Can YOU help track down the Miller VC? If you know anything please contact the Webmaster
This page contains snippets and links to a wealth of information about Conductor James William Miller who was awarded a Victoria Cross in 1857 during the Indian Mutiny. His VC is not attributed to the modern Royal Logistic Corps because of his association with the Indian Army. In partial recognition James Miller has a classroom named after him in the Defence Logistic & Supply School, at Regt HQ in Camberley. For the full explanatation of why he is not recognised, Click here
National Archive Reference (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/) WO 32/7349 DECORATIONS AND MEDALS:
Victoria Cross (Code 50(M)): Indian Mutiny: Recommendations concerning Col. J Travers, Lt. Col. S Browne, Lieuts. C Maclean, E Thackeray and T Cadell and Conductor J Miller 1860 - 1862 National Archive. Copy of the National Archive entry- Click Here.
Miller was born 5 May 1820 in the parish of Glasgow. He enlisted in the Honourable
East India Company (HEIC) 22 June 1841 in Glasgow and was sent to
Chatham. His trade was candle maker, height 5ft 7 ins, complexion and hair
fair, eyes grey. Bounty for which he enlisted was £3/17s/6d (cash £1/14s/6d
necessaries £2/2s/11d + half-penny).
His first paybook is in Australia with another Great Great Grandson, David Edgerley.
|January 1842||He landed at Calcutta in and marched from Fort Dum Dum to Agra, joining the 1/3 Bengal Artillery.|
|3 May 1844||Bombardier|
|27 August 1844||Corporal|
|12 August 1845||Sergeant|
|20 June 1846||Acting Staff Sergeant. Joined Arsenal at Fort William, Calcutta|
|24 October 1849||Married to Agnes Forsyth (daughter of gunner in artillery) , listed as a widower|
|1850||Appointed to Dum Dum|
|31 January 1851||Blacksmith Sergeant|
|28 October 1857||Action during mutiny to save Lt Glubb of 38 Bengal NLI|
|25 February 1862||Award of VC announced in London Gazette|
|10 August 1862||Retired|
|12 June 1892||Died , Simla. Buried Simla Churchyard|
I am descended from Miller via
his eldest daughter who survived to have children, Emily Seriphina. I began
to research James Miller in 1996 and
discovered that my mother had some of his warrants and commissions, also the watch he had made for his wife using some money paid to him instead of going
England to receive the cross from Queen Victoria. There is no inscription on the watch however. I have not been able to scan the commissions, but I have
keyed and laid out versions of the ones that I do have. We also have copies of various testimonials and letters written to support Colonel Turner's request for Miller to be acknowledged for his bravery, and also a letter from the Lieutenant that he carried from danger.
Mr Reader has provided a number of PDF files of document transcriptions in relation to James Miller, below. Just click on the link. If you need to download a copy of Adobe Reader (previously Acrobat Reader) you can do so via the Adobe Reader Site or click on the button below.
|1857||Validictory Letter after the Mutiny from Capt Machell|
|10th August 1857||Validictory Letter from LtCol Glassford|
|30 December 1857||Validictory Letter from Maj Montgomery|
|15th May 1858||Validictory Letter from Lt Brown|
|16th February 1860||Validictory Letter from Lt Glubb (whom he rescued for his VC)|
|June 1860||Validictory Letter from Lt Wimberley|
|June 1860||Recommendation for VC from Col Turner|
|28 July 1864||Certificate of Appointment of Conductor|
|12 June 1874||Certificate of Appointment Deputy Assistant Commissary|
|2 Sept 1874||Commission of Appointment as Hon Ensign (Junior Officer)|
|10 Sept 1875||Commission of Appointment as Hon Lieutenant|
|9 August 1878||Commission of Appointment as Assistant Commissary|
|8 September 1879||Commission of Appointment as Deputy Commissary|
|11th November 1882||Application for Pension|
|1882||Army and Department Service Record|
|1862||National Archive -War Office entry, 25 Feb 1862|
James Millers Wife Agnes
James Millers Sons, Eddie and Frank
The Following are Discussion entries on the Victoria Cross Website at www.victoriacross.net
Sarah Ennis 5 Jun 2000
I have recently begun investigating the VC award to an ancestor of mine: Conductor James Miller of the Bengal Ordinance Depot, Indian Army, who was awarded the VC in 1857. In the family we have a watch given to him by the officer whose life he saved, but we do not know the whereabouts of the VC itself.. If anyone can suggest any avenues which might lead to loacting its whereabouts I would be most interested to hear from them. Thanks
Can we help track down the Miller VC? If you know anything please contact the Webmaster
James William Miller VC born in Glasgow 1820 (possibly in Kirkwall). He may have been brought up by an uncle who was a minister in the Kirk.
James Miller joined the Hon East India Company on 22 June 1841, arriving in Calcutta January 1842 into the 1/3 Bengal Artillery. He joined the arsenal at Fort William as a Staff Sergeant in 1846 and married Agnes Forsyth (born 6 August 1834 – died 5 August 1903 Agra) probably in 1852/53.
He was a Sub-Conductor based at Fort Agra when the Mutiny began and he was awarded a VC for carrying an officer to safety on 28 Ocober 1857. VC was gazetted on 25 February 1862 only after a lot of debate about the length of time it had taken to get the application for a medal from his senior officers. He didn’t return home to receive VC from the Queen but used the money to have a watch made for his wife in Edinburgh.
They had 5 daughters (Emily, Alice, Frances, Emily, Eva) and 3 sons (Andrew, Frank, Henry). James Miller retired from the Gun Carriage Agency on 10 August 1882 as an honorary Major and died in Simla 12 June 1892.
Is there anyone who has a James William Miller in their family who left Scotland in 1841?
Could someone contact Sarah Ennis and let her know that the Cannon family
from New Zealand know what happened to the VC she was enquiring about (I
difficulty). We are descendents of James Miller (mum born Calcutta, grandmum
born Bangladesh [deceased]
Apparently the medal in question was stolen during a rail journey in India. My great aunt Maggie (Margaret) had it at the time. My sister Jane Eddy (nee Cannon)is the best keeper of family history and can be reached at . My mother (Wendy) who is a direct descendent of James now lives in California. Jane has the most knowledge regarding this sort of stuff and is the best one to contact. Thanks. John Cannon (Perth. WA) firstname.lastname@example.org
ps. still many direct relies of James in England if Sarah E is interested. Also we are keen to gather further info that Sarah may have.
Dear Mrs Sarah Ennis, could
you please contact me.. I believe my great great (great?)granfather is James
Miller. I live in Perth, West Australia but am a New Zealander. My grandmother
recently died in the UK (born, Bangladesh.. my mother born Calcutta 1933.
We know James was our relative and possibly has other relatives in NZ.. by
other means..) If you want to know what happened to the VC, I believe it
was stolen on a train journey in India within the last 50 odd years..(my
grandmother told me this before she died) My email is email@example.com.
You can visit www.winderdriver.com to find out more about me if you wish.
My sister has much more info on this than myself (with documents I think)
and has recently returned to Sydney from France.. so if you want I can put
you in touch.. I have only researched this for the first time and have found
it fascinating! I have a mining thing with Bangalore going at the moment
thus my straying into the James Miller area.. I found your post and do hope
we are talking about a common relative! Anyway, I hope you get this somehow
because I did try the normal route but had no luck so just punched your name
into the net and tried this one.. If anyone else is reading this please pass
on, it will be most appreciated.. All the best, John C