Time to share

9 07 2008

Here we go!  I think the first thing I would like to do is share a cool photograph:

You can click on the image for a larger size if you’re interested.  Standing on the left is my great-great-grandfather, Avard Herbert Miller (1866 – 1953).  On the right is Avard’s father, my 3rd great-grandfather Ezra Miller (1843 – 1925).  The man seated in the chair is my great-grandfather, Earle Russell Miller (1898 – 1990) and in his lap is my grandfather, Earle Wesley Miller (1921 – 1994).  I apologize for the poor quality of the picture; my great-aunt Bev sent me a photocopy of the original!  Despite asking a number of times if she would consider mailing me the original so I could get a high quality scan of it, she never really responded to the request.  So this may be the only copy I ever have.  Regardless, I think it’s a really cool picture of four generations of the Miller family.

Today I thought I’d write a little bit about my great-grandfather, Earle Russell Miller.  I personally don’t know anything about him, which is a bummer knowing that he lived until I was almost thirteen.  But in all reality, at thirteen years old I probably wasn’t as concerned.  Earle Russell Miller was born on July 4th, 1898 in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.  He was the second of four children born to Avard Herbert Miller and Sarah Hannah (Allen) Miller.  The Millers’ lived on Trinity Place in Yarmouth (click the link for a map).  Avard owned and operated a bicycle shop in Yarmouth and also offered bicycles to rent.  Avard led a pretty interesting life, but I will save that for another post.  I don’t know much about Earle’s childhood.  On March 24th, 1916, approximately four months prior to his 18th birthday, Earle agreed to serve in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force during World War One.  At the time of his enlistment, he was recorded as being five feet, nine inches tall, with a chest measurement of thirty-five inches when fully expanded.  He weighed in at a whopping 135 pounds!  His listed his current job title prior to enlisting in the CEF as a bank clerk.  He was added to the list of men in the 219th (Highland) Battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel W.H. Muirhead.

On October 12, 1916, Earle Russell Miller and the rest of the 219th departed Halifax, Nova Scotia for England aboard the S.S. Olympic.  He arrived in Englad six days later.  On January 23, 1917 the 219th Battalion was dissolved into the 17th Reserve Battalion in Bramshott, England.  Just a few weeks later on February 8th he taken from the 17th Reserve Battalion and placed in the 161st Battalion in Bramshott.  Approximately a year later, on February 28, 1918 he was once again transferred to another Batallion; this time to the 47th Battalion in Witley, England.  From there he immediately left for France with the rest of the 47th Battalion.  The premise of possibly seeing some action in France was short lived, as two days after arriving in France, he was sent to the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp.

On March 4, 1918 he joined the 47th unit already in the field.  The war diary of the 47th Battalion states on this date “A draft of 95 men were received from the 47th Can. Reserve Battalion and were taken on the strength.  These were the first men received from 161st Batt and were of a very fine type”.   On September 6, 1918 he was wounded on the field.  He recieved a gun shot wound to the left leg and was immediately transferred from the 47th Battalion to the Western Ontario Regimental Depot in Bramshott, England.  The medical log in his military records state he had two four inch linear scars on the back and inner side of his left calf.   By October 29, 1918 the medical records stated tha his wounds were “well healed – leg strong” with no disability.  With that, he was given the OK for discharge from the hospital.

After being released from the hospital, Earle had a flurry of activity:

November 6, 1918 was transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Depot in Witley, England.
March 9, 1919 was promoted “to be acting Corporal with pay and allowances of rank whilst so employed”
March 25, 1919 was discharged from Western Ontario Regimental Depot and was transferred to the 4th Reserve Battalion in Ripon, England.
March 26, 1919 was given three fillings.  The form also states that he had received previous dental treatment while in England, although it doesn’t say what or why.
April 3, 1919 was added to the list “pending return to Canada”.
May 1, 1919 Earle Russell Miller was dischargedi n Halifax from his service to the country.

His discharge certificate mentions two tattoos which I can only assume he received while serving overseas.  The certificate states he had one tattoo on his left forearm of a butterfly and one on the right forearm of the 219th badge.  His physique at the time of discharge was listed as good, with a weight of 145 pounds.  Here’s an image of the 219th badge:

Just a little more than a year later, on October 11, 1920 Earle Russell Miller married Dorothy Frances Baker.  Dorothy was the daughter of James Edward Baker and Jessie Maria (Potter) Baker.  They had three children: Earle Wesley (1921 – 1994), Alan Dane (1922 – 1982) and Beverly Frances (1924 – ).  In October 14, 1923, Earle and family immigrated to Massachusetts.  They lived in Massachusetts for quite some time, most of which was in Somerville.  Again, I have a big gap here with what he did for work and the like.  At some point, Earle and Dorothy moved back to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.  Dorothy died June 15, 1990 at the ripe old age of 89 and Earle died two months later on August 4th at the even more ripe old age of 92.

…and of course, Earle and Dorothy were the grandparents of this handsome devil:

Who in turn would go on to produce an even more strikingly handsome fellow…  But I’m sure if you’re reading this, you already knew that!