Search

First World War centenary: Tale of man who lay injured in No Man’s Land for two days to be told in new Havering exhibition

09:00 26 July 2014

Georgina Hughes with her father's medals

Georgina Hughes with her father's medals

Archant

The tale of a man who lay ­severely injured in no man’s land for two days after ­being caught up in a bomb blast is one of many local stories that will be told at a new ­exhibition.

First World War summer events

July 30: Community musical Paper Planes, about pilot William Leefe Robinson, opens at Queen’s Theatre

August 2 & 3: Annual Military and Flying Machines show at Damyns Hall Aerodrome, Upminster, will include aircraft from the First World War for the first time

August 3: Service to commemorate Maori soldiers and the 211 Hornchurch men who died in the war. To be held outside St Andrew’s Church, Hornchurch, 11am

August 4: A multi-faith civic service at St Edward’s Church, Romford, led by Father David Anderson and Rabbi Lee Sunderland to mark the day Britain declared war on Germany

August 4: An exhibition looking at the stories of the men on the Collier Row War Memorial, which will conclude with a service at the Church of the Ascension, Collier Row

From August: Rainham Library exhibition dedicated to the town’s soldiers with information from residents

August 21: Talk at Rainham Library by Ian Porter about the contribution of women during the conflict

The experiences of Atheling Miller are revealed in Home Front Havering: Local Life in the First World War, which launches at Havering Museum on August 9.

Staff were made aware of his story after his daughter, Georgina Hughes, a volunteer at the attraction, came forward with his medals, papers and photographs.

L-Cpl Miller, born in 1898, served in the 23rd Battalion Royal Fusiliers, known as the 1st Sportsman’s Battalion.

He trained at Grey Towers mansion in Hornchurch, where a camp was established.

Atheling Miller in hospital after he was injured in a bomb blast (third bed on the left). [Picture: Havering Museum]Atheling Miller in hospital after he was injured in a bomb blast (third bed on the left). [Picture: Havering Museum]

The battalion, made up of professional sportsmen as well as members of the clergy and those from artistic occupations, lived at the camp from November 1914 to June 1915.

L-Cpl Miller played football for the youth teams of Ilford Wanderers, West Ham and Southend Boys as a goalkeeper.

Upon leaving Hornchurch, he was sent to France, where he manned a Lewis gun. He ­escaped serious injury until near the end of the war, when his trench was blown up and he was flung into no man’s land.

He lay there severely injured for two days until a medic managed to reach him, carried him behind the lines to hospital and he was invalided home.

The soldiers having dinner in one of the huts. [Picture: Havering Museum]The soldiers having dinner in one of the huts. [Picture: Havering Museum]

Although he suffered from his injuries his whole life and still had shrapnel working out of his legs in old age, he went on to become a successful footballer and cricketer after the war.

He played for Loxford as a slow left hand bowler until his early forties. He died in 1970.

Georgina said: “I am very proud that my father’s artefacts from the First World War are ­being exhibited at Havering Museum. My father, like so many others, showed great courage and strength of character at such a young age and was a true hero.

“He never really spoke much about the war and the traumatic experiences he must have suffered, but I believe he carried emotional scars inside him throughout his life. He was a proud but modest man who, like many, was a brave hero in the eyes and hearts of his family.”

The soldiers at Grey Towers in summer 1915. Atheling Miller is in the middle row's centre. [Picture: Havering Museum]The soldiers at Grey Towers in summer 1915. Atheling Miller is in the middle row's centre. [Picture: Havering Museum]

The exhibition, a joint effort by Havering Museum and ­Havering Libraries Local Studies, will run at both sites until November 15. It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For more information, email exhibitions@haveringmuseum.org.uk or call 01708 766571.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

18:30
Redden School Pupils Joshua Kirby, George Attrill and Amy Horsely with headteacher Paul Ward

Four smart pupils have been awarded membership to an exclusive society, reserved for people with the highest IQs in the country.

Kent Police are investigating after a man was stabbed in the chest Met Police officer. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA Archive

A Romford man has been arrested after a man in his 50s was stabbed in the chest in Kent.

A GP checking a patient's blood pressure. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/PA Images

A doctor’s union representative has said the government is “totally wrong” for trying to force GPs to keep their surgeries open for longer.

Mohamed Omer, founding member of the Muslim Gardens of Peace in Hainault

Proposals for land to be converted into a Muslim cemetery – with up to 10,000 burial spaces – has been given the green light.

13:30
Crowlands Primary School choir performing at the Young Voices Concert at the O2

Pupils at a primary school had an incredible experience singing with thousands of others in one of the capital’s most iconic venues.

Emergency services at the scene of an explosion at the flats in Hornchurch. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Victoria Jones

Police have confirmed that a possible cause of the explosion yesterday was the ‘preparation of a type of drug’ in the flats.

The aftermath following the explosion last night at the block of flats in Hornchurch. Picture: Ken Mears

Here are the latest pictures from the explosion in Hornchurch last night.

Scene from the Hornchurch explosion. Picture: Jack Duggins

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of arson following the explosion at the block of flats in Hornchurch last night.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

MyOffers H&M Competition

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now