MILLAR, Robert James
(Service number 58558)

First Rank Private Last Rank Corporal


Date 4 February 1897 Place of Birth Orari Gorge (Geraldine)

Enlistment Information

Date 17 April 1917 Age 20 yrs 3 mths
Address at Enlistment High Street, Waimate
Occupation Teamster
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status
Next of Kin Mrs Sarah Caroline MILLAR (mother), High Street, Waimate
Religion Presbyterian
Medical Information Height 5 feet 8 inches. Weight 154 lbs. Complexion fair. Eyes grey. Hair fair. Eyes - right 6/18, left 9/18. Hearing and colour vision normal. Limbs and chest well formed. Heart and lungs normal. No illnesses. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated (left arm). Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects. No fits. Class A.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 29th Reinforcements Canterbury Infantry Regiment, C Company
Date 15 August 1917
Transport Ruahine
Embarked From Wellington Destination Glasgow, Scotland
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment

Military Awards

Service Medals 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 23 September 1919 Reason Termination of period of engagement

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

10 April 1918 admitted to hospital, wounded in the face. 6 may 1918 transferred to Convalescence Hospital at Hornbrook. April 1919 admitted to Walton-on-Thames Hospital,

Post-war Occupations

Storeman (General Merchant's)


Date 18 June 1944 Age 47 yrs
Place of Death Masterton
Memorial or Cemetery Archer Street Cemetery, Masterton
Memorial Reference Returned Servicemen Section, Block C/1, Row 2, Plot RJM
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

This Robert James MILLER was a son of Alexander and Caroline Sarah (née BELL) MILLAR, late of Pareora, then of Waimate, later of Pirinoa. He was next-of-kin for his brother Leonard William MILLAR who served with the Australian Imperial Force and was killed in action in 1915 at Gallipoli. Robert was the beneficiary of the whole of Leonard's property and effects. Robert was educated at Anama, Westerfield, Lismore, Pareora West and Southburn schools. In 1911 Robert had had rheumatic fever. He enlisted on 17 April 1917 at Timaru and was one of 505 men drawn in the ballot to complete South Canterbury's quota of the 31st Reinforcements. At the time he was living at home with his mother and working at Waimate. Robert left for camp on 25 June 1917. He embarked per the "Geissen" at Plymouth on 23 June 1919 for his return to New Zealand. The "Giessen" was due at Wellington on August 16, 1919. By the time of discharge he had completed 2 years 122 days of duty. On 30 May 1918 he confirmed that he had previously made a Will which was deposited with The Public Trustee, Wellington. Robert also enlisted for WWII, on 10 March 1943. By this time he was living in Masterton, still working as a storeman, his next-of-kin now his wife Eileen; he has four children, and his main hobby was gardening. He had married Eileen Isobel JACKSON on 16 December 1925 at Masterton. They had six children. Robert's fronting up for WWII is both a little surprising and admirable, given that he had a nervous breakdown in 1938. He also suffered with catarrh periodically, he had a successful hernia operation in 1940, and his vision was now defective. Despite poor eyesight recorded in his medical examination for WWI, he was deemed Class A. Robert died not long after, in 1944 at Masterton. . . . .


Cenotaph Database [16 March 2014]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5549 0080799) [02 September 2014]; CWGC [16 March 2014]; Timaru Herald, 18 April 1917, 9 May 1917, 25 June 1917, 22 & 23 April 1918, 25 July 1919 (Papers Past) [16 March 2014; 01 & 02 September 2014]; Archer Street Cemetery burial records (Masterton District Council [01 September 2014]; Headstone transcriptions Masterton Cemetery (South Canterbury Branch NZSG Cemetery Records microfiches) [04 September 2014]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [01 September 2014]

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