Sapper Arnold Bruce Millar – C 120048 – ACTIVE SERVICE (World War II)
On June 16, 1942, Arnold Bruce Millar completed the Attestation Paper for the Royal Canadian Army, in Kingston, Ontario. He was 22 years, 4 months and 2 days old when, as a single man, he enlisted for the duration of the War. Arnold Bruce was born in Smith Township, Ontario and gave his birth-date as February 14, 1920. He indicated that he did not have any previous Military Reserve experience. He also indicated that he left school at the age 13, after partially completing Grade 8, at the Young’s Point Continuation School to work on the family farm. He listed Farmer as his Trade or Calling. Arnold was 5′ 4-1/2” tall, weighed 118 pounds. He had a dark complexion, grey eyes, and brown hair. He was deemed fit for service (category A-1). Arnold’s next-of- kin is listed as his mother Mrs. Alma Millar of Lakefield. Arnold Bruce Millar signed the Oath and Attestation Certificate on June 16, 1942, in Kingston, Ontario. He was taken-on-strength with the No 3A District Depot (DD); General List (Reinforcements) in Kingston, Ontario as a Private (Pte) with Service Number C 120048.
On June 26, 1942 Pte Millar was struck-off-strength from No 3A DD, General List (Reinforcements), Kingston to No 32 Canadian Army Basic Training Centre (CA(B)TC) in Peterborough, Ontario. On June 27, 1942 he was taken-on-strength with No 32 CA(B)TC 32 for all purposes on transfer from No 3A DD, Kingston, Ontario. August 19, 1942 Pte Millar was allocated to the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps (RCASC) from General Service (non-specific). On August 25, 1942 he was struck-off-strength from the CA(B) TC 32 for all purposes on transfer to the RCASC TC, A-19 Camp Borden, Ontario. On August 26, 1942 he was taken-on-strength with the RCASC (Adv) TC; Reinforcements. On September 30, 1942 Pte Millar qualified as a Driver (i/c) Class III, Wheeled. October 9, 1942 he was granted Leave to return October 13, 1942. He was entitled to draw Ration Allowances while on Leave. On October 9, 1942 he was struck-off-strength from the RCASC TC, Camp Borden on posting to the 66th Tank Transporter Company RCASC, Camp Borden. On October 16, 1942 he was taken-on-strength with the 66th Tank Transporter Company at Camp Borden, but remained attached to A-19 for Rations and Quarters. December 28, 1942 Pte Millar was issued Special Leave & a Furlough Warrant to Peterborough. On December 29, 1942 he was granted New Year’s Leave with Ration Allowance.
On January 1, 1943 Pte Millar’s daily rate of pay was increased to $1:50. January 16, 1943 he was granted a Furlough with Ration Allowance to return January 29, 1943. March 5, 1943 Pte Millar was struck-off-strength from the No 66 Tank Transporter Company, RCASC on transfer to A-19 RCASC (Adv) TC; Reinforcements. On March 6, 1943 he was taken-on-strength on attachment to No 1 RCASC; Reinforcements. On March 29, 1943 on embarkation, Pte Millar was struck-off-strength from the Canadian Army-Canada and on March 30, 1943 he was taken-on-strength with the Canadian Army, UK. On April 3, 1943 Pte Millar disembarked in England and on April 5 he was taken-on-strength with the No 1 Canadian Army Service Corps Reinforcement Unit (CASCRU). There is no mention in the File of which ship that he sailed on. April 6, 1942 he was attached for all purposes (fap) to No 1 CBBC. Another entry on the same date refers to No 1 CBSC. These entries are repeated on April 12, 1943; showing ceased to be attached for all purposes to 1 CBBC and 1 CBSC.
Research failed to find the exact meaning of these abbreviations, the closest found was “Canadian Base Staging Camp”.
On May 23, 1943 Pte Millar qualified as a RCASC Driver i/c Wheeled. On June 3, 1943 he was struck-off-strength from the No 1 CASCRU. June 4, 1943 he was taken-on-strength with the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade Company. June 11, 1943, Pte Millar was admitted to the 5th Field Ambulance, the next day, June 12, 1943 he was admitted to Stonehouse Hospital, located in Lanarkshire, Scotland.
