Staff Sergeant Romaine Shirley Millward – W 30346 — ACTIVE SERVICE (World War II)
Romaine Shirley Millward was 29 years, 2 months and 3 weeks old when, as a single woman, she enlisted at No 103 Depot Company into the Canadian Women’s Army Corps (CWAC) at Kingston Ontario on August 26, 1943. Romaine Shirley stated that she was born in Port Hope, Ontario on June 4, 1914. She went through the Port Hope Public School System and 3 years in a Commercial Program in High School System from about 1919 to 1929. Romaine Shirley worked at a Ladies’ Ready to Wear Shop in buying, as a Salesgirl and Stock Keeper for 15 years, the last employer being Walker Stores Limited, North Bay, Ontario. She provided the following references: Dr. W. Tucker, John Street, Port Hope; Mr. D. H. Chisholm, Barrister, Walton Street, Port Hope and Mr. C. P. Freeman, Manager, Royal Bank of Canada, Port Hope. Romaine Shirley was 5′ 6½” tall, blue eyes and grey hair. She lived in Port Hope, Ontario with her parents. Her next-of-kin was listed as her mother Mrs. Emma Millward living at 202 Walton St., Port Hope, Ontario. Her father, George W. Millward, was a Plumbing and Heating Engineer. August 26, 1943 Private (Pte) Millward was assigned Service Number W 30346 and taken-on-strength to No 39 Company (Coy), CWAC, Kingston Ontario. On September 2, 1943 she was struck-off-strength from No 39 Company (Coy) CWAC and taken-on-strength September 3, 1943 to No 3 CWAC Basic Training Course [(B) TC] for all purposes (fap) in Kitchener, Ontario.
On September 24, 1943 Pte Millward was taken on a recruiting tour and was attached for rations while on the recruiting tour to No 1 Vocational Training School (VTS) at Windsor, Ontario. On September 28, 1943 she ceased to be attached to No 1 VTS, Windsor for rations on return to No 3 CWAC (B) TC at Kitchener. October 4, 1943 Pte Millward was struck-off-strength from No 3 CWAC (B) TC for all purposes (fap) on posting to No 39 Company (Coy), Kingston. On October 5, 1943 she was taken-on-strength on reporting to No. 39 Coy, Kingston. October 10, 1943 Pte Millward ceased to be attached to No 39 Coy for for all purposes on attachment, for all purposes except rations, to No 38 Coy, CWAC, Ottawa Ontario. October 11, 1943 she proceeded on a course in Night Vision testing at No 38 Coy, Ottawa. From 0900 hours October 26, 1943 Pte Millward was placed On Command to Ottawa. Also on October 26, 1943 she ceases to be attached to No 38 Coy fap except rations and ceases to be attached to No 3 DD (her records don’t give any indication as to when she was attached to No DD) for rations on return to No 39 Coy, Kingston. November 25, 1943 Pte Millward ceased to be On Command to Ottawa.
From November 25, 1943 Pte Millward was authorized to draw a Special Allowance to December 8, 1943 since no rations nor quarters were available. On December 9, 1943 she was struck-off-strength from No 39 Coy, Kingston on reporting to the Army Reception Centre at Military District (MD) No 3A, Toronto to cover off a vacancy for a Sergeant Instructor in Night Vision Training and Testing and continues to be attached to No 39 Coy for administration including pay and discipline. Also on December 9, 1943 Pte Millward was promoted to the paid rank of Acting Sergeant (A/Sgt) and she was taken-on-strength to No 3A MD from No 39 Coy, Kingston.
After 1 month of Basic Training Pte Millward took a 2-week course in Night Vision Testing and then was employed for 3 months in Recruiting while awaiting for an opening at the Night Vision Unit in Kingston. She was employed as a night vision tester for 1 year, 9 months.
A/Sgt Millward was granted Special Leave and a Furlough, with a Travel Warrant, from February 28 to March 12, 1944 inclusive and ceases to be attached to No 39 Coy for pay with effect from (wef) February 29, 1944. A/Sgt Millward was granted Compassionate Leave wef March 17, 1944 (no end date is recorded). A/Sgt Millward was confirmed in the rank of Sergeant wef April 1, 1944 and her seniority was dated to December 9, 1943. She was then granted leave wef 0600 hours, April 22 to 0600 hours April 26, 1944. Sgt Millward ceased to be On Command (her records don’t give any indication as to when she was placed On Command) to No 1 DD, London Ontario wef 0145 hours, May 16, 1944.
