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Diaries of medical officer, Captain Michael Francis Murphy

 Single Item
MS. 15074

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  1. Michael Francis Murphy's diary of the East African Campaign, 2 Oct 1917-27 Dec 1918. With typed transcript of the diary and explanatory notes by his son, Martin Murphy.
  2. Michael Francis Murphy's diary of the Somaliland expedition, 1 Dec 1919-8 Aug 1919, including lists of Swahili vocabulary, some hand-drawn maps and plans of forts. With typed transcript of the diary and explanatory notes by his son, Martin Murphy.


  • 1917-1920


1 box

Language of Materials


Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 15074].
Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.


MS. 15074

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 15074


Diaries of medical officer, Captain Michael Francis Murphy

Biographical / Historical

Michael Francis Murphy was born in Castletownbere, County Cork, Ireland in 1890. He trained at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin and, as a medical officer with the King's African Rifles during World War I, he took part in the campaign against von Lettow-Vorbeck's German forces in East Africa. This ended on 25 November 1918 after news of the Armistice was received.

Murphy travelled to Kenya and volunteered for a twelve month tour in the East African Medical Service to assist in the rehabilitation of medical services following the war. In December 1919 he volunteered to serve as a medical officer in the Somaliland Field Force which was despatched to subdue the Dervish resistance movement under Mohammed bin Abdullah Hassan, known as the 'Mad Mullah'.

After leaving military service Murphy worked as a General Practitioner in Reading. He died in 1954.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Michael Murphy's son in 2018.

Related Materials

An album of photographs taken by Michael Francis Murphy during the East African campaign and the Somaliland expedition is at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford. The Pitt Rivers Museum also has a ghi carrier of leather covered with cowries ('the Mad Mullah's butter-cooler') taken after the bombardment of Mohammad bin Abdallah Hassan's camp at Medishe, near Jidali, and donated to the Museum by Murphy in 1927.
Catalogue of the diaries of medical officer, Captain Michael F. Murphy
Finding aid prepared by Lucy McCann
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom