Edward Foster Miller was the son of a Scottish couple, Andrew and Jessie Miller who at some time moved to Shipley where Andrew worked as a wool sorter.Edward seems to have chosen the army as his career and with his family’s background he joined the Black Watch around 1904.During WW1, families and women’s working groups were used to getting letters from soldiers grateful for parcels of warm clothing but Edward’s note to his father was more thankful than most, especially for a garment made by local women that had become known to the troops as Lady Denby’s waistcoat.The Shipley Times & Express reported on 23 April 1915:“Pte Miller, a member of 2nd Black Watch in France, was having a short break from the action with some of his comrades in a large house just behind the front line.“While they were there a German shell came right into the building and set fire to the place.“The only clothing Pte Miller had
on at the time was his shirt and so quickly had he to make off that he was unable to save anything else except the waistcoat he had received from Lady Denby. All the time they were making their escape they were being shelled.“He had got a bad cold through walking about sparsely dressed but he would no doubt have been worse had it not been for the waist coat.“He regarded it as good sport dodging the shells but considered it no joke to lose all his equipment. They visited the house after the bombardment and found the building burnt to a cinder.”On 8 September 1916, the newspaper reported:“The D.C.M has been awarded to bandsman Edwin Foster Millar, son of Mr Andrew Millar of 16 Close Street, Valley Road, Shipley.“He is in the 2nd Battn Royal Highlanders (Black Watch) which he joined 12 years ago.“He went out to France soon after the outbreak of the war and fought at Mons and took part in most of the earlier engagements. He was wound and returned to this country
in November 1914. After his recovery he went back to France.“In November of last year he was sent to Mesopotamia. It will be remembered that Bandsman Millar was the soldier who escaped from the shell hit house while having a bath and clad only in one of the famous waistcoats supplied by Lady Denby.“In a letter home he says: ‘I might tell you I have received the D.C.M. from Sir P Lake, commanding officer of the Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force, awarded for my good work in this country.‘I had been previously told that I was to get the D.C.M. for my work in the last attempt to reach General Townshend in Kut. It was for attending the wounded under heavy fire. I did not believe it until I read it in the India papers. ‘It’s almost too warm out here to walk about. It is no joke I can tell you and the place has been well called the ‘white man’s grave’.”The following June, the family took out a notice in the newspaper announcing that Edward had died of wounds. He is buried in Baghdad Military Cemetery.