Our History of Service

1884 – David Murray, Cabinet Maker, Upholsterer and Undertaker first offered funeral services to the people of Newcastle employing 17 people including David’ 6 sons and operated from 51 Hunter Street Newcastle, and after some years a second branch in Beaumont Street Hamilton. There was a furniture business as well as funeral business.

1914 — David Murray retired and the two businesses were separated. The furniture business was sold to David’s brother, James, while the family funeral business was retained by his son, James Murray. By now James Murray served Morisset and the Lake district via train and launch from Cockle Creek.

1926 — The business purchased its first motor hearse, a Chrysler.

1937 — The company joined the Australian Funeral Directors Association James Murray’s son David appointed Manager

1946 — Duke and Duchess of Gloucester employed James Murray’s staff and cars during and official visit to Newcastle.

1954 — The official company James Murray Funeral Directors Pty Ltd formed.

1960s — Growth of the business and James Murray reputation for courtesy and dignity grew.

1961 — John David Murray joined after completing his leaving certificate and proceeded to learn all aspect of the business over many decades. John then became joint managing director until the death of his father David Murray in 2002.

1966 — Chapel opening in Blackall Street.

2002 — John and Elaine Murray jointly managed the business until the change of ownership in 2006.

Today — James Murray’s fleet of sleek hearses and limousines service all areas of Newcastle, Port Stephens, LakeMacquarie, and surrounds. James Murray’s chapel is situated nearby in Blackall Street. It comfortably seats 140 people. The Belford Function Centre is also situated close by.


The James Murray traditions of dignity and courtesy are coupled with professionalism, compassion and understanding.

James Murray



In the years preceding the Second World War large and elaborate funerals with street processions and rigid social guidelines were the norm.


Today each family has individual requirements, varying faiths, and different needs for a funeral. Our community is diverse and multicultural. James Murray has changed to reflect this. Each service is designed to reflect individual wishes.

A Newcastle Family Company
Since 1884