The admittance to the Hospital was as a result of Pte Millar having been involved in a motorcycle accident. He would state: ”I left my barracks in charge of a motorcycle on regular training duties at about 14:30 hours on June 11. About two miles from Lesmahagow, going in the direction of the Village while changing gears, I lost control of the machine when it hit a bump on the road. I was thrown off the machine and my head struck the concrete road. For a few minutes I became unconscious. I came to on the side of the road”.
Pte Millar was treated for a fractured skull and the scalp lacerations were cleaned and dressed.
He was discharged from the Hospital on July 20, 1943. On August 6, 1943 Pte Millar was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp. Upon Discharge he was taken-on-strength with No 1 CASCRU.
There are no entries in the File from August 6, 1943 to April 3, 1944. This time would have been spent in the UK undergoing training.
On April 3, 1944 Pte Millar was attached for all purposes to RCASC Group (Gp) Motor/Mechanical Transport (MT). On May 3, 1944 he was struck-off-strength from RCASC Gp MT to ”Ex Ward”. Also on April 3, 1944 he was struck-off-strength from the Canadian Army UK and taken-on-strength with the Canadian Army Overseas. Pte Millar embarked from Liverpool on May 3, 1944 and he disembarked in Naples, Italy on May 16, 1944. Once again, there is no mention in the File as to which ship he sailed on. Upon arrival in Naples, he was taken-on-strength from ”Ex Ward” to the Central Mediterranean Forces. On May 22, 1944 he was struck-off-strength to the X4 List* Royal Canadian Engineers (RCE), (having been on a course); holding Unit is the RCASC X-5 List**, 7th Battalion. From this point forward his rank is shown as Sapper (Spr). On May 23, 1944 Spr Millar was taken-on-strength from RCASC X-5 List 7th (Bn) on transfer to the Royal Canadian Engineers. May 24, 1944 he was struck-off-strength to the RCE X-4 List (4th Bn). May 28, 1944 Spr Millar was struck-off-strength from the RCE X-4 List, and on May 29, 1944 he was taken-on-strength with the 10th Field Squadron, RCE.
*X-4 Unposted reinforcements in the theatre of war belonging to the Unit or Corps.
**X-5 List All ranks on courses of twenty-one days or over in the Theatre of War.
The 10th Field Squadron, RCE was attached to the 5th Canadian Armoured Division.
The Motto of the Royal Canadian Engineers is: Ubique (Everywhere).
The primary role of the Royal Canadian Engineers was to ”permit friendly forces to live, move, and fight on the Field of Battle and to deny the same to the enemy”. Its secondary role is to fight as Infantry when required to do so”.
After Spr Millar joined the 10th Field Squadron, RCE they were involved in every major battle up through Italy from the: Liri Valley; Melfa Crossing; Ceprano; Gothic Line; Montecchio; Tomba Di Pesaro; Coriano; Rimini Lane; Lamone Crossing; Fosso Vecchio; Fosso Munio, and Conventello – Commachio.
On November 3, 1944 Spr Millar was admitted to the 1st Canadian General Hospital (CGH), with what was diagnosed at Infectious Hepatitis. On December 2, 1944 he was transferred to the 14th CGH. On December 13, 1944 he was discharged from the 14th CGH and taken-on-strength with the X-4 List.
On January 2, 1945 he was struck-off-strength from the X-4 List. On January 3, 1945 he was taken-on-strength with the 10th Field Squadron, RCE. On February 18, 1945 Spr Millar embarked from Italy and on February 20, 1945 he disembarked in France. The File doesn’t indicate the Ports or the ship. On April 25, 1945 he was granted 9 days Privilege Leave to the UK. On May 7, 1945 Spr Millar was awarded the Defence Medal, the 1939 – 1945 Star, the Italy Star, and the France German Star.
It is interesting that, on September 27, 1945, the father of a Miss Hilleclina Kuiper approved the marriage of his daughter to Spr Millar. Captain W.K. Dobson of the 10th Field Squadron, Royal Canadian Engineers – Active Force approved the application after the normal 4 month waiting period has elapsed.
On October 8, 1945 Spr Millar was struck-off-strength from the 10th Canadian Field Squadron RCE and on October 9 he was taken-on-strength with the 8th Canadian Field Squadron Northwest Europe (NWE). He was now attached to the Netherlands Brigade at Assen. November 29, 1945 he ceased to be attached to the Netherlands Brigade. On November 29, 1945 he was struck-off-strength from 8th Canadian Field Squadron NWE to the Canadian Ordnance Demobilization Depot (CODD). On November 30, 1945 he was taken-on-strength with the 10th DD from the CODD. On December 20, 1945 Spr Millar was granted Leave to marry Miss Hillechiena Kuiper ”on or after December 20, 1945”.
