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

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

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 News Stories

09:00
The princesses were on hand to save the day

Children who were worried their dreams would never come true had their wishes granted at the weekend when they met Disney princesses.

Yesterday, 15:00
Mayor of havering, Cllr Linda Trew comissioned Havering College of Further and Higher Education,  students to create a float. for the New Year’s Day Parade,

The mayor of Havering will dazzle spectators of the New Year’s Day Parade as she travels through the streets of London in a vintage steam train and carriage thanks to Havering College construction students.

Yesterday, 12:00
Christmas jumpers raised enough to build a classroom for less fortunate children

As term came to a close and the ho-ho-holidays were due to start one school allowed its lucky pupils to really get into the festive spirit.

Yesterday, 09:00
CM Atkinson from the Harold Hill Fire Station (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

One mum-of-two proves that being a woman doesn’t make a difference when it comes to fighting fires and saving lives.

Most read news

WW100

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

News from your area

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Twinkle, twinkle you little stars – thanks for making your homes so festive.

Offers for university places are at a record high.