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Biography of Major General George Murray Miller
From the census and burials, it seems that many Victorian military officers chose to retire to Great Malvern. Perhaps that was due to the arrival of the water cure and the development of Great Malvern as a fashionable spa town, combined with being less expensive than Cheltenham.
Recently we happened to come across the name of Major General George Murray Miller who died at a house named Franche in Tibberton Road, Great Malvern, in 1911 aged 82 years. George survived the Crimean war and the Indian Mutiny, but two of his great nephews, who were 'called to arms' in the Great War, fell - as did George's butler.
Here is more about George and his family.
George's death was announced in The Times, and his obituary published in the Inverness Courier newspaper on January 31st 1911.
George Murray Miller, born Glasgow 1829, died at Malvern 1911, was the son of John Miller (1778-1854) and Mary Robinson McCook.
John Miller, born Glasgow, was a merchant of Kingston Jamaica who returned to Glasgow about 1816; his wife Mary the daughter of a soldier or 'planter' was born in Jamaica. They married about 1808 and had fourteen children, some of whom were born in Jamaica and some died infants.
George married late in life at All Saints, Salterhebble in Yorkshire, Mabel Louisa Barnes (1876); they had no children. Following his retirement from the army he is recorded living in Devon in 1891 and Cheltenham in 1901, before coming to Malvern.
The National Probate Calendar records George died at Malvern on 11th January 1911 leaving £8,054; his executors were his nephews John Francis James Miller, a Colonel in HM Army and George Harry Miller-Stirling a Commander RN.
The nephews were the sons of George's elder brother James Black Miller born Glasgow about 1821 and Martha Livingstone or Bradshaw. James was a merchant, like his father, with interests in India and South Africa - as a young man he is recorded as a partner in Brownrigg Miller and Co of Liverpool. James Black Miller died at King William's Town, Cape Province, South Africa on 24th July 1861 aged only 40 years.
James received an inheritance from his godfather Dr James Black, surgeon of Jamaica, after whom he was possibly named. Dr Black died at Glasgow on 19th October 1834.
George's nephew, John Francis James Miller, latterly a farmer, was born Bombay, India, in 1847 and died at Pershore, Worcestershire, in 1917. He married Lydia Chapman at Bombay in 1880.
George's nephew, George Harry Miller was born Natal, South Africa, in 1861. He married Caroline Frances Stirling in 1883 and subsequently appended Stirling to his surname. Caroline was the daughter of Major Campbell Charles Graham-Stirling and Elizabeth Agnes Dunmore Napier of Craigburnet, Stirling.
George and Caroline's children were Elizabeth Miller-Stirling, Harry James Graham Miller-Stirling, Edward George Bradshaw Miller-Stirling, and Arthur Eustace Stirling Miller-Stirling.
Of the three sons, only the youngest, Arthur, survived the Great War.
Harry James Graham Miller-Stirling, Lieutenant, 1st Battalion Nigeria Regiment, was killed in action in German East Africa on 16th October 1917.
On October 31st 1917 The Times carried a report of Fallen Officers:
Lieutenant Edward George Bradshaw Miller-Stirling was educated at Eastman's Royal Naval Academy, a prep school, and Eastbourne College. We found this account of his life and death which seems to be largely based on reference 5.
The two brothers names are recorded with many others on the Campsie Parish War Memorial in Scotland.
'Stirling E.G.B. Miller'
'Stirling H.J.G.S. Miller'
Youngest brother, Captain Arthur Eustace Stirling Miller-Stirling, Indian Army, educated at the Royal Military College Sandhurst, survived the Great War.
People sometimes forget that the conflict was not restricted to France and Belgium.
More about the children of James Black Miller
George's brother, James Black Miller, and Martha Livingstone had seven children in total:
John Francis James Miller and George Harry Miller, mentioned above.
Archibald Robert Miller - born about 1849, died at Southburn Ottawa, Natal South Africa on 1st November 1894, aged 46 years, leaving a widow Sarah. Possibly they had a son George Mackenzie Miller born at Verulam, Natal about 1882 who fought in the Boer War.
Florence Alexandria Miller - born Glasgow about 1851 died unmarried at Rome, Italy in 1899.
Frances Amelia Miller - born Glasgow about 1849 died unmarried at Rome, Italy in 1929.
Samuel Bradshaw Miller - born Gloucester about 1858. In 1871 he was living with his widowed mother near Weymouth, but we have found no trace of him after that in England; possibly he emigrated to New Zealand (see below).
Charles Joseph Miller - born Kaffraria, Cape, South Africa in 1861 had a disability. In 1891 he was living with his mother near Bognor in Sussex where he died unmarried in 1896.
Samuel Bradshaw Miller
Possibly Samuel Bradshaw Miller farmed with his brothers in South Africa, but someone with the same name appears in the New Zealand records.
On 22nd December 1883 at Holy Trinity church, Tauranga, Auckland, New Zealand, a Samuel Bradshaw Miller married Ulica de Burgh Wynn. She was the daughter of Ulick John de Burgh (Marquess of Clarincarde) and Caroline Wynn.
Samuel and Ulica had three children, Edith Margaret Miller, Frances Ulica de Burgh Miller, and Ann Bradshaw Miller.
France Ulica de Burgh Miller, born Tauranga New Zealand 1885, married at Salisbury, Rhodesia, in 1911 Paul Ewart Frankau born London 1890.
Lieutenant Paul Ewart Frankau 20th Bn The Rifle Brigade was killed while leading his platoon in the Third Battle of Gaza in Palestine on 2nd November 1917. He was aged 30 years.
Paul's brothers survived the Great War.
Captain Gilbert Frankau (1884-1952), Royal Field Artillery, also served in the army. After the war he became a writer and war poet.
Ronald Hugh Wyndham Frankau (1894-1951) became an entertainer.
Their mother Julia Davis had been an author and journalist.
Thomas Lyne (Butler at Franche)
The 1911 census indicates Thomas Lyne, a retired Boer War reservist, had been employed as butler by George Murray Miller at 'Franche'.
Thomas, born North Malvern in 1871, also took up arms in the Great War.
Private 4154 Thomas Lyne, Queen's South Africa Medal, 13th Bn, The Royal Scots, was killed in action in France on 11th May 1916, aged 45 years. He left a widow Emily Lyne, of Willow Cottage, Cowleigh Bank, North Malvern.
Thomas's name is on the Loos memorial which commemorates over 20,000 officers and men who have no known grave.
1. National Probate Calendar
2. England and Wales Census
3. Scottish Census
4. Inverness Courier
5. UK De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour 1914-1919
6. London Gazette
8. The Times digital archive
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Last updated 29th October 2018