Profile

MILLAR, Robert James
(Service number 6/507)

Aliases Bob
First Rank Private Last Rank Lance Corporal

Birth

Date 8 January 1888 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date 11 August 1914 Age 26 yrs 7 mths
Address at Enlistment 1 Princes Street, Timaru
Occupation Grocer's assistant
Previous Military Experience Timaru City Rifles Volunteers Service - completed 3 years
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs Alice MILLAR, 1 Princes Street, Timaru
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information Height 5 feet 6 inches. Weight 145 lbs. Complexion dark brown. Eyes grey. Hair dark brown. Eyes both 6/9. Hearing and colour vision good. Limbs and chest well formed. Full movement of joints. Heart and lungs normal. teeth good. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects.

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

Military Awards

Campaigns
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

Discharge

Date 25 August 1919 Reason Termination of period of engagement

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

26 March 1916 admitted to hospital. Wounded (2nd occasion) on 23 September 1916 in France.and embarked for England where he was admitted to the N.Z. General Hospital at Brockenhurst.

Post-war Occupations

Shop assistant

Death

Date 5 December 1954 Age 66 yrs
Place of Death Timaru
Cause
Notices Timaru Herald, 6 December 1954
Memorial or Cemetery Timaru Cemetery
Memorial Reference Services Section, Row 113, Plot 11
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

This Robert James MILLAR (Bob) was the son of Robert and Alice (nee ORR) MILLAR, of Princes Street, Timaru. Bob attended Timaru South School. He was a brother of William David MILLAR who died of wounds in 1915 at Gallipoli; and a brother of Letitia Annie MILLAR who served in the Nursing Corps in WWI. Robert and William embarked together in October 1914, being among the first to enlist to serve their country. And in what must be close to a record, he gave a total of 5 years and 15 days of service, all but 71 days overseas, serving from 11 August 1914 until 25 August 1919. Bob was one of many keen and determined applicants at the Drill Shed on 11 August 1914. He was not one of those rejected, mostly for defects to the teeth and one or two on account of height; he passed the medical exanimation and was sworn in. The successful applicants were liable to be called up at any moment, and it was quite probable that they would leave Timaru in a matter of days for the central camp at Christchurch as part of the 2nd South Canterbury Regiment's quota. In fact, Bob was among those who did leave under Captain Grant on 17 August, after a very enthusiastic send-off, being wished God speed and a safe return, and the playing of the National Anthem. Bob was a member of the Park Bowling Club in Timaru. he resumed his bowling on his return. Members of the Park Club turned out to honour him at his funeral, as did the South Canterbury RSA members. In August 1914 the Park Bowling Club members had rallied in large numbers to farewell Robert as he left for the front. While they were sorry to part with him, they were also glad that he was placing the call of duty first. Toasts were proposed and Bob was presented with a case of Loewe pipes. He thanked the members and expressed the desire that his service would be of benefit to present and future generations in the form of lasting peace. To end, the "National Anthem" and "Auld Lang Syne" were sung lustily. Bob returned to New Zealand aboard the "Chupra", one of 732 soldiers due at Lyttelton about July 22nd, 1919. Bob married Bertha Sophia NICHOLSON in 1928. He enlisted again for WWII, at the age of 52 years, serviing from 10 January 1942 until 8 April 1944, with service number 806785. This time his next-of-kin was his wife. He had had an operation on the tendon in his right hand and hearing was reduced in the left ear. Otherwide he was in good condition. Much of that time was spent as a cook in Christchurch. He was survived by Bertha, two daughters and three sons.

Sources

Cenotaph Database [16 March 2014]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5922 0080798) [02 September 2014]; ; Timaru Herald, 10 October 1916 (Papers Past) [16 March 2014]; TDC headstone image (Timaru Cemetery) [16 March 2014]; Timaru Herald, 12 August 1914, 15 August 1914, 18 August 1914, 7 July 1919, Otago Daily Times, 10 October 1916 (Papers Past) [16 March 2014; 06 August 2014; 01 & 02 September 2014]; Timaru Herald, 06 & 07 December 1954 (Timaru District Library) [02 September 2014]

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