L/Stoker Harry MILLWARD

Royal Navy
H.M.S. Carnarvon
Service Number:

Personal History:
According to his Service Papers Harry Millward was born on the 16th March 1894, the son of Joseph Bernard (Foreman in a Wood yard) and Phoebe (née Williamson) Millward of 122 Green Lane, Burbage, Buxton.  (1901 Census RG 13/3270)

He had three older sisters and four older brothers, Mary Alice, Joseph, Sarah Ann and Phoebe Elizabeth, William, Charles and James, and two younger brothers, Albert E. and Percy, and two younger sisters, Priscilla and Mabel. (1911 Census RG 14/21237) [See: Footnote below] When he enlisted in the Royal Navy, aged 18, he stood 5 ft. 4½ ins. (1.64 m.) tall, and had brown hair, grey eyes and a 'fresh' complexion. He gave his occupation as 'farm labourer'.

Military History:
Although Harry's name appears on the Buxton War Memorial and the Memorials in Burbage, there is no evidence that he was killed or died of wounds. He has no CWGC grave nor is named on any Memorial (apart from in Buxton).

His Service Papers show that he enlisted in the Royal Navy on the 11th June 1912 and was posted to 'HMS Vivid II', which was the name of the Royal Naval Barracks at Devonport. His name appears on the Naval Medal Rolls with Service No: K.15065.

On the 5th October 1912 Harry was posted to HMS Carnarvon and his Service Papers show his various promotions as 'Stoker I' 11th June 1913, 'Act. Leading Stoker' on 4th December 1915, and to 'Leading Stoker' on the 7th July 1916, still on the Carnarvon. However, this period of service ends (according to the Papers) on the 1st November 1916 and the reason given for "If Discharged, Whither and for What Cause" seems to say "RUN".  

The 'Buxton Advertiser', dated 15th January 1918 reporting on the death in action of his brother James, stated that Harry had been "missing since October 1916".

Harry's ship, HMS Carnarvon, had captured a German merchant ship on the 24th August 1914 after moving to Cape Verde at the beginning of that month. She moved to Montevideo in October 1914 and later led cruisers at the Battle of the Falklands on the 12th December 1914. In March 1915, after repairs were completed at Rio de Janeiro for tears to her plating in February 1916, she continued to serve on the North American and West Indies Station until November 1918. In 1919 she served as a cadets training ship until sold in March 1921.

On the 8th September 1916 HMS Carnarvon: "Anchored off Quebec in 16 fathoms" and the Cruiser was still  in Montreal, Canada in late October 1916. The ship's Royal Navy Log Books for the period when Harry went 'missing', however, read as follows:

"1st November 1916: Place: Montreal P Q
Other: 7.45 Replaced main derrick.
Person: Other: Corporal Taylor: Ships Corporal Taylor left ship for recovery of deserters.
Other: Sick list 2
Other: 7.45 Replaced main derrick
Other: 11.0 Commenced basin trials
Other: 12.30 Completed basin trials.
Other: Ships Corporal Taylor left ship for recovery of deserters."

The ship sailed the following day, and as 1st November is recorded on Harry's Papers
as the end of his Service period, it seems highly likely that he did not return to his ship
prior to sailing and remained in Canada.

Three of Harry's brothers also saw action during the Great War:

· Cpl. William MILLWARD served with the 101st Canadian Light Infantry (CEF) and was wounded in June 1916 and July 1917.
   He survived the War, however, and died in Buxton, aged 80, in 1969.

· Pt. James MILLWARD died on 24th March 1917, serving with the Essex Regiment.

· A third brother AB Albert Edward MILLWARD served on HMS Collossus at The Battle of Jutland, under the command of Admiral Jellicoe.

· The Buxton Advertiser, 15 July 1916 and 5 January 1918
· Royal Navy Log Books of the World War 1 Era - HMS Carnarvon
· I am grateful to Michael Lowrey, via the Great War Forum, for helping me interpret the Service Record

Harry's name on the Buxton Memorial
Stoker Harry Millward
H.M.S. Carnarvon