Updated: May 25, 2021
Walter Douglas Miller was born on the 4th August 1892 and brought up at the Manse, Shandon, near Rhu (then Row), Dunbartonshire.
Walter was the elder son of the Reverend Hugh Miller, Free Church Minister, and Annie Scott Miller (née MacLellan), who had married on the 20th September 1887, again in Rhu.
He attended Larchfield School, Helensburgh and Allan Glen's, Glasgow, before matriculating at the University of Glasgow in 1910 to study Engineering.
He was a student at the University for four years, taking classes in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Engineering, though he seems to have left in 1914 before graduating. He was a sportsman, and played for the University first fifteen at rugby.
He was 22 when war broke out and he was quick to enlist, serving first as a gunner with the 120th Clyde Battery of Royal Garrison Artillery, with which he had been connected before the war as a member of the University OTC.
He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant but was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, now a Lieutenant and posted to France in August 1916. There he was daily engaged in flying over German lines until he was shot down on 2nd October 1916. His observer, 2nd Lieutenant Carmichael survived, badly wounded, but was taken prisoner.
He described how that morning they had gone about four miles over German lines above the Somme and were over a small town, just on the point of turning when Lieutenant Miller was hit by machine gun fire during aerial combat. He was the pilot of BE 2C No 4190 of 15 Squadron. The aircraft plunged to the ground and caught fire.
News that he had been reported missing behind enemy lines was conveyed to the Reverend Hugh Miller and his wife Annie, who were already mourning the loss of a younger son, Lieutenant Iain MacLellan Miller, killed at Loos on the 25th September 1915.
Lieutenant Walter Douglas Miller has no known grave but is commemorated at the Arras Flying Services Memorial. He was 24.
Biography, original photo and Information courtesy of the University of Glasgow
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