MILLAR, William David
(Service number 6/508)

Aliases Born David William MILLER. Willie
First Rank Private Last Rank Private


Date 6 August 1879 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date 12 August 1914 Age 35 yrs
Address at Enlistment 1 Princes Street, Timaru
Occupation Labourer; bridge carpenter
Previous Military Experience Timaru R. H. V. S. Completed 6 years.
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs Alice MILLAR, 1 Princes Street, Timaru
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information Height 5 feet 10 inches. Weight 152 lbs. Chest measurement 34-37 inches. Complexion dark. Eyes light brown. Hair black. Sight, hearing, colour vision all normal. Limbs and chest well formed. Full movement of joints. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth - 3 false upper, remainder good. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inverterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects. Mole.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation Main Body
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Infantry Battalion
Date 16 October 1914
Transport Tahiti or Athenic
Embarked From Lyttelton, Canterbury Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Battalion

Military Awards

Campaigns Gallipoli
Service Medals 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

12 May 1915 admitted to 1st Australian Clearing Station, with gun shot wound to head

Post-war Occupations


Date 29 April 1915 Age 35 yrs
Place of Death Dardanelles, Gallipoli, Turkey
Cause Died of wounds
Memorial or Cemetery Beach Cemetery, Anzac, Turkey
Memorial Reference I. B. 16.
New Zealand Memorials On Memorial wall, Timaru; Timaru South School Memorial plaque; Chalmers Church Honour Roll; Loyal Timaru Lodge of Oddfellows memorial tablet

Biographical Notes

William David MILLAR was a son of Robert and Alice (nee ORR) MILLAR, of Princes Street, Timaru. He attended Timaru South and Timaru Main schools. At the meeting of the South School Committee of 9 June 1915, a resolution was passed of sympathy with the mother of William, an ex-pupil of the school. His name is inscribed on the tablet in memory of ex-pupils who fell in the great war, which was unveiled at Timaru South School on 18 September 1919 in a memorable and unique ceremony. "No nobler boys had left the shores of New Zealand than ex-pupils of the Timaru South School," said one long-term committee member. Before enlistment Willie lived at home with his mother, his father having died in December 1905, and he worked as a bridge carpenter. He enrolled and passed the medical examination on 12 August 1914, in a very lively and busy Drill Shed; he was not one of those rejected because they were over or under age, insufficiently developed, had no experience, or were over weight (the regulation weight was 12 stone). William was a prominent, active and valued member of Chalmers Church, where the Dead March in Saul was played at the close of the service in May 1915 out of respect for his memory. And the annual report of Chalmers Church in August 1915 referred sympathetically to the deaths of members who had lost their lives in their country's cause; especial regret was expressed in regard to William's death in seeveral of the reports presented. He was also a Brother of the Loyal Timaru Lodge, I.O.O.F., where his name is inscribed on a memorial tablet. He was a brother of Robert James MILLAR (6/507) who also served in WWI and of Letitia Annie MILLAR who served in the Nursing Corps in WWI. William and Bob embarked together in October 1914, bearing consecutive service numbers and being among the first to enlist to serve their country. Little did they know that less than five months after reaching Egypt William would die of wounds received in action. He was a well built, healthy man, but such is no defence against gun shot. His medals, plaque and scroll were all sent to his mother, and a sum of 26 poounds was granted to her from the pensions fund. William David MILLAR did leave a will, which he had drawn up on 7 October 1912. His eldest brother, John Alexander MILLAR, was one of the executors, and to him were bequeathed all of William's property, real and person. All proceeds of any sales were to be invested and the income from investments to go to his mother and, after her death, to all his brothers and sisters.


Cenotaph Database [16 March 2014]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5549 0080816) [27 August 2014]; CWGC [16 March 2014]; Timaru Herald, 13 August 1914, 24 May 1915 [x 2 mentions], 10 June 1915, 28 August 1915, 19 September 1919, 6 July 1920 (Papers Past) [16 March 2014; 03 August 2014; 01 september 2014]; School Admission Registers (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [March 2014; 01 September 2014]; NZ Birth Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [March 2014; 01 September 2014]; NZ electrical Rolls ( [01 September 2014]

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