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Person Details
22 Sep 1887
Sowerby Bridge Yorkshire
Arthur Liberty was the only child of James Millar OBE MA MD and Kate Millar nee Liberty. James Millar was born in St. Vigeans, Forfarshire, Scotland, on 30 October 1849, the son of Christopher Millar and Mary Ann Mcfarlane. In 1881 at the age of 30 he was studying medicine at the University of Aberdeen and lodging in the town. Kate Liberty was born in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, in 1851 (J/A/S Amersham Bucks), the third daughter of Arthur and Rebecca Liberty. In 1871 the family was living at 2 Cranmer Street, Nottingham; Kate (19) had no occupation. However, by 1881 Kate (29) was a 'lady superintendent' at the Arbroach Infirmary, Scotland. James and Kate were married in 1884 (O/N/D Nottingham). Arthur was born three years later on 27 September 1887 in Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire West Riding, and christened at Christ Church, Sowerby Bridge, on 10 November the same year. The family, though, was living at 'Glenbarr', 2 Mapperley Road, Nottingham, by the time of the 1891 Census when Arthur was 3 years old. James was recorded as 'MD registered general practice'. Although the family has not yet been traced on the 1901 Census and may have been in Orkney at the time, 2 Mapperley Road continued to be the family home until Kate's death in 1937. In 1911 Arthur (23), was recorded as an apprentice (marine engineering) and living at 10 Lovaine Place, Newcastle, as a boarder in the household of Norman Searle (29), an insurance officer. Arthur had been awarded a BA (Mech. Special) in 1910 from Clare College, Cambridge, and in 1913 was awarded an MA from the same college. Arthur later worked in Burma for the Burma Oil Company but returned to England on the outbreak of war; the time scale suggests that he probably spent little more than a year in Burma. His father James died on 15 June 1936 aged 88 years and his mother Kate died a year later on 26 June 1937 aged 86 years.
He was educated at the Nottingham High School from 18 January 1897 when he was 9 years old then attended Rugby School (1902-1904). He served three years with the North Eastern Marine Engineering College, Wallsend-upon-Tyne, and was a graduate member of the North-East Coast Institituion of Engineers and Shipbuilders, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Clare College, Cambridge - BA Mech. Special 1910 and MA 1913. He was employed by the Burma Oil Co. While in Burma he served with the Mounted Volunteers and later the Rangoon Volunteer Rifles.
15 Apr 1918
333476 - CWGC Website
6th Bn Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own)
He served with 6th Bn and was attached to 'C' Coy 4th Bn when he was killed in April 1918. He had been slightly wounded in 1917. 22 May 1915 posted to 4th Rifle Brigade. 24 May 1915 left for Rouen. To 27 Infantry Based Depot. 26 May 1915 to 4th Rifle Brigade in the field. 17 November 1915 embarked Marseilles and 25 November 1915 disembarked Salonika. 23 June 1916 promoted temporary Lieutenant and 4 August 1916 promoted Lieutenant. 29 September 1916 Lewis gun course and 1 January 1917 rejoined 4th Rifle Brigade and 6 January 1917 promoted acting Captain whilst commanding a company. 13 October 1917 81 Field Ambulance and 2 November 1917 rejoined 4th Rifle Brigade. 16 March 1918 Cookery Course and 31 March 1918 rejoined 4th Rifle Brigade. Army List January 1918 Captain (Special Reserve). He was killed in action on 15 April 1918 and is buried in Struma Military Cemetery (grave ref. IV.A.14). He qualified for the 1915 Star (France, 21 May), British War Medal and Victory Medal. Extracts from war diaries: The 4th Rifle Brigade were involved in an action at Prosenik. At 10.0 a.m. Colonel Gathorne-Hardy sent a message by runner to O.C. "D" Company ordering him to inform "C" Company that, if heavily attacked, it should fall back on "D" Company. At 11.0 a.m. a runner from "C" Company arrived at Battalion H.Q. to say that shelling was heavy but that, so far, there were no casualties; this was confirmed by another runner at 12.25 p.m., who brought a nil casualty report from "C" Company, signed by Captain Millar. At 2.30 p.m. the enemy opened heavy rifle fire and machine gun fire on "C" Company's trenches from the railway station, north of the village, 2nd Lieutenant G. Hannam being wounded - the first casualty to be reported; the fire pinned "C" Company to its trenches and prevented the men putting their heads over the paprapet, such was the fire. Shortly before 3.0. p.m. the C.O. sent another message to "C" Company repeating the sense of his message of 10.0 a.m. At 3.30 p.m. the enemy bombed and rushed "C" Company's left trench, and the garrison, No.12 Platoon, in attempting to fall back on No. 11 were caught in the open by machine gun fire from the railway station and suffered heavily. About 4 p.m. No. 11 Platoon drove off a small party of Bulgars which attempted to rush it, at about the same time, wounded men arriving at Battalion H.Q. reported "C" Company was in a tight corner. Two Platoons of "D" Company were ordered to be ready to counter-attack, but this never took place as more wounded men reported that "C" Company had been rushed and was completely out of action; this