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John Booth war hero Blamain Rowing Club
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Alec Gillan-Murphy



Private Alec Gillan-Murphy of the Army Medical Corps has written from Gaba Teps Gallipoli (3.9.1915) to Mr Con MacNamara, Captain of the Balmain Rowing Club . . . . . .

“I showed the club’s annual report to Stan Riordon and also sent it to Harold Thompson, who is at Cape Helles, about 10 miles south of us. We have been here since April 25. We have had some strenuous times and a lot of monotony. We have found the Turks fair in every way, and newspaper talk of atrocities is all nonsense. I am well, but about 2 stone under weight. We live in the open, much the same as we did at old Easter and Christmas camps, except that we do not have tents. It’s astonishing how few fellow that one knows, either personally or by sight, are seen here, and it goes to show that there must be thousands of eligible men still remaining in Australia. I congratulate you on being captain of the club, and think that you will fill the position well. We live on the seashore and as the climate is not unlike Australia we have plenty of bathing. Of course, we take risks of being potted by bullets or shells but best early in the morning, or just after dark is fairly safe. I have not seen anything like the tragic scenes I expected to see. It’s all very humdrum and commonplace and one gets tired of it. I saw “Bill” Cunning and Sid Middleton. In our corp we are not allowed more than this one sheet so it would be hopeless to attempt to describe my experience to you. However I will give you details of everything at first opportunity.”At the time of his enlistment Private Gillian Murphy was Hon Secretary of the New South Wales Rowing Association and a member of the Balmain Rowing Club’s committee. He wishes to be remembered to his many rowing friends who will be pleased to hear that up to the time of writing he has not been wounded.

Referee and Arrow - Saturday 23 October 1915



Mr Alec Gillan-Murphy, who at the time of his enlistment occupied the position of hon treasurer of the NSW Rowing Association and a member of the Balmain Rowing Club, has written an interesting letter from Lemnos Island to Mr Neil MacNamara, captain of the Balmain Rowing club. He states that the men remaining out of the first Australian and New Zealand division are at Lemnos island in a rest camp. They had a very strenuous time at the Dardanelles, being there for five months and are enjoying their rest. They have plenty of leisure and engage in exercises and football matches during the day, and have splendid smoke concerts in the big recreation tent at night. he states that there is no necessity for anyone to worry about joining the forces, as, really it’s not very terrifying after all, although at times one’s nerves get shaken. He was unaware as to when they would leave the rest camp, but they were all anxious to get back to the firing-line again. He wished to be remembered to all his rowing friends.


Referee and Arrow - January 1916

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