Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthMay 21, 1890
Place of BirthCauseway Green, Worcester
CountryEngland
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinCelina Millership, mother, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingStationery Engineer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number820701
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion44th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Address at Enlistment424 4th Street North, Kenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMay 4, 1916
Age at Enlistment26
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarYes
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathOctober 10, 1969
Age at Death79
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
PlotMLTY-6783-0

Millership, George John

George John Millership was born on 21 May 1890 in Causeway Green, Worcestershire, England. His parents George and Selina (née Brown) Millership had married during the third quarter of 1887 in King’s Norton, Worcestershire. By the 1891 census the family was living in nearby Cakemore, Worcestershire where father George was working as an engineer. Household members were parents George and Selina, children Elsie, age two, George JR, Ernest, age one, and Annie Millership, sister of George SR. Also with the family was boarder George Lowe. By the 1911 census the family had relocated to Ilkeston, Nottinghamshire where George SR was working as a coal merchant. Household members were parents George and Selina, and Elsie who was working as a laundry maid, George JR who was working as a labourer at a brick manufacturer, and William, age 11 who was attending school. Tragedy had struck the family over the years as the census recorded that nine children had been born to the family with only four still surviving.

George Millership was found on the passenger list of the  Megantic that arrived in Canada on 6 May 1912. He gave his present and intended occupation as brick maker, and was headed for Toronto to join an ‘onkle’. However by 4 May 1916 when he signed his attestation papers, George was living in Kenora, Ontario and working as a stationary engineer for the Maple Leaf Milling Company. Living with him was his mother who then moved to Dryden for a while after he enlisted. With dark hair and blue eyes, he was only 5 feet 2 inches tall.

Based in Fort Frances, Ontario the 141st Battalion had begun recruiting in late 1915 in the Rainy River District of Northwestern Ontario. Along with a number of other local lads Private George Millership embarked from Halifax aboard the  Olympic on 29 April 1917.  By June he was on his way to France, taken on strength with the 44th Battalion in the field in early July. Just a short time later, on 23 August 1917, George was reported as missing in action.

From the 44th Battalion War Diaries of Aug 23-24th:  23rd:’Battalion carried out attack on GREEN CRASSIER. A and D Companies attacking, support and mopping up company. Barrage opened at 3 AM and attack commenced. D Company reached objective at 3:30 AM. A Company met with determined resistance in ALPACA Trench. Two platoons were detached to attack FOSSE ST LOUIS (N20 c). After daylight no communication possible between CRASSIER and ALPACA. Enemy appeared to be in full possession of CRASSIER at 3 PM. Attack on FOSSE discontinued in afternoon. At 7 PM positions were taken over from 47th Battalion-junction of LENS ARRAS ROAD and MILL HILL ROAD to SOUCHEZ RIVER. Only possible to partly clear battlefield, enemy refusing to allow stretcher parties to move.’ 24th: ‘All attempts to get communication through to CRASSIER failed owing to constant heavy shell and machine gun fire. Our casualties during the operation were-Killed Lieut. HC McClure, Lieut. FW Bradford, 21 other ranks; Wounded-Lieut. JH Barnes, Lieut. DJ Broadfoot (since missing), CG Kerr (returned to duty), 113 other ranks; Missing- (probably mostly casualties in forward area) Lieut. AM Gunn, Lieut. KRM Morrison, 46 other ranks.’ (Library and Archives Canada)

As one of the 46 other ranks reported as missing that day in August, by early September Private  George Millership’s status had been changed to prisoner of war, and thus was to be his fate until the Armistice. He was first reported to be at Limburg, then transferred to Dulmen, and finally to Friedrichsfeld. Released in early December of 1918, he arrived at 36 Camp Ripon, Yorkshire on the 7th, with a telegram confirming his arrival sent to his mother back in Canada a few days later.

George arrived back in Canada in early March of 1919 aboard the  Belgic and it appears that he continued to live in Kenora, joining the Kenora Branch of the Canadian Legion in 1943. His father had died in 1914 in England which led to the immigration to Canada of his mother, brother William, and sister Lizzie (possibly Elsie) who died in Kenora in 1968. According to her obituary she had come to Canada in 1921 and was survived by her two brothers, George in Winnipeg, and William in Galt.

George John Millership died in Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba on 10 October 1969 and is interred in the  Military Field of Honour  in Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg.

by Judy Stockham