The Belfast Doctor website updates & news
Eileen's Returned Letters from Omagh
The eleven letters Eileen sent to Frank but which were never received by him because of the outbreak of the war in the Pacific, are now available to view as scans along with a transcription. The undelivered letters were ultimately returned to her and are the only examples we have of her side of the voluminous correspondence between Eileen and Frank that preceded his capture at Singapore. Written between October 1941 and February 1942, they provide an insight into her thoughts and activities during her time working as a school teacher in Omagh with occasional weekends and holidays spent at her family home in Belfast.
20th January 2024 (Eileen's Birthday)
Eileen and Frank’s story now a TV documentary
On Sunday, October 9, 2022 BBC Northern Ireland broadcast an Irish language documentary, "Litir Ghrá ón Dara Cogadh Domhanda” ("A Love Letter from the Second World War”) about Eileen and Frank. A shorter version of the programme was shown on TG4 on Wednesday, October 12. “This is about courage. It is about fortitude. It is about love. It is about faith. And it says to us in this war-torn world that love and kindness, these are the things that make our world a better place.” — Josette Sellings (Eileen & Frank’s youngest daughter). The documentary was shown again on BBC Northern Ireland on Remembrance Sunday, November 12, 2023 and is available to watch on BBC iPlayer using this link.
Irish Doctors in the Second World War
Joe P. Duignan, Kevin T. Cullen and Patrick J. Casey are planning a book documenting Irish doctors in the Second World War. They have produced a very useful website and are keen to collect information about the doctors from relatives. If you can help by providing images, records and other information please visit their website at https://www.irishdoctorsinww2.ie
Paul Murray, Eileen and Frank's elder son, has published a book about his 2017 journey to Singapore and Japan as well as other aspects of his personal quest to explore ideas of reconciliation and prayer. The book, "From the Gaeltacht to Galicia: A Son's Tale", is published by Honeybee Books and can be ordered online. There is now an item about the book in the Media section of the website.
One of Frank Murray's most treasured possessions was the testimonial and accompanying signatures presented to him by his fellow POWs soon after their liberation (see the "POW: Testimonial" section of the website). The family knew that the text had been drafted by David Marshall (see Appendix D of the transcribed POW diary). However, the identity of the person who did the artwork and calligraphy on the testimonial has now been discovered. It was Private Harry Southall of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. The clue was that his signature was done in a calligraphic script. You can read a more detailed account about Harry and see his handiwork in "POW: Testimonial" section of the website.
Can you Help?
In response to the people who thought they could identify their relatives in some of the photograph albums, there is now a new section, “POW photos” under the “Photographs" tab. There people will find high resolution versions of 4 photographs — the two Christmas concert ones from Muroran, along with Group 6 and Outside Prison Walls from Nisi Ashibetsu. Each photo is followed by (i) an annotated version where each identifiable person is numbered and then (ii) a list of people who have been identified. There is also a link to the Contact form so that people who have identified relatives can let me know and then I can modify the list; this should be a great help to others who look at the web site.