Veteran Stories:
Wilfrid Millen

Army

  • Private Wilfred Millen in England before the start of World War I. Mr. Millen served in the militia in Canada and did a year of service in England before joining the 4th Canadian Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1914.

  • Wilfrid Millen was killed in action on August 10, 1918 at Cayeux, part of the Battle of Amiens. His family received this memorial plaque.

  • This memorial scroll accompanied the memorial plaque that was sent to Wilfrid Millen's family after his death.

  • A photo of Wilfrid Millen's temporary grave marker in St. Sever Cemetery in Rouen, France. Below is a close up of the text on the grave marker that states that 29 year-old Wilfrid died of his wounds.

  • The Memorial Cross, or "Cross of Sacrifice," sent to Beatrice Millen after her husband's death overseas.

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"On August 8, 1918 near Cayeux (en-Santerre) about twelve miles southeast of Amiens he was wounded in the left shoulder and back. He died of his wounds on August 10, 1918 on 10 Ambulance Train en route to a Rouen hospital."

Transcript

Wilfrid Millen was born at Sittingbourne, Kent, England on November 26, 1888, the youngest son of Alfred and Sarah Anne Millen. He was educated at Kings School Rochester, worked as a solicitor's clerk, and served one year in the East Kent Regiment (The Buffs) prior to coming to Canada.

He sailed for Canada from Liverpool, England April 19, 1913 on the SS Teutonic and arrived at the Port of Quebec on April 26, 1913. On the journey over he would meet his future wife, Beatrice.

He was employed by the Home Bank in Toronto, Ontario. Prior to the outbreak of World War I, Wilfrid was in the Militia with the 36th Peel Regiment.

On September 22, 1914 Wilfrid Millen enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Valcartier, Quebec. All ranks of the 36th Peel Regiment were absorbed into the 4th Canadian Infantry Battalion (Central Ontario). The 4th boarded the SS Tyrolia and left Quebec Harbour on September 25, 1914, proceeded to Gaspé Harbour, and in early morning October 3, 1914 sailed for England. They arrived at Plymouth Harbour on October 14, 1914, disembarked on October 23, 1914 and proceeded to Lavington for training which lasted until February 7, 1915.

On February 8, 1915 Wilfrid and the 4th entrained to Avonmouth and boarded the SS Atlantian which arrived at St. Nazaire, France February 12, 1915.

On April 25, 1915 Pte. Millen was wounded near Hill 60 outside Ypres, receiving a slight head wound and a gunshot wound to the left shoulder. He was invalided to Bristol, England on May 4, 1915 where he received further treatment.

While in England, Pte. Millen was variously attached to the 12th Battalion, 30th Reserve Battalion, 36th Battalion and the 3rd Reserve Battalion serving at Shorncliffe, West Sandling and Witley. He did duty as a clerk with Headquarters Sub Staff (HQSS) and was appointed Acting Sergeant on June 16, 1916.

On January 1, 1917 Wilfrid married Beatrice Eastwood at St. Michael's Church at Sittingbourne. Beatrice was born September 5, 1896 at Beckenham, Kent, England. She was the daughter of George Eastwood and Amy Mowbray Graves. Wilfrid and his wife had one daughter, Beatrice, born at Hythe, Kent on January 12, 1918. Unfortunately their little girl passed away four days later.

On January 28, 1918 just prior to rejoining the 4th Battalion, Wilfrid was reverted to the rank of Private. On April 2, 1918 Wilfrid returned to France and reported to his Unit on April 13, 1918. On August 8, 1918 near Cayeux (en-Santerre) about twelve miles southeast of Amiens he was wounded in the left shoulder and back. He died of his wounds on August 10, 1918 on 10 Ambulance Train en route to a Rouen hospital. He was buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Plot Q.V.G. 20, at Rouen, France. For his military service Pte. Millen was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His widow received the Cross of Sacrifice (Memorial Cross) and the Next of Kin Memorial Plaque and Scroll.

Wilfrid's wife Beatrice was widowed twice after his passing. She had married Emmanuel Piette at Montreal in 1920 and Newell Bruce in the late 1940s.

Beatrice passed away at Windsor, Ontario on June 30, 1956 being survived by three daughters from her second marriage (Audrey, Juliette and Norma Piette).

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