2697173 Robert Nairn MILLER, MM, 1 Scots Guards

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    The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details
    Name Miller, Robert Nairn
    Rank: Guardsman
    Service No: 2697173
    Regiment: 1 Battalion Scots Guards
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: North Africa (Algeria, Tunisia)
    Award: Military Medal
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 14 September 1943
    Date 1943-1944
    Catalogue reference WO 373/2

    2697173 Guardsman (Lance-Corporal) Robert Nairn MILLER, 1st Bn SCOTS GUARDS
    24th Guards Brigade, 1st Division, 5 Corps

    During the Bn's second attack on DJ BOU AOUKAZ on 29 Apr 43, L/Cpl MILLER was leading his section which was amongst the assaulting troops.

    The Coy came under heavy close range fire and L/Cpl MILLER's No.1 on the L.M.G. was killed.

    L/Cpl MILLER was crawling to take over the gun when he was badly wounded by Mortar Bomb splinter in the thigh. This wound bled profusely and the whole leg swelled. At the same time he was hit in the left shoulder, which made his left arm numb and useless. The time was about 1030 Hrs when he was hit. He lay ? ? till dark, during which time the remainder of the Coy had withdrawn and the Germans had gained possession of ground to the rear of his posn and as well as ground to both flanks.

    During the night 29/30th another wounded cpl joined him and together they crawled about 300 yds into a gully so as not to be on the hill in daylight. About every five minutes they had stop and re-adjust Cpl MILLER's dressing as the movement was opening the gash in his thigh and making it bleed. Another man was found in the wadi severely wounded. L/Cpl MILLER stayed with him during the 30th and the night of the 30/1 May, re-dressing his wounds which included scaping them clear of maggots.

    The other Cpl had left at dawn to get help. At about 1100 Hrs on the next day, 1 May, Cpl MILLER attracted the attention of some GRENADIER Stretcher Bearers. They arrived about 1200 Hrs, gave Cpl. MILLER and the other man some water which was the first they had had since the first evening, i.e. one day and a half. While the Stretcher Bearers were attending to them a German patrol came up and took them off, leaving Cpl. MILLER and the wounded man.

    They now had no food or water left and the wounded man was becoming worse and getting delirious. Cpl MILLER stayed with him the next night and all the next day, 2 May and the next morning he decided he must got for help.

    During the night he crawled about 600 yds and was within 200 yds of our lines, when he was captured by another German patrol. He tried to get them to go and help his wounded companion - they refused. He was then carried about half an mile to a German posn. He remained there during 3 and 4 May in the open with a blanket, getting some black bread and a little water occasionally.

    On the second night 4/5 May, the Germans went a little way away and started digging hard. This was the 6th day since Cpl. MILLER had been wounded. During this time he had had very little food or water and for one day and night and for half the next day, was without water. His wound also had become larger, owing to the amount of crawling he had to do and his left arm was still numb.

    In spite of this he was determined to escape. This decision also meant leaving a comparatively sure supply of food and water and a possibility of medical treatment, which had been promised by a German Officer. He also had only the very vaguest idea as to the right direction in which to go.

    He slid down the hill and by the end of the next day, 5 May he had reached the river MEDJERDA, having fed off some beans in a bean field. He started to crawl down the river bank and eventually reached a farm he recognised, the next morning. After several vain attempts to stand up and attract attention, he succeeded in waving his recognition signal, so that a carrier came and picked him up and took him to an R.A.P. He was told there, that the date was 6 May. He had been wounded on 29 Apr - eight days before.

    In the previous two company attacks, L/Cpl. MILLER had behaved in an exemplary manner and by the time he was wounded, he had made a great reputation for himself in the Company, as a fearless and efficient Section Commander.

    Recommended Immediate award.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    From Scots Guards, Erskine:
    pg 148:
    With the sanction of the Brigade, the Medical Officer, Captain HODGE, whose efforts throughout the battle were characterised as "superb", went out with some stretcher-bearers, an ambulance and a white flag, to tend the wounded, who numbered about thirty, lying under the blazing sun unable to move, near the top of the Bou. Their arrival near the steepest part of the climb coincided with a German counter-attack, and the Doctor and his whole party were captured. The agony of the wounded on the slopes for the next few days was appalling; several died who would otherwise have been saved; one Lance-Corporal of Right Flank, who had been hit in the thigh and shoulder, was given inadequate succour by the Germans, and received no proper treatment until he crawled into our own lines on the 6th May.

    pg 208
    [Dung Farm, Anzio]
    In the evening we received orders to make an attack that night with our furthest objective as Point 105... Roughly speaking the Battalion was to advance about a mile due north from its present positions. To hold Point 105 was an obvious advantage.

    pg 212
    It is not now possible to apportion to the Companies the losses sustained in the night attack and in the subsequent counter-attacks. But on that day, besides the three officers already mentioned, forty-two other ranks were killed, the largest number of Scots Guardsmen to fall on any one day of the war. Those included CSM J.C. BEGG, of Right Flank, four Sergeants and seven Lance-Sergeants, among them G.A. CASHMORE and R.N. MILLER, both of whom had won the Military Medal in Tunisia. Also killed was Guardsman G. PATIENCE, a well-known cross-country runner.
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    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Lance Serjeant MILLER, ROBERT NAIRN
    Service Number 2697173
    Died 30/01/1944
    Aged 24
    1st Bn. Scots Guards
    M M
    Son of Alexander and Christina Miller, of Kippen, Stirlingshire.

    Location: Italy
    Cemetery/memorial reference: IV, U, 9.

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