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Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Easson Miller (1887-1963)

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Thomas Easson Miller
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Farmer, soldier.

Born at Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland on 19 June 1887, son of Rev. T. E. Miller, he emigrated to Canada and farmed near McAuley. In 1914, at the outbreak of the First World War, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, eventually serving as Captain of the 90th Winnipeg Rifles. In December 1917, while serving as a Corporal, he received the Military Medal for holding a position against the Germans for 36 hours with only six men. In the Autumn of 1918, he received the Distinguished Service Order. The citation, as described in “Canadian Daily Record” for 25 October 1918, was as follows:

“This officer led his platoon with great skill, and gallantry in the storming of the Canal du Nord. Wounded early in the engagement, he remained on duty, because his company commander had also been wounded seriously, and led his company to their objective. When the enemy counter-attacked to the west of Haynecourt, exposing the right flank of the brigade, Lieut. Miller formed his company into a right flank. That night he made a daring reconnaissance, and next day, disregarding his wound, when the troops at his right hand failed to keep up with the advance of his unit, he established contact with them, covering the gap and thus securing a very dangerous situation. On the following day he led an attack through double belts of wire, swept by shell and machine-gun fire, personally rushed the enemy position, and captured 22 prisoners single-handed. Afterwards he was knocked unconscious by a shell, but recovering two hours later, resumed command and protected the right flank against repeated counter­attacks, refusing to evacuate until the battalion was relieved. Son of the Rev. T. E. Miller, Gillespie U.F. Church.”

He returned to Manitoba after the war. He died at the Deer Lodge Hospital on 28 February 1963 and was buried in the military section of Brookside Cemetery. He was survived by a widow and three children.

Sources:

Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 1 March 1963, page 24.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 15 February 2015

Memorable Manitobans

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