happened at 4.30 p.m. Lieutenant R. Palk, the acting Adjutant, was later sent up to find out the situation and order "B" Company to fall back; he found "C" Company's position in the hands of the enemy, estimated at three hundred men, and ordered the withdrawal of "B". This was carried out, supported by two platoons of "A", on whose postion "B" Company withdrew. At 7.30 p.m. dispositions were made for the all round defence of Topalova. Casualties in "C" Company had been Captain A.L. Millar, and W.O. and fifteen other ranks killed; Lieutenant J.A. Read and 2nd Lieutenant G. Hannam wounded and missing with ninety six other ranks missing. Struma Valley, Macedonia, 1918 4th Rifle Brigade War Diary 1917-1918 4th Rifle Brigade's record for the beginning for this period is as follows:- On November 5th a warning order was received that the 80th Brigade was at last to leave the mouth of the Struma, where it had been since July 1916, and to change places with the 82nd Brigade above Lake Tahinos. The relief was to be a long and tedious business, as not more than one half battalion was to be absent from the present 80th Brigade area at one time. The move began on November 10th when H.Q. and "A" and "D" Companies started off, followed on the 14th by the remained of the battalion. The march was carried out in three stages and, by November 29th, the Battalion had taken over the new line from the 2nd Bn. D.C.L.I. and Lovat's Scouts. It is difficult to give an accurate description of the line and the method of holding it as no information is given to the Brigade of Battalion war diaries. The Brigade line appears to have run for some fifteen thousand yards from near Fitoki, south of the Struma, to a point one mile north-east of Komarjan. The front was divided into two sub-sectors; No.1, on the right, one battalion holding the river line with one company and three in reserve, and No.2 with one battalion holding the Gudeli bridge-head with three companies and one in reserve; one battalion was in brigade reserve and there was a brigade "patrol company" on the left of the line. It is not clear where the Battalion went except that "B" Company became the patrol company. The brigade relief was not complete until December 11th, on which date the 80th Brigade received a signal from Captain Staveley and the 6th Detached Squadron: "Deeply regret parting company with the 80th Brigade after two such happy years together and wish them all the good luck and a happy Christmas and a victorious New Year." In this line the 4th Battalion finished, without recorded incident, the year of 1917. 1918 The first three months of 1918 were spent in this line, the 4th Battalion taking its turn in both sub-sectors and at work whilst in reserve. Now, however, a turn of the politico-military wheel was to cause another move. Three divisions of the Greek "Corps of National Defence" had for some time been in the line, on the right bank of the River Vardar, but now it was considered that the state of the training of a "Royal Army" division was sufficiently advanced and the 1st (Larissa) Division joined the XVIth Corps. This had the effect of displacing the 80th Brigade, which was moved northwards to relieve the 85th, which in turn was to relieve the 79th. Thus it was that on March 30th the battalion was relieved by two battalions of the Greek 5th Regiment and, on the 31st, was in billets in Orljak, where it was corps reserve. The first part of April was spent in training and the construction of a summer camp, whilst opportunity was taken of holding battalion sports. The Orljak sector, in which the 80th Brigade now was, is thus described by Lieutenant Temperley:- "The position in the Struma Valley was that we held the western hills, the flat ground up to the river and bridge-heads beyond the river, while the Bulgars held the hills to the east of the river. The plain is about ten miles across and there were, therefore, about eight miles of No Man's Land beyond the river which was covered by the guns of both parties from the hills and was, therefore, usually empty." It may be noted here that when General Guillaumat came to assume command in Macedonia he brought with him instructions from the French Government and also various notes upon them written by General Foch, at that time Chief of the General Staff under the French Government. On April 4th General Guillaumat received a message from General Foch who by then had become Generalissimo on the Western Front, suggesting the desirability of operations in the Balkans to pin down Bulgar forces and prevent their use as reinforcements on the Western Front. G.H.Q. had received orders that every effort was to be made on all fronts to harass the enemy and obtain information as to his designs. The plan of the XVIth Corps was to occupy a forward line on the left bank of the Struma which was to include, so far as the 80th Brigade was concerned, the villages of Kalendra and Prosenik on the Salonika-Constantinople railway. From that line active offensive patrolling and small raids were to be carried out against the enemy's outpost line; the principle of defence to be that this line would not be held 'a outrance' against a general Bulgar attack but should be capable of resisting small isolated attacks. The aims of this operation by the 