No. 799083, 19th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment)
Killed in action on Tuesday 8 May 1917 (aged 25)
No known grave
Vimy Memorial, France
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Regent Street Methodist Church Newtownards
John McMillan was born on 13 December 1891 in William Street, Newtownards and he was the elder son of William and Margaret (Maggie) McMillan (nee Andrews) who were married on 16 February 1891 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s). William McMillan (aged 21), a labourer from William Street, Newtownards, was a son of John McMillan, a weaver. Maggie Andrews (aged 23), a winder from William Street, Newtownards, was a daughter of Robert Andrews, a weaver.
The McMillan family lived at 45 William Street, Newtownards.
William McMillan worked as a quarry labourer and he and Maggie had three children:
John (born 13 December 1891 in William Street, Newtownards)
Maggie (born 5 February 1896 in William Street, Newtownards)
William (Willie, born 25 June 1899 in James Street, Newtownards)
Before moving to Canada John McMillan worked as a labourer in a bleach works.
In Canada John McMillan worked as a motorman and he lived at 129 Seaton Street, Toronto. He enlisted on 12 January 1916 in Toronto and it was noted in his attestation papers that he was born on 30 December 1891, unmarried, 5 feet 6½ inches tall and had the initials J.M. tattooed on his left forearm. He had a medium complexion, blue eyes and dark hair and he cited his mother Maggie as his next-of-kin. He sailed to Liverpool from Halifax on 7 August 1916 aboard the SS Cameronia. He arrived on 19 August 1916 and made his will on 20 September 1916; his mother, Maggie, was his sole legatee. He assigned his pay to Miss Melicia Fenn of 115 Munro Street, Toronto and was posted overseas on 10 October 1916.
Private John McMillan (No. 799083) served with the 19th Battalion Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment) and he was 25 when he was killed in action on 8 May 1917. There were two For King and Country notices in the 26 May 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle. The first was from his sorrowing father, mother, sister and brother and it included the verse:
God is good, He’ll give us grace
To bear our heavy cross;
He is the only one Who knows
How bitter is our loss.
The second was from Lord Londonderry’s Own Church Lads’ Brigade (CLB) Flute Band Newtownards of which Private John McMillan had been a member.
In subsequent years his family placed Our Heroes – In Memoriam notices in the Newtownards Chronicle and they included the verses:
One year has passed away
Without the one we love;
The voice that sounded in our ear
Has gone to heaven above.
It’s sweet to know we’ll meet again,
Where parting is no more,
And that the one we loved so well
Has only gone before.
We will meet again around the Throne,
Of Him Who died to save;
Be this our hope, our earnest prayer:
To meet beyond the grave.
Private John McMillan (No. 799083) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial in France; on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in Regent Street Methodist Church Newtownards.