b. 11/1931 Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham. d. 22/06/1960 Liverpool.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 22/06/1960 Liverpool.
Colin was born in Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham, the son of a miner, John Murphy. He had two brothers and two sisters. He was baptised at St Michael’s RC Church. He was educated at St Michael’s RC School, Houghton from 1936-1942, afterwards attending Houghton Grammar School from 1942-1947. After school, he worked in Sunderland before joining the RAF as a trainee cadet officer. He passed all the pilot’s exams but failed the medical as he had a damaged eardrum. In 1956, he went to work for Cammell Laird’s shipyard in Birkenhead as a sheet metal worker and boiler maker. He married Mary, and they had two sons, Colin and John. He was working for the Liverpool Ventilation Company at the time of the incident. His widow was presented with his Albert Medal by Queen Elizabeth II on 5th July 1961.
On 22nd June 1960, Mr. Murphy was engaged in modifying equipment installed in a large department store when fire broke out on the premises. Realising that the continued working of the ventilating fans might help to spread the fire, he began to make his way to the roof to switch them off. On reaching the fourth floor, however, he learned that the fans had been stopped. He then made his way through the smoke-logged atmosphere to the front of the building where he helped a girl to safety along an eighteen inch ledge outside the fourth floor window to the flat roof of the adjoining premises. He retraced his steps and after helping another girl to escape was overcome by smoke and flames and fell to a canopy at ground floor level. He died of multiple injuries.
BURIAL LOCATION: FRANKBY CEMETERY, FRANKBY, THE WIRRAL, MERSEYSIDE.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.
Allan Stanistreet – Image of Colin Murphy AM.