Private Samuel Millar


Samuel Millar was born on 5 October 1890 in Springwell Street, Ballymena, County Antrim, the ninth of ten children of shoemaker Samuel Millar and his wife Rose (née Colgan (or Colvin or Colville)).By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Albert Street, Ballymena, with his parents and three of his seven surviving siblings, a brother-in-law and three nephews, and working as a moulder in an iron foundry.

Millar enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 4 and 7 September 1914 (No.1133). On 12 December the Ballymena Weekly Times reported that:

Private Sammy Millar, of Albert Place, who is well known in football circles in Ballymena, has been in training at Antrim with the North Irish Horse, and left that town with a detachment of that regiment, who have been ordered elsewhere, on Thursday morning.

This most probably refers to the departure of D Squadron of the North Irish Horse for England, where they camped at Cople, Bedford. On 1 May 1915 the squadron embarked for France, serving as divisional cavalry to the 51st Division.

In May 1916 D Squadron came together with A and E Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps. On 9 December 1916 the Ballymena Weekly Telegraph reported that Millar:

... was home during the week on furlough, and renewed acquaintance with his many local friends, who were glad to see him looking fit and well. ,,, [He] was a regular playing member of the Summerfield Strollers F.C.

During the latter part of 1917 Millar transferred to the Royal Irish Rifles (No.45563) and was posted to the 12th Battalion. He was one of the many posted as missing following the retreat from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 during the German spring offensive. It was later learned that he had been captured on the first day when the 12th Battalion, holding the front line, had been overwhelmed by the German assault. He remained a prisoner until the end of the war, held at camps including Stendal.

Following his repatriation, on 28 February 1919 Millar was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.


Millar's brother Robert Millar also served in the North Irish Horse during the war.