The date that Spr Millar embarked from England or what ship is not identified in the File, but, it probably would have been about January 17, 1946.
On January 27, 1946 Sapper Arnold Bruce Millar was taken-on-strength with the No 3 District Depot from the Canadian Army Overseas. On February 6, 1946 he was granted a 36 day Disembarkation Leave. On March 16, 1946, on demobilization, Sapper Arnold Bruce Millar was struck-off-strength from the Canadian Army (Active) and was discharged at No 3 A District Depot, Kingston, Ontario.
Now began the process of getting his wife to join him in Canada. A Certificate from the Department of Mines and Resources – Immigration Branch dated April 15, 1946 indicates that Mrs. Hillechiena Millar is cleared to proceed to the Residence of Melville Millar, Father-in-Law at R.R. #4 Peterborough, Ontario. A Telegram dated August 46 indicates Mre Hillechiena Millar is expected to arrive in Halifax on the ship Aquitania 4-Sep- 46. Another Telegram indicates final destination of Mrs Hillechiena Millar is R.R. 4 Peterborough, where she will be met by her husband Arnold Bruce Millar.
As a result of his Service, Sapper Arnold Bruce Millar was awarded the:
1939 – 1945 Star;
France & Germany Star;
Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Bar; and
War Medal 1939 – 45.
He also qualified for the General Service Badge.
Sapper Millar’s Military Files indicates: Sapper Arnold Bruce Millar served a total of 3 years and 9 months with the Canadian Army (Active Force); 11 months and 15 days in Canada; 1 year, 1 month and 3 days in the United Kingdom; 9 months and 14 days in Italy; 9 months and 19 days in North West Europe.
An excerpt from an article in Maclean’s magazine by Barbara Ameil, September 1996:
The Military is the single calling in the world with job specifications that include a commitment to die for your Nation. What could be more honorable?
ARNOLD BRUCE MILLAR
Arnold Bruce Millar was born on February 14, 1920, son of Melville Millar and Harriet Elizabeth “Alma” Hatton. He received his education in Smith Township before enlisting to serve his King and Country.
After the War, Arnold married Hillechiena “Hilly” Kuyper in Winschoten, Holland on January 10, 1946. They came back to Canada and settled in Lakefield. Arnold worked for Frank S. Coyle for a number of years before becoming self-employed in the masonry business. Hilly and Arnold had two children – Catherine and Robert Millar. Arnold later became involved in road construction which required a lot of travelling across Ontario.
After his retirement in 1981, he took an active part in the Lakefield Legion and held several offices including Acting President. Arnold especially enjoyed his friendship with the Legion members while playing cribbage and euchre with them.
Hilly passed away on January 29, 1990 and Arnold passed away on February 25, 1992; both are buried in Lakefield Cemetery.
THE ARNOLD BRUCE MILLAR FAMILY OF LAKEFIELD
Arnold Bruce Millar’s paternal grandparents were David Millar and Mary Margaret Grace Pearce of Smith Township, Peterborough County. His maternal grandparents were William Henry Hatton and Mercedes Godfrey.
Arnold Bruce Millar’s parents were Melville Millar and Harriet Elizabeth “Alma” Hatton of Smith Township, Peterborough County. They were married in Lakefield on September 16, 1914. They farmed in the area and had a family of eight children – David “Orville”, Arnold Bruce, William Melville, Janet Kathleen, Shirley, Bernice, Donald and James Millar. Melville Millar passed away on March 31, 1951 and Harriet Elizabeth “Alma” passed away on July 19, 1995, age 98 years; both are buried in Lakefield Cemetery.
(On June 29, 1957, Harriet Elizabeth “Alma” Millar married William Graham.)
Melville Millar was born March 31, 1883 and unfortunately his mother, Mary Margaret Grace Pearce died April 22, 1883, age 18 years less than a month after his birth. On May 6, 1884, David Millar married his second wife, Janet Catherine Tucker in Anstruther Township and they had nine children.
Biologically Mary Grace Pearce is his grandmother but Janet Catherine Tucker was the only grandmother he would have known.
Note: Melville Millar’s birth record indicates that his mother’s name is Mary Grace Pearce but the Lakefield Cemetery record has her listed as Margaret Grace Millar?