Matthew Desmond Murphy


1835 – 1912

Stirling has a distinguished history as a military town, being at times the centre for the raising of various regiments and from the early 1880’s, the home of Princess Louise’s Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. It has also been home to a large ordnance depot and a military prison.

Indeed a walk through the cemeteries shows this to advantage, with many stones displaying names, regiments and details of long forgotten campaigns.

Stones include those erected by the War Graves Commission and by various regiments as well as many private stones. They are a fascinating record of the many campaigns of the British Army from the foundation of the extended cemetery until the present day.

One such stone is that of Matthew Desmond Murphy, one of the last survivors of the famous ‘Thin Red Line’, that remnant of the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders which repulsed the might of the Russian Cavalry during the Battle of Balaclava in 1854. After later service with the regiment in Aberdeen, he came to Stirling where he lived until his death in 1912.

The 93rd Sutherland Highlanders became part of Stirling’s regiment, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who sponsored this headstone erected to Matthew Murphy’s memory.