zone during the First World War. The ribbon is green on the left side and red on the right side, symbolising the port and starboard steaming lights.
  • New Zealand War Service Medal - Awarded for 28 days' full time service or six months' part time service in any of the New Zealand Armed Forces, the New Zealand National Military Reserve or the Home Guard between 3 September  1939 and 2 September 1945. Eligible part time Home Guard Personnel must have completed their six months' part time service between 16 August 1940 and 1 January 1944 (the Home Guard was disbanded in December 1943). It was the first distinctively 'New Zealand' war service medal, which was emphasised by the use of the fern leaf motif on the suspender and the reverse of the medallion, and the national colours of black and white on the ribbon.