b. 19/06/1824 Kilmarnock, Scotland. d. 07/07/1881 Glasgow, Scotland.
Duncan Millar (1824-1881) was born on 19th June 1824 in Kilmarnock, Scotland and served in the 42nd Highlanders during the Crimean War. Having survived the Crimea, he was soon despatched with his Regiment to the Indian Mutiny in the summer of 1857. It would be nearly two years later, that he would be involved in the event which led to his VC.
On the morning of 15th January 1859, a strong rebel force had crossed the Sarda at Maylah Ghat. Unable to use his cavalry in the thick jungle, Colonel Smythe sent a detachment of thirty-seven Highlanders to intercept the rebels with the hope that he could reinforce them with men who were on picquet duty. Fixing their bayonets and forming a skirmish line, the Highlanders were soon in the thick of the fighting. Soon the two officers were wounded, one mortally, and the sergeant and two corporals were killed which just left the privates to fight on alone. When all seemed lost, the detachment of picquets arrived and the rebels seeing this, fled. Private Duncan Millar and Private Walter Cook were singled out for their gallantry and recommended for the VC, which was published on 21st June 1859. Millar received his VC from General Sir Robert Walpole at Bareilly on 7th April 1860.
Following his Army service, he returned to his native Scotland, where he died on 7th July 1881 in Glasgow. He was buried in St Kentigerns Cemetery, though his grave sadly is unmarked. His medals are held by the National War Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NATIONAL WAR MUSEUM, EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND.
BURIAL PLACE: ST KENTIGERNS CEMETERY, GLASGOW, SCOTLAND. NO GRAVE MARKER.
Andy Wright – Image of the Millar VC Medal Group at the National War Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.