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Murrays in Peebles


David Murray International Champion
Member of the British Empire

David Porteous MURRAY, a worthy son of Peeblesshire, was born on 9 February 1890 at the Bield Cottage in Tweedsmuir.  He was a son of David MURRAY and Isabella POTTS.

In 1904, David completed his education in Tweedsmuir and became a Shepherd.  Two years later his life was changed forever when he got his first dog.  Training that dog sparked a passion in David MURRAY that would earn him worldwide acclaim and respect.  David MURRAY's 60 year career as a Sheepdog Trialist had begun.

Over the years, David MURRAY was the Supreme Scottish National Champion several times and won a countless number of local trials.  Notably, in 1953 as the reigning Scottish National Champion, David gave a tremendous display and won the Coronation Sheep Dog Trials at Wythenshawe Park, Manchester.

The Brace event is complicated for the Trialist as it involves the coordination of two dogs to control the sheep.  David MURRAY was the International Brace Champion several times.  David even won the International Brace Championship Shield, which is awarded should a Trialist win the International Brace Championships for three successive years.  Brace Championships move around each year between England, Scotland, and Wales.  Winning the Brace Championship three years in a row is an unbelievable accomplishment.

In 1963, the Daily Express Sheep Dog Trials were held in Hyde Park, London.  The two-day international trial was attended by tens of thousands.  David MURRAY was the oldest competitor in the field and soon became the crowd favorite.  In second place at the end of the first day, David, and his dog Vic, came storming back on day two to win the singles Supreme Championship, much to the delight of the huge crowd.

In 1965, David MURRAY was invited to Denmark where he gave a series of demonstrations in Copenhagen.  The trip was an outstanding success and the Danes were thrilled with the demonstrations given.  The tour was especially important to David because winning Championships was not his driving force, it was the opportunity to display and prove once again the perfect understanding between man and dog.

David MURRAY also exhibited his skills on the silver screen.  In the 1950’s David was involved in a documentary film called MY DOG NUMBER, which was about the life of a shepherd through each of the four seasons.

In 1966, David was involved with making a film for the children’s Film Foundation called FLASH THE SHEEPDOG.  The film was about the life of an English boy on a Border hill farm and was shot in Peeblesshire and Selkirkshire.  David owned and trained the dog in the film (Turk) and worked with Turk behind the scenes.  David made a cameo appearance in this film as a spectator.  David was thrilled with the experience.

David MURRAY was a man with a very real love for the land and for the hills and he was pround of being from Peeblesshire.  David was a quiet, pleasant man with a rare sense of humour and a cheery word for all.  On meeting David MURRAY one was instinctively drawn to him.  He valued frienship and therefore was a valued friend.  He was a very kind, gentle, and loving man who absolutely doted on his grandchildren, his son, and his daughter-in-law.  David enjoyed the simple things and derived satisfaction from any task to which he set his hand.  David MURRAY was a man unaffected by fame or success and he brought honour to himself and Peeblessshire.

In 1967, David MURRAY, a lad from Tweedsmuir, found himself on the New Years Honours List.  David was invited and attended an investiture at Buckingham Palace where Her Majesty awarded him the Medal of the British Empire (M.B.E.).  No one in Peeblsshire was surprised.  For decades, that community was well aware of David MURRAY’s character and astonishing accomplishments.

His Family

During WWI, David MURRAY served (1914-1919) with the Royal Army Service Corps on horse transport.  After the war, he returned to Peeblesshire where he met Helen LORIMER.  They were married at Glenriska in Tweedsmuir on 03 June 1921.

Helen LORIMER was born on 27 March 1889 in the Wandel and Lamington Parish of Lanarkshire.  She was a daughter of Thomas LORIMER and Jane CALDWELL.

In 1922, David and Helen MURRAY took up residence at a new 400 acre farm called Glenbield.  The farm house was not quite complete when they moved in.  The farm is on the slopes of the beautiful Soonhope Valley near Peebles.  The farm produced sheep and beef cattle.

Helen Lorimer MURRAY died on 10 June 1944 at Glenbield.  David Porteous MURRAY, International Sheepdog Trialist Champion, died in 1967 at the Peels Hospital in Galashiels.

Children of David MURRAY and Helen LORIMER:

i.  Jean Girdwood MURRAY, who was born in 1923 at Glenbield.  Jean died on 24 October 1957 at Peel Hospital in Galashiels.

ii.  David Porteous Murray, who was born in 1928 at Glenbield.  David married Anne Margaret MCGILLIVRAY in 1954 in the Kinlochmore District of Inverness.  Anne was described as a lovely lady who endured several years of ill health - without complaint.  David and Anne MURRAY had two daughters and they both live in Peebles.

Anne McGillivray MURRAY died in July of 2001 in Peebles.  David Porteous MURRAY died in April of 2002 in Peebles.