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Alexander Miller

14252 Private

10th Battalion Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), 46th Infantry Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division

Age: 35

Date of Death: 1.8.17

Buried: Menin Gate Memorial Panel 22

Family history: He was the eldest son of Hugh C. and Jessie A. Miller, 31 Granary Square, Bainsford, Falkirk. A moulder to trade, prior to enlisting in September 1914, he was employed in Baird’s Sawmills. His brother John, serving with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, had been wounded at Gallipoli in July 1915.

The action leading to his death

The Battalion was part of the Fifth Army attack on 31 July 1917, in what became known as the Battle of Passchendaele. The 13th Royal Scots, as part of 45 Infantry Brigade, 15th (Scottish) Division, were involved in the assault on the German lines at Frezenberg Ridge. The task of 15th Division was to seize the ridge near Frezenberg and then to push on to a rise to the north east of Frezenberg known as Hill 35.

(Map from the War Diary of the 13th Battalion royal Scots. this shows the objectives on the first day of the Battle on 31 July of the Blue, black and Green lines)

The main attack was undertaken by the 44th and 46th Infantry Brigades with the 45th held in reserve to go through the other two Brigades and capture the final objective. On the 31 July the 10th Scottish Rifles were in support of the 10/11th Battalion Highland Light Infantry near Iberian Farm. The troops of the 46th and 45th Infantry Brigades had become mixed up as a result of the heavy fighting on 31 July. All they had for a counter-attack, should it be necessary, was one company of the 10th Scottish Rifles which turned out to consist of twenty men and no officers. This was sent forward as a strong patrol to investigate the situation near Beck House. What happened to this patrol is not certain. No report was ever received from it.

(Linesman Map showing the location of Beck House in the German lines)

The Company Quartermaster Sergeant wrote to his parents that Alexander had been shot through the head and died immediately he added: ‘He was one of the finest men in the company, willing for all sorts of jobs. He is greatly missed by all his comrades, and his death is felt throughout the whole battalion.

The Battalion casualties for the period 29 July to 4 August were:

Officers: 6 killed, 6 Wounded and 2 missing. Other Ranks: 20 killed, 118 wounded, and 64 missing.

Medals Awarded

1915 Star, British Medal, Victory Medal

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