Miller, William Thomas (William)
No. 18/562, 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Died of wounds on Friday 17 August 1917 (aged 19)
Mont Huon Military Cemetery, France (Grave III. M. 7A)
Newtownards and District War Memorial (as W. Millar)
Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for First Newtownards Presbyterian Church
In some records, including the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Debt of Honour Website, his family surname is spelt Millar.
William Thomas Miller was born on 21 February 1898 in the townland of Scrabo, Newtownards and he was the third surviving son of Thomas James and Mary Ann Miller (nee Ferguson) who were married on 3 November 1885 in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church. Thomas James Miller from Scrabo was a son of William Miller, a farmer. Mary Ann Ferguson from Ballyalton was a daughter of David Ferguson, a farmer.
The Miller family lived in Scrabo Road, Newtownards.
Thomas James Miller worked as farmer and quarry labourer and he and Mary Ann had eleven children:
Elizabeth (born 29 May 1886 in Ballyalton)
George (born 19 February 1888 at Scrabo)
Joseph (born 23 July 1889 at Scrabo; died of scarlatina 20 November 1905)
Ellen Boyd (Nellie, born 26 December 1890 in Scrabo Cottage)
David John Ferguson (born 15 July 1892 at Scrabo)
Elizabeth (Lizzie, born 25 December 1893 at Scrabo)
Agnes Beattie (born 1 February 1896 at Scrabo)
William Thomas (born 21 February 1898 at Scrabo)
Jane Martin (born 2 December 1899 at Scrabo)
Mary Annie (born 23 September 1902 in Castleavery)
Joseph (born 14 March 1906 at Scrabo)
Joseph (born 1889) and Nellie were baptised in Regent Street Presbyterian Church, Newtownards.
David, Lizzie, Agnes, William Thomas Miller and Jane were baptised in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church.
Their mother, Mary Ann, died of cardiac disease on 24 October 1916 (aged 56).
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War William Thomas Miller worked in the Royal Nurseries Newtownards for Messrs Alex Dickson & Sons Ltd. He enlisted in June 1915 and did his training at the Clandeboye Camp. Having been allocated to the Signalling Section of a Belfast Battalion he went to the Front in January 1917.
On 17 August 1917 Rifleman William Thomas Miller (No. 18/562) died as a result of the wounds he had received in action on 7 August 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres and he was buried in Mont Huon Military Cemetery, France. There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
THY WILL O LORD BE DONE
His father, Thomas James Miller, and his sister Nellie who lived at 44 Church Street, Newtownards placed a For King and Country notice in the Newtownards Chronicle. His father died of cerebral thrombosis on 15 December 1917 (aged 64).
The following year his brothers and sisters placed an In Memoriam notice in the Newtownards Chronicle. George and David were living in New York, USA.
Rifleman William Thomas Miller (No. 18/562) is commemorated as W. Millar on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in the PCI Roll of Honour for First Newtownards Presbyterian Church.