Source: April 1917 Casualty
No. 3 Canadian General Hospital, (McGill)
A.P.O.3., B.E.F. France,
17th June 1917.
Mrs. Albert Miller,
Kent Co. Ont.
I am in receipt of your letter inquiring for particulars of the death of your son, No. 226140, Pte. A.E. Miller of the 18th Bn.
He was wounded on April 10th, sustaining a severe compound fracture of the right thigh. The dreaded gas gangrene set in in the wound, and it was necessary to amputate the thigh. This was done at a hospital near the front on the 12th, and there was not further continuance of the gas gangrene spreading. His general condition was very serious. He had persistent vomiting, and his mind was wandering, periods of restlessness alternating with unconsciousness. There were signs of pneumonia in the right lung. He died at 7.a.m. on the 15th April, and was buried in the Bouloggne [sic] Military Cemetery.
His personal belongings were all forwarded to the Army Headquarters here in France. These are very carefully looked after, and sent to the next of kin, but usually takes some time to reach their destination. Please accept my very sincere sympathy for you in your sad loss.
Yours very truly,
H.S. Birkett Col. A.M.S.
O.C. No. 3 Canadian General Hospital (McGill)
Summary of Service for Private Albert Edward Miller. Reg. No. 226140
|September 3, 1899||Born||Indicates on attestation papers he was born in Canterbury, England to Albert and Lizzie Miller. There is a reference to Cranbrook, England.|
|October 13, 1915||Enlists||Enlists with the “B” Squadron, Depot Regiment, Canadian Mounted Rifles at London, Ontario. He states his date of birth as September 3, 1897 and his trade as a farmer. His medical certificate on the 2nd age of his attestation papers indicates he joined the C.E.F. in Ridgetown, Ontario.
Note that Private Miller joined under-age and that he had indicated a date of birth two years prior to his actual date of birth.
|October 1915 – March 1916||Canadian Mounted Rifles||Serves with the C.M.R. until he is drafted in the first overseas draft April 1, 1916.|
|January 17, 1916||Anti-Typhoid Inoculation||First of a three-course set of inoculations.|
|January 21, 1916||Anti-Typhoid Inoculation||Second of a three-course set of inoculations.|
|January 25, 1916||Vaccinated|
|January 26, 1916||Anti-Typhoid Inoculation||Third of a three-course set of inoculations.|
|March 29, 1916||Embarks for England||Embarks via Halifax, Nova Scotia for England aboard the S.S. Olympic.|
|April 1, 1916||Assigns Pay||Assigns $20.00 per month to his mother, Lizzie Miller.|
|April 11, 1916||Arrives England||Disembarks and arrives Shornecliffe and is assigned to the Lord Strathcona Horse Regiment.|
|April 12, 1916||Taken on Strength||Lord Strathcona Horse Regiment at Shorncliffe, England.|
|July 27, 1916||Transferred||Transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion (Infantry), 1st Canadian Training Brigade.|
|September 17, 1916||Taken on Strength||11th Reserve Battalion, Shorncliffe.|
|September 27, 1916||Transferred and sent overseas||Transferred to 18th Battalion and begins journey to the front.|
|September 28, 1916||Arrives C.B.D.||Arrives Canadian Base Depot, Etaples, France.|
|October 10, 1916||Arrives “In the Field”||Arrives at the Somme. The Battalion is in reserve and is in billets at Bonneville. Private Miller arrives along with 127 other ranks as reinforcements. These are needed after the action at the Somme during September 15 until October 5, 1916 where the Battalion suffered many casualties.|
|April 10, 1917||Wounded||Private Miller was part of the now famous Attack on Vimy Ridge. He survived the first day of the attack on April 9 and then was wounded with shrapnel in his right thigh. Gas gangrene set in necessitating the amputation of this leg which stopped the gangrene from spreading. Sadly, his condition did not improve and he died as a result of his wounds.
The War Diary for this date relates:
“Battalion in Black Objective during daylight improving trench and funk-holes as much as possible. At dusk 18th Cdn. Bn. relieved 1st R.W. Kents[viii] in captured line., with Bn. H.Q. at CRAMER HAUS, A.5.b.8.4. and elements of the 29th Cdn. Bn. with H.Q. at A.6.c.8.8. Reliefs moved of by Sections with 50 yards interval between each. This relief was difficult and very complicated owing to the nature of Divisional boundary,[ix] and being made at night the finding of the map locations and the placing of the men in new positions was no light task for the Officers concerned. On completion of this relief the disposition of the Battalion was “A”, “B” and 1 Platoon of “C” Coy in front line, “D” Coy and the remaining 2 platoons of [“C”] in support. The frontage being from B1.d.f.2 to S.30.d.4.5. Bn. H.Q. being located at A.6.c.8.8.”
It does not give the number of wounded that day but 3 men of the 18th died on that date. 120 were reported to have died the day before during the attack.
|April 15, 1917||Dies of Wounds||Dies of wounds sustained at Vimy Ridge at No. 3 Canadian Hospital, Boulogne, France.
Private Miller lies at rest with only one other member of the 18th Battalion, Private C.A. Braybrook, reg. no. 189320 at the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery at Boulogne, France.