John Pitcairn Millar

Rank Captain
Service No Unknown
Date of Death 21/09/1918
Age 30
Regiment/Service Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) 6th Battalion. Formerly London Regiment (London Scottish)
Cemetery Villers Hill British Cemetery. This is located some 16 kms south-south west of Cambria, France. John's name is also listed on the 1st World War memorial in St Andrew's Enfield.


John was born on 19th November 1887 in West Norwood, London, and baptised on 20th January 1880 at St Peter’s Streatham. His parents were William Pitcairn Millar (1856-1932), a Shipping Manager, and Clara Spackman (1862–1948). He had five younger siblings, Clara (1889-1981), Alec (1890-1987), Elsie (b.1891), William (1892-1911) and Lily (1895-1992). 

At the time of the 1901 Census, the family were living in the parish of St Andrew’s Enfield and John’s father was employed as a shipping manager. John was educated at Enfield Grammar School from 1898 to 1903. At the time of the 1911 Census, the family were living at 15 Springfield, Upper Clapton. John was employed as a commercial clerk. He joined the London Scottish in 1908.

John was a member of the Scottish Rifles before the war, and went to France with his Regiment as a private on 15th September 1914. He served at the Front until 14th July 1915, gaining the rank of Sergeant, when he came home to take a Commission. He was then employed in Scotland, Essex and Ireland, in training recruits for his Regiment. He was promoted to Lieutenant in August 1915 and to Captain (temporary) a month later and to Adjutant in September 1916. He was ultimately recommended for Staff appointment.

He married Sybil Agnes Thomson Cossar (1890-1971) on 28th March 1916 in Finchley. He returned to France on 30th August 1918, leaving his pregnant wife behind. He was killed one month later by a shell which burst near some trenches just re-taken from the Germans. He was buried the same night on the battlefield, at Villers-Guislain. At the time of his death, John’s estate was valued at £728 18s, which was left to his wife of 9 Finchley Way, Finchley. When probate was granted she was living at 39, Seaward Avenue, West Southbourne, Bournemouth. 

His only child, also John Pitcairn Millar, was born on 13th April 1919 and was killed in action on 4th January 1945 at Forli in the Second World War whilst on active service in Italy.