Private Samuel Russell Millar



Samuel Russell Millar was born on 31 July 1898 at Glenmullion, County Antrim, the eighth of twelve children of farmer Thomas Stirling Millar and his wife Jane (née Graham). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at nearby Ballynoe with his parents and nine of his siblings.

Millar enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 17 October 1916 (No.2293). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France on 8 April 1917. There he was posted to D Squadron, one of the three squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, which at the time was serving as corps cavalry to VII Corps. Soon after, however, he fell ill, spending time in various hospitals from 10 June to 14 September.

In August-September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Millar, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Millar was issued regimental number 41437 and posted to C Company.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Millar was one of the many posted as missing following the 9th (NIH) Battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 during the German spring offensive. The rejoined the battalion, however, on 3 April, probably seeing action later that month in the fighting near Kemmel Hill on the Ypres front.

At the end of April Millar fell ill with trench fever and influenza. After treatment in hospitals in France, on 8 May he was evacuated to the UK, where he was treated in the Irish Counties War Hospital in Dublin and the UVF Hospital in Belfast. He was discharged to duty on 15 July and was later posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, at Bawdsey in Suffolk, reporting for duty there on 11 September. On 3 October he was disciplined for overstaying his Expeditionary Force leave pass, forfeiting five days' pay.

Nine days later he embarked for France, re-joining the 9th (NIH) Battalion in the field on 12 October. He fell ill again on 8 November, not rejoining the battalion until 8 December.

On 22 February 1919 Millar was transferred to the Royal Irish Regiment (No.41328) and was posted to the 5th (Service) Battalion, serving in the Army of Occupation on the Rhine. He returned to the UK on 11 October 1919 and on 8 November was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. His military character was recorded as 'good'.

In February 1922 Millar emigrated to the United States, via Canada. He died in San Diego, California, on 20 August 1940 and was buried in the Glen Abbey Memorial Park.



At least one of Millar's brothers, James Graham Millar, also served in the war, in the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, and was wounded at Gallipoli.


James Graham Millar


Larne Times, 15 January 1916


Images 1-3 sourced from Public Member Trees – contributor Matthew Wallace.