BAMBER BRIDGE IN WORLD WAR 1
34015 SGT. R. MILLER. K.O.R.L.R.
I do not have conclusive evidence for Robert’s family background. If you know who this man is, please get in touch via the Contacts Page.
According to CWGC, Robert was born in Croston in 1892 and his parents were James and Ann. In the second quarter of 1916, he married Christina Jane Wilson (b. 1895 in Bamber Bridge). Christina was born in Bamber Bridge and it seems after their marriage they lived at 10 Club Street. They had a daughter, Lavinia Mary, who was born on 24 February 1919, meaning Robert must have been in Bamber Bridge in May 1918.
Robert served with 6th Battalion, the King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment). He was assigned service number 34015. 6Bn, KORLR, came under orders of 38th Brigade in 13th (Western) Division. 13th Division fought at Gallipoli in 1915 but Robert was not with them as he was not awarded the 1915 Star. After Gallipoli, 13th Division was sent to Mesopotamia where their initial task was to strengthen the forces attempting to relieve the siege of Kut-al-Amara. Kut fell in April 1916 and the British and Indian forces in Mesopotamia then underwent a significant reorganisation. My guess is that Robert was sent out as part of the reinforcement of the Tigris Corps around this time.
The British assault on the Ottoman Empire in Mesopotamia began again in the early months of 1917 and led to the capture of Baghdad on 10 March 1917. They spent the rest of that year consolidating their position in Baghdad, and also pushed north to extend their control over northern Iraq.
In early 1918, they were in northern Iraq and they remained here until the end of the war. In this inhospitable place, men endured summer temperatures as high as 111 degrees F in the shade. Many working parties were supplied for work on maintaining roads. However, we must surmise that Robert was back in England by May but the reasons are not known. He may have been taken ill, though hospital cases were more often taken to India rather than back to England. As a Sergeant, he may have been given a role in training. The rest of his Division evacuated from north of Kirkuk by the end of 1918 and the Division was disbanded in February 1919.
Robert died at Connaught Hospital, Farnborough, on 28 December 1919. He died of flu and pneumonia. This was probably not the 'Spanish' flu of the previous winter as that had mutated after a second peak of infections in the spring of 1919. He was 27 years old.
Service Number: 34015
Date of Death: 28/12/1919
Service/Regiment: King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment), 6th Bn.
Cemetery/memorial reference: 416A.
Cemetery: CROSTON (ST. MICHAEL) CHURCHYARD EXTENSION
Additional Information: Son of James and Ann Miller; husband of Christina Jane Berry (formerly Miller), of 10 Club Street, Bamber Bridge, Lancs. Born at Croston.