27th Division were:- (a) to capture prisoners, both during the advance to the line named, and afterwards by means of ambushes and patrol activity "further forward on or from the fornt line." (b) to make the enemy think that the appearance of guns on the left bank of the Struma indicated preparations for a forward move and so induce him to send forward strong reconnaissance patrols. The operations would be divided into two distinct phases:- First Phase. Secrecy, concealment and ambushes Second Phase. Defence against strong attack and protection from shell-fire according to the probable period of occupation. The operation was to begin on the night April 14th/15th. Colonel Gathorne-Hardy issued orders on the following lines. "A" Company, less Lewis gun teams, would move forward at 8.0p.m. from the British wire east of the Struma and, after clearing Topalova and Prosenik, would form a screen round the northern and eastern sides of the latter village, with its flanks on the railway line, which was here rather more than six miles from the Struma at Orljak bridge. "B" Company, less two platoons and Lewis gun teams, would follow in rear of "A" and, on Prosenik being reported clear, would proceed to it's position where it would dig platoon trenches about about four hundred yards south-east of Prosenik church, establishing a post on the south side of West Culvert. "C" Company, less two platoons and Lewis gun teams, would act similarly, digging platoon trenches astride the railway outside the north-west corner of Prosenik. Each company would be resposible for its flank, south and west of the railway, respectively. At 8.0p.m. Battalion H.Q., "D" Company, and the remaining platoons of "B" and "C", with all the Lewis gun teams of those companies, would cross Orljak bridge and move to Topalova, where H.Q. and "D" Company would remain, the parties of "B" and "C" going straight on to rejoin their companies at Prosenik. At 2.30a.m. on the 15th "A" Company would withdraw to Topalova. "B" and "C" Companies would establish observation posts by day to watch the approaches to Prosenik. By midnight, April 14th, the Battalion was in position as enjoined in the above orders. By 4.0a.m., April 15th, signal communication was established between Battalion H.Q. and all companies and at 5.0a.m. all was reported quiet. At 6.15a.m. "B" Company reported verbally that enemy movement could be heard in Prosenik and then that desultory rifle fire had been opened from the village, as no enemy could be seen, no reply was being made; some enemy bombs also had been thrown but had fallen short, whilst No. 5 Platoon Lewis gun opened fire with effect on a party of the enemy trying to cross the railway sixty or seventy yards to the right, and "C" Company engaged others in the centre of the village with rifle grenades. At 7.0a.m. the enemy began shelling Top Crossing, fire gradually moving down towards "B" Company; at the same time an observation post of this company near the church was cut off; one wounded survivor rejoining his company three hours later. At this time hostile artillery fire opened on "C" Company's position and a line of Bulgars in extended order was seen advancing on that company from the north. Soon after 7.0a.m. telephone communication with "B" and "C" was broken and was never re-established, the lines being repaired repeatedly and, as frequently, cut once more. This then carries on with the operation that saw Millar killed already included earlier.
Obituary in Nottingham St Mary's parish magazine, May 1918 (Nottinghamshire Archives, ref. PR 27,111): 'Captain Arthur Liberty Millar, of the Rifle Brigade, the only son of Dr and Mrs Millar. He was educated at the High School, Nottingham, then at Rugby and afterwards at Clare College, Cambridge, where he was a most enthusiastic member of the OTC. He accepted an appointment under the Burma Oil Co. but, at the outbreak of war, returned to England and, in November 1914, received his commission. Since then he has served in Gallipoli, in Mesopotamia and, for the last two and a half years, in Salonica. He was killed in action April 15th.' Note: There is no explanation for the family's connection with St Mary's church although they had at one time lived in the parish; the family attended St Andrew's church, Mansfield Road. Family memorial in St Andrew's church, Mansfield Road, Nottingham (WMA 27383 Captain Arthur Liberty Millar Rifle Brigade). Screen with dedicatory alabaster tablet surmounted by regimental crest. Inscription: 'To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Arthur Liberty Millar MA, Captain the Rifle Brigade, killed in action at Prosenick, Salonika, 15 April 1918, aged 30, only child of James Millar OBE MD and Kate his wife, by whom this screen was erected.' Inscription on family gravestone, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery: '‘To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Captain Arthur Liberty Millar MA, the Rifle Brigade, killed in action Salonika April 15th 1918. Aged 30. His parents are buried here: In loving memory of James Millar OBE MA MD who died June 15th 1936 aged 88 years. Also of Kate, his wife, who died June 26th 1937 aged 86 years.' UK De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour: ‘Millar, Arthur Liberty. Capt., 6th (Reserve), attd. 4th, Battn The Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own), only s. of Dr James Millar, of 2, Mapperley Road, Nottingham, by his wife, Kate, dau. of Arthur Liberty; b. Sowerby Bridge, co. York, 22 Sept., 1887; educ. Nottingham High School; Rugby and Clare College, Cambridge, where he graduated BA in 1910, and MA in 1913; was an Engineer in Burma; gazetted 2nd Lieut. 