Sgt Millward was granted leave wef June 2 to June 5, 1944. Two months later she was granted a Furlough wef August 1 to August 7, 1944. September 10, 1944 Sgt Millward was struck-off-strength from No 3A DD to No 2 DD, Toronto for attachment to No 19 Administration Unit (AU) for all purposes (fap) except duty and for duty to Night Vision at No 2 DD. September 11, 1944 she was taken-on-strength to No 2 District Depot (DD) From No 3A DD; attached for pay, administration and discipline. November 25, 1944 Sgt Millward ceases to be attached to No 2 DD for pay, administration and discipline and was struck-off-strength from the Home War Establishment (HWE), No 2 DD to No 3A DD (MD No 3A) in Toronto, Ontario. November 26, 1944 Sgt Millward was promoted to the rank of Acting Staff Sergeant (A/S/Sgt) with pay and attached to No 39 Coy AU, Kingston for administration and discipline on being taken-on-strength to No 3A DD.
February 16, 1945 A/S/Sgt Millward ceased to be attached to No 39 AU, CWAC fap except pay, duty, quarters and rations. February 16, 1945 she was attached to No 7 Administration Unit (AU) CWAC fap except pay, duty, quarters and rations. February 23, 1945 A/S/Sgt Millward ceases to be attached to No 3A DD for quarters and rations on being attached to No 7 AU, CWAC for quarters and rations. Then February 24, 1945 A/S/Sgt Millward was attached to No 7 AU CWAC for quarters and rations and was granted leave with a Ration Allowance from February 25 to February 28, 1945. February 26 A/S/Sgt Millward was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal.
A/S/Sgt Millward was granted 7 days Privileged Leave and a 48 hour Pass from March 10 to March 18, 1945, with a Ration Allowance and a Travel Warrant. Then she was granted 7 days Privileged Leave from June 4 to June 10, 1945, with a Ration Allowance and a Travel Warrant. May 1, 1945 A/S/Sgt Millward was confirmed as a Staff Sergeant (S/Sgt) with seniority from November 26, 1944. July 4, 1945 S/Sgt Millward was taken-on-strength to No 7 AU from A21 Canadian Ordnance Electrical Mechanical Engineering Training Course (COEMETC) [her records don’t give any indication as to when she was placed on the COEMETC] and attached fap except pay and duty to No 7 AU. S/Sgt Millward was granted 7 days Privileged Leave and 96 hours Short Leave from June 23 to July 3, 1945, with Ration Allowance. September 4, 1945 S/Sgt Millward ceased to be attached to No 7 AU fap except pay, duty, rations and quarters and was struck-off-strength from A7 Canadian Signal Training Centre (CSTS) [her records don’t give any indication as to when she was sent to the CSTC] to No 103 Depot Company, CWAC Holding Establishment. September 5, 1945 S/Sgt Millward was taken-on-strength to No 103 Depot Company from A7 CSTC.
On September 10, 1945, while in an interview with the Department of Veterans Affairs Counsellor for Employment and Selective Service S/Sgt Millward indicated that she would help her brother carry on her father’s Plumbing & Heating business and remain at home with her parents. She also stated that she wanted to use her Reestablishment Credits for the business and would seek employment as a Buyer for Ladies’ Ready to Wear Clothing. S/Sgt Millward was struck-off-strength from the Canadian Army September 11, 1945 on discharge to return to civilian life on compassionate grounds. She was granted a $100.00 Clothing Allowance and a Rehabilitation Grant. She would be living at 1 Walton Street, Port Hope, Ontario and requested that her medals be sent there.
Staff Sergeant Millward was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and War Medal 1939 – 45. She also qualified for the War Service Badge, Army Class C.
Romaine Shirley Millward served for 2 years and 16 days, her total service was in Canada and perhaps the odd trip to the United States of America.
