CWG: Artificer Charles Miller

Artificer Charles Miller

Charles Frederick Caleb Miller was born on 12th December 1887 in Gillingham, Kent. His parents were Charles and Harriet Miller, and he had two younger siblings, Mabel and Harriet.

Tragically, Charles Jr’s mother died when he was only three years old; his father went on to marry again – to his widow’s younger sister, Jane – and the couple had two further children – Jane and Beatrice – who were Charles Jr’s half-sisters.

Charles Sr worked as a ship’s rigger in the Military Dockyard in Chatham, and naval life obviously caught his son’s eye. In 1903, having left school, he enlisted in the Royal Navy, started as a ‘boy artificer’, working in the engine and boiler rooms of ships.

His initial service was for twelve years, and he worked on a number of vessels, as well as being assigned to HMS Pembroke, the shore base in Chatham. He worked his way through the ranks to Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class by 1915.

In June of that year, Charles married Ellen Holden. the daughter of a dairyman from Chelsea. The couple went on to have a daughter, Joan, who was born in 1918. At the time of their wedding, Charles was based on HMS Lance, and his military service was to continue.

His period of service extended until the end of the war, Charles served on a number of other vessels, including HMS Surprise, Blenheim and Prince George and rose to Chief Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class.

It was while he was assigned to HMS Ganges in January 1920 that he became unwell, however. He had contracted bronchial pneumonia, and died of a combination of that and heart failure on 9th February 1920. He was 32 years old.

Charles Frederick Caleb Miller lies at rest in Woodlands Cemetery in his home town of Gillingham, Kent.

Charles Miller (from

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