10 November 2010

( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Miller,
Royal Regiment of Artillery

  • Victoria Cross
  • Crimea Medal ( 1854-56 )
    • 4 clasps:
    • "Alma" - "Balaclava"
    • "Inkermann" - "Sebastopol"
  • Knight, Legion of Honour ( France )
  • Order of the Medjidieh ( Turkey )
  • Turkish Crimea Medal ( 1855-56 )

The Victoria Cross and campaign medals awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Frederick Miller, Royal Regiment of Artillery, have been acquired by the Michael Ashcroft Trust, the holding institution for Lord Ashcroft's VC Collection.

“On the 5th November 1854, the Battle of Inkermann, Townsend’s Battery was advancing through thick brushwood in column, two guns leading. In command of these guns was Lieutenant Miller; he unlimbered the guns, a third one soon coming up to join the others, and rode forward to reconnoitre the next leg of the journey.

Visibility was poor, the ground was difficult and there was no infantry support; the gunners were being justifiably cautious and had their leading guns in a position where they could give immediate fire-support.

Suddenly, out of the mist poured the 88th Connaught Rangers who were stubbornly falling back in the face of heavy odds. Miller ordered these men to halt and give immediate protection to his guns, but knowing the numbers of Russians that were now pouring down on this flank the men who had already been battling hard against infinitely superior numbers continued to withdraw. There were neither horses nor limbers with which to withdraw the guns; the choice was fight and try to prevent the guns being over-run, or spike them and get away.

There could be only one choice for the men of P Battery as two mighty columns of the 2nd and 3rd battalions of the Katherinberg Regiment emerged from the fog not ten yards to their front. Fire case was the order but only one round was discharged before the enemy were upon them.

Without hesitation Lieutenant Miller ordered his men to draw swords and charge and they fell upon the Russians striving to beat back the throng with swords, rammers, sponge-staves, even with clenched fists whilst Miller waded in on horseback slashing with his sword at his opponents heads. Eventually the guns were lost.”

As a result of Miller and his Royal Artillery gunners' heroic action several companies of the 88th Regiment owed their survival to them. Immediately after the guns had been captured the British opened fire on the two Russian battalions who surprisingly fell back leaving Miller's guns unspiked and recoverable.

For the award of the Victoria Cross.

[ London Gazette, 6 May 1859 ], Inkermann, Crimean War, 5 November 1854, Lieutenant Frederick Miller, Royal Regiment of Artillery.

For having, at the Battle of Inkerman, personally attacked three Russians, and with the gunners of his Division of the Battery, prevented the Russians from doing mischief to the guns which they had surrounded. Part of a Regiment of English Infantry had previously retired through the Battery in front of this body of Russians

Frederick Miller was invested with his Victoria Cross by Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace on the 8th June 1859.

Frederick Miller died on the 17 February 1874, aged 42, at The Castle, Cape Town, South Africa. He was first interred in St Peter's Cemetery, Cape Town, and later in St Peter's Ossuary Memorial Garden, Observatory, Cape Town.


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Iain Stewart, 10 November 2010