NOTE: A number of years ago Mr. Bill Huycke purchased a box of papers etcetera at an auction, upon examining the contents he discovered that there were “notes” relating to the military career of a Romaine Shirley Millward. At the present time Ms. Millward’s Military Records have been obtained and her Military History has been written. However there are a number of “gaps” in the document which may be explained from the contents of the “notes” found in the box that Mr. Huycke purchased. The explanation goes as follows:
Apparently Romaine Shirley Millward’s military career include involvement at Camp “X” which was established December 6, 1941. The papers describe that she was actually assigned to a New York office as part of the training program there for Camp ‘X’ and she was assigned as a secretary in the New York office working for the Camp ‘X’ organization. Apparently she was the right-hand lady to a Sir William Stephenson who was one of the head men at Camp “X” and she traveled around Canada and to the States with him. S/Sgt Millward was stationed, attached to Camp X, which was located on the shores of Lake Ontario, on the border of Whitby and Oshawa. It was a secret operation, authorized and operated by British and Canadians and was the key training locale for the training education and preparation of espionage agents, more aptly called spies. The personnel were bound in secrecy for a period of 30 years post war. Camp “X” is memorialized at the Oshawa Museum at the Oshawa Airport and it is well worth the visit. It has a large collection of war medals from the Army, Navy and the Air Force. This was a place that had suitable topography to practice parachuting down to specific targets and various ground work. It was so secret that even the Prime Minister was not informed about what was going on but it is an extremely interesting part of our Canadian history. After the War, the entire landscape was completely leveled. Out of all the reports that were done on the training at Camp “X”, only one report survived and was put in a vault. All the employees of the Camp were sworn to a lifetime of secrecy.
Later Mr. Huycke would discover that Romaine Shirley Millward was indeed Mrs. Percy Payne, a well know resident of Lakefield.
Above explanation courtesy of Mr. Neil Wasson
There were a number of official names for Camp X: S 25-1-1 by the RCMP; Project-J by the Canadian Military and as the Special Training School (STS) 103 by the Special Operations Executive. Administration was under the cover of the Ministry of Economic Warfare (MEW). The Camp X pupils were schooled in a wide variety of special techniques including silent killing, sabotage, partisan support and recruitment methods for resistance movements, demolition, map reading, use of various weapons, and Morse code. It was at Camp X that the OSS operated an “assassination and elimination” training program that was dubbed “the school of mayhem and murder” by George Hunter White, who trained at the facility in the 1950s.
An excerpt from an article in McLean’s magazine by Barbara Amiel, 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?
ROMAINE SHIRLEY MILLWARD
Romaine Shirley Millward was born June 4, 1914 in Port Hope, County of Durham, Ontario to George Wesley and Emma Shirley. After completing the Commercial Program in High School in Port Hope, Romaine worked for 8 years (from 1929 to 1937) as a Salesclerk in a Ladies’ Ready to Wear Shop in Port Hope. She then worked as a Buyer for 3 years (from 1937 to 1940) in Walker’s Ready to Wear Shop in North Bay, Ontario. From 1941 to 1943 Romaine remained at home owing to her mother’s illness for 2 years.
After her Military career, Romaine Shirley Millward married Percival Arthur (Percy) Payne about the mid 1950s, they didn’t have any children. Sometime after her marriage to Percy, Romaine opened a Women’s Dress Shop in Lakefield at 14 Bridge Street, beside Hamblin’s Restaurant, where Al’s barber shop is now located (in 2014). On retirement in 1960, she sold the business to Margaret Leonard. Percy and Romaine lived outside of Lakefield, south of Katchiwano Golf Course until their passing.
THE ROMAINE SHIRLEY MILLWARD FAMILY OF PORT HOPE
Romaine Shirley Millward’s paternal grandparents were Matthew Millward and Sophia Roland. Her maternal grandparents were James Shirley and Annie MacIntosh.
Romaine Shirley’s parents; George Wesley Millward, born about 1865 and Emma Shirley, born April 5, 1872 in Main River, Kent, New Brunswick were married in York, Toronto Ontario on September 21, 1904. George Wesley & Emma had the following children: Muriel Orthea, Audry Doretta, George Clifford and Romaine Shirley. This was George Wesley Millward’s second marriage.
George Wesley Millward’s 1st marriage was to Florence Agnes “Aggie” Warmington, born about 1869 were married in Port Hope, Ontario on September 16, 1891. George Wesley & Florence Agnes had a daughter, Sybil Marguerite born August 7, 1892, married Hugh McMorran March 5, 1910 and Florence Edytha Millward, born February 18, 1895. Florence Agnes Millward (Warmington) died June 26, 1896 in Port Hope at 27 years of age; her parents were John & Emily Warmington.