Donovan James MILLER

MILLER, Donovan James

Service Number: 1067
Enlisted: 14 September 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1)
Born: Burnside, South Australia, 9 March 1891
Home Town: Burnside (SA), Burnside City Council, South Australia
Schooling: Pulteney Street Public School and St Peter's College
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Died of Wounds (received at Galliopli), Tanta, Egypt, 29 May 1915, aged 24 years
Cemetery: Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery
Chatby Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Alexandria, Egypt
Memorials: Burnside District Fallen Soldiers' Memorial - Rose Park, Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide Pulteney Grammar School WW1 & WW2 Honour Board, Adelaide Rowing Club WW1 Pictorial Honour Board, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Burnside & District - Fallen Soldiers Memorial Trees - Rose Park, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board, Hazelwood Park (Knightsbridge) War Memorial, Tusmore Burnside District Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

14 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 1067, Morphettville, South Australia
22 Dec 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 1067, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
22 Dec 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 1067, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), HMAT Ceramic, Melbourne
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 1067, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), ANZAC / Gallipoli
3 May 1915: Wounded Private, 1067, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), ANZAC / Gallipoli, GSW (jaw)
Date unknown: Involvement 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), Battle for Pozières

More about Donovan

Donovan James Miller of Burnside was born at Maylands, South Australia and educated at Pulteney Street Public School and the Collegiate School of St Peter. He was an excellent Australian Rules footballer and one of best football captains ever to represent the School.
After leaving school, he joined the firm of Dalgety & Co, Adelaide as a clerical officer and in his spare time was captain of the Glenferrie football club.
He enlisted at Morphettville, in September 1914 and after undergoing all of his initial training there, was posted to F Company, 16th Battalion at Broadmeadows Camp, Victoria. The 16th Battalion sailed from Melbourne aboard HMAT Ceramic on 22 December 1914.
Donovan suffered a compound fracture of the lower jaw and various other wounds during the fighting at Bloody Angle on 3 May, and was transported via HMHS Gascon to Tanta Base Hospital near Cairo Egypt.
Over the weeks he was in hospital, he bore his terrible injuries without complaint but sadly his wounds became septic and he died on Saturday 29 May 1915; he was 24 years of age.
His family were understandably shocked and hurt when they learned about the death of their only child from friends days before receiving official notification from the authorities and in April 1916
Donovan’s father wrote to Base Records to expressed how deeply hurt and annoyed he and his wife were when incorrectly notified their son had died on 19 May aboard HMHS Gascon en route to Alexandria.
Incorrect details about their son’s evacuation, death and location of his burial were reported to the family from the outset, but because Mrs Miller had received a number of letters from Donovan while he was in Tanta Hospital she knew he was wounded on 3 May and must have died in Tanta Hospital.
Mrs. Miller traveled to Egypt in early 1916 to visit his grave at the Presbyterian Cemetery, Tanta and met with the staff at the Tanta hospital. His body was exhumed after the war and re-interred in the Chatby War Memorial Cemetery, Alexandria, Egypt.

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1067 Private (Pte) Donovan James Miller, 16 Battalion was a 23 year old clerk from Burnside, South Australia when he enlisted on 14 September 1914. His parents were George and Clarie MILLER, originally of Greenhill Rd Burnside, later of  'Kiama', Malvern, South Australia

He was a Member of the Adelaide Rowing Club; the Club's Honour Board is the source of the accompanying image.

He embarked for overseas from Melbourne on 22 December 1914 aboard HMAT Ceramic and proceeded to Egypt arriving in early February 1915.

The 16th Battalion landed at Anzac late in the afternoon of 25 April 1915 and a week later was thrown into the attack on Bloody Angle suffering many casualties. Pte Miller was wounded in action at Gallipoli on 3 May 1915 and evacuated to a hospital at Tanta, 94 kilometres north of Cairo, Egypt. He died of his wounds on 29 May 1915 and was buried at the Presbyterian Cemetery, Tanta. His mother travelled to Egypt in early 1916 to visit his grave and meet with the staff at the Tanta hospital. After the war, Pte Miller's remains were moved to the Chatby War Memorial Cemetery, Alexandria, Egypt.