Appeal to find next of kin of Police Constable killed during 1941 air raid

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
A hunt for the family of Constable George C.Murray has been launched alongside a fundraiser to mark the grave of Constable Mornington Alfred Clements (L).(NORTHUMBRIA POLICE)

A police force has set up an appeal to find the next of kin of a Police Constable who died in an air raid during WWII.

Police Constable Mornington Alfred Clements, who died aged 49, and Reserve Constable George C. Murray, aged 68, were killed by bombs dropped by the German Airforce during a raid on the evening of 9 April, 1941, in Tynemouth, north-east England.

Now, nearly 80 years later, an appeal has now been launched to track down the family or next of kin of Murray - while Clements, originally from Colchester, Essex, was left in an unmarked grave.

Both officers were buried in Preston Cemetery, North Shields in separate graves.

The Police Roll of Honour Trust (PROHT) plans to place a headstone at the grave of Constable Clements and in the process mark his sacrifice with a short ceremony and also that of Murray in April 2021.

Constable Mornington Alfred Clements, who died alongside Constable Murray, was buried in an unmarked grave. (NORTHUMBRIA POLICE)

Northumbria Police are asking the public to help spread the word and track down any living relations or individuals who might have information about the whereabouts of Murray's next of kin or family.

Constable Clements’ wife was awarded a police pension of £1.10p (equivalent) per week, leaving her unable to afford a headstone for her husband. She died seven years later and is buried alongside him.

The attack, carried out by German bombers during the Second World War, destroyed shops, houses, timber yards and other premises throughout Newcastle and Tyneside.

An elderly couple clear away the rubble near their homes after an air raid by the German Luftwaffe on a residential area of Newcastle in 1941. (Getty Images)

The devastation killed a total of 35 people - including 21 men and 14 women - in one singe night.

Neighbourhood PCSO Tim Cousins, the officer spearheading the search from Northumbria Police, said: “While the Police Roll of Honour Trust have identified distant relations for Police Constable Clements and are in touch with them, sadly they have not yet been able to trace the Murray family.

“Through extensive research by the Trust they have been able to establish that Constable Murray’s family used to live in Wallsend Road, North Shields.

Reserve Constable George Murray's grave at Preston Cemetery in North Shields. (NORTHUMBRIA POLICE)

“At the time the North Shield's district was part of the former Tynemouth Borough Constabulary that now forms part of Northumbria Police.

“We are asking the public to help spread the word and hopefully we can then track down any living relatives for the ceremony next year.”

Anyone wth information on the whereabouts of Constable Murray’s family can contact the force by emailing 4654@northumbria.pnn.police.uk

A JustGiving page has been set up to help fund the financing of the headstone for Constable Clements.

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