MILLER was born 08 Apr 1898 at Railway
to parents Robert, a railway porter and Elizabeth
McKinnie (who married at West Kilbride on 11 Nov 1892).
was a member of Fairlie Boy Scouts from its formation in 1912; noted in the
Scout log-book in 1916 to be a ticket collector, aged 17, nicknamed “Fly” or “Cute”.
In the 1901 Census, aged 2, he is living Burnfoot with parents Robert (31, born West Kilbride, railway porter)
and Eliza (30, born West Kilbride),
and siblings Thomas (7),
John (5) and Robert (0)
he 1911 Census, aged 12, he is living Mid Row with parents Robert (42, railway porter) and Elizabeth (41, m 18 years, 10 children/9living) and siblings
medal index card was found, but his regiment is given on the plaque as ‘R.S.F.’
(Royal Scots Fusiliers?). The Largs &
Millport Weekly News reported on 06 Apr 1918 that he’d
been wounded in France, and had arrived in hospital in England suffering from a
machine gun bullet wound in the arm. As
he served overseas he would have received the British War and Victory medals.
17 Apr 1918, Private Miller wrote to Mrs Boyle (formerly Laura Tennant, Fairlie
Scoutmistress) from hospital in England describing the events of 28 Mar 1918:-
“Signalling is really important at the front as I have
cause to know. The complete signal
stations of two of our companies and all the operators were wiped out with a
single shell on the day I was wounded. I
escaped because I had been detailed to take the place of a runner who had gone
missing. ……….. Late in the afternoon I had occasion to
take a message to the officers in front but I never reached my destination. For
purposes of speed I had no equipment except my respirator and steel helmet.
After crawling along the C.T. I reached the sunken road. The main road was being heavily whiz-banged
and machine guns played right across it.
I managed right to the main road when one went right through my
arm. Things were too hot to wait to
apply my field dressing. I had to wait
until I reached the third dressing station before I had it attended to. ……….
Passing from one hospital to another I eventually arrived at Le
Havre. …….. After a seven hours voyage we arrived at
Southampton where an ambulance train for Manchester was ready. I arrived here
at 2 am on “All Fool’s Day”.
from the Largs & Millport Weekly News:-
6 April 18 The Toll Of War: News has been received of two Fairlie lads
being wounded during the present fighting in France. Signaller William Miller, 1st R.S.F., son of
Mr. Robert Miller, porter, Fairlie Station, has arrived in hospital in
England. He is suffering from a machine
gun bullet wound in the left arm.
6 April 18 Signaller
William Miller, 1st R.S.F., son of Mr. Robert Miller, porter, Fairlie Station,
has arrived in hospital in England with a machine gun bullet wound in his left