11 Nov. 1914; promoted Lieut. 27 April 1916,; Acting Capt. 28 Nov. 1916, and Capt. 11 Feb. 1917, served with the Salonika Army from 23 No. 1915, and was killed in action on the Bulgarian front 15 April 1918. Buried in the Military Cemetery, four miles north-east of Lahana, on the Seres Road, Greece. Colonel Gathorne Hardy wrote: ‘His loss is deeply felt by us all, and especially by his company, who for many a long day will not forget his unfailing attention and care as to their well-being. He was univerally liked and respect.’ and Major Kennett: ’Although our respective promotions put an end to daily companionship, he remained my greatest friend. While he was my subaltern he earned my respect hy his capacity to take a job in hand and see it through to the end … Your son stood in a class by himself. He was able to do it by his honest, unaffected manner.’ Many other letters spoke in the highest terms of good qualities and devotion to his men; unm.’ Additional text from the letters quoted in de Ruvigny's article taken from the 'Old Rugbeians' website to those who died in the Great War: By his former Major [Kennett], ‘to take a job through and see it to the end, which is, unfortunately, a rare quality, when the task is tiresome and uninteresting. But his greatest gift was in stimulating competition among his men in the their work and more especially in amusements. During the many months of inaction he kept his Platoon bright and keen by continually organising sports and concerts. By his Colonel, ‘He died commanding his company in a very difficult position. He would not withdraw believing that he would be able to drive back the enemy. I am exceedingly sorry to lose him, both as an Officer and also as a good comrade for nearly three years. His loss is deeply felt by us all.’ Scotland National Probate Index (Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories): Millar Arthur Liberty, 2 Mapperley Road, Nottingham, Capt., HM Army died 15 April 1918, in Greece, intestate. Certificate endorsed by Commissary Clerk of Edinburgh, 9 October, on Administration of the Effects, granted in Nottingham, 14 August 1918 to James Millar, MD, the father. Value of Estate, £1213 5s. 1d. Probate: Millar Arthur Liberty ot 2 Mapperley-road Nottingham died 15 April 1918 in Greece Administration Nottingham 4 September to Henry Thornton Masser solicitor. Effects £426 6s. 3d. Former Grant DR Nottingham 14 August 1918. Nottingham Evening Post, 15 June 1936: ‘Dr James Millar dead. The death occurred to-day of Dr James Millar OBE, at his residence, ‘Glenbarr’, Mapperley. He was 86 years of age, and had been ailing for a considerable period.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 18 June 1936: ‘Funeral of Dr James Millar. Service at St Andrew’s Church. The funeral of Dr James Millar of Mapperley-road, Nottingham, who died on Monday in his 87th years, took place today. The service at St Andrew’s Church, where Dr and Mrs Millar worshipped for many years, was attended by a number of the doctor’s personal and professional friends. The family mourners were: The widow, Miss Liberty (sister-in-law), Capt. Ivor Steward Liberty (nephew) and Mrs Liberty … The service was conducted by the vicar (the Rev. J Waring), the Lessons being read by Bishop Talbot [St Mary].’ Report continues with a list of other mourners. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Probate: Millar OBE James of 2 Mapperley-road Nottingham died 15 June 1936 Probate Nottingham 31 July to Kate Millar widow and Henry Thornton Masser solicitor. Effects £10668 1s. 6d. Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 26 June 1937: ‘Millar. At 2 Mapperley-road, Nottingham,on June 26th, Kate, widow of James Millar, OBE, MD, third daughter of the late Arthur and Rebecca Liberty’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Probate: Millar Kate of Glenbarr 2 Mapperley-road Nottingham widow died 26 June 1937 Probate Nottingham 3 September to Ivor Stewart Liberty [nephew] of no occupation Ada Mary Cummins (wife of Ashley Cummins) and George William Barrows solicitor. Effects £13403 6s. 1d. Resworn £14055 16s. 1d. Nottingham Evening Post. 27 September 1937: ‘Nottingham Lady’s Will. Bequests of Mrs Kate Millar’ report follows with a list of her personal bequests to members of her family. (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


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  • Memorial plaque to Arthur Liberty Millar in St Andrew's Church, Nottingham. Photograph courtesy of Peter Gillings
    Arthur Liberty Millar - Memorial plaque to Arthur Liberty Millar in St Andrew's Church, Nottingham. Photograph courtesy of Peter Gillings
  • Family grave and headstone, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand (April 2017)
    Arthur Liberty Millar - Family grave and headstone, Nottingham Church (Rock) Cemetery. Photograph Rachel Farrand (April 2017)