The James Miller VC Scrap Book

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This page contains snippets and links to a wealth of information about Conductor James William Miller who was awarded a Victoria Cross in 1857 during the Indian Mutiny. His VC is not attributed to the modern Royal Logistic Corps because of his association with the Indian Army. In partial recognition James Miller has a classroom named after him in the Defence Logistic & Supply School, at Regt HQ in Camberley. For the full explanatation of why he is not recognised, Click here

National Archive Reference ( WO 32/7349 DECORATIONS AND MEDALS:

Victoria Cross (Code 50(M)): Indian Mutiny: Recommendations concerning Col. J Travers, Lt. Col. S Browne, Lieuts. C Maclean, E Thackeray and T Cadell and Conductor J Miller 1860 - 1862 National Archive. Copy of the National Archive entry- Click Here.


The working class Glaswegian who "bettered himself" and was given his country's highest military decoration. Contributed by: Jim Reader

James Miller was born 5 May 1820 in the parish of Glasgow. He enlisted in the Honourable East India Company (HEIC) 22 June 1841 in Glasgow and was sent to Chatham. His trade was candle maker, height 5ft 7 ins, complexion and hair fair, eyes grey. Bounty for which he enlisted was £3/17s/6d (cash £1/14s/6d + half-penny,
necessaries £2/2s/11d + half-penny).

His first paybook is in Australia with another Great Great Grandson, David Edgerley.Photo of James Miller

January 1842 He landed at Calcutta in and marched from Fort Dum Dum to Agra, joining the 1/3 Bengal Artillery.
3 May 1844 Bombardier
27 August 1844 Corporal
12 August 1845 Sergeant
20 June 1846 Acting Staff Sergeant. Joined Arsenal at Fort William, Calcutta
24 October 1849 Married to Agnes Forsyth (daughter of gunner in artillery) , listed as a widower
1850 Appointed to Dum Dum
31 January 1851 Blacksmith Sergeant
28 October 1857 Action during mutiny to save Lt Glubb of 38 Bengal NLI
25 February 1862 Award of VC announced in London Gazette
10 August 1862 Retired
12 June 1892 Died , Simla. Buried Simla Churchyard

I am descended from Miller via his eldest daughter who survived to have children, Emily Seriphina. I began to research James Miller in 1996 and
discovered that my mother had some of his warrants and commissions, also the watch he had made for his wife using some money paid to him instead of going
England to receive the cross from Queen Victoria. There is no inscription on the watch however. I have not been able to scan the commissions, but I have
keyed and laid out versions of the ones that I do have. We also have copies of various testimonials and letters written to support Colonel Turner's request for Miller to be acknowledged for his bravery, and also a letter from the Lieutenant that he carried from danger.

Mr Reader has provided a number of PDF files of document transcriptions in relation to James Miller, below. Just click on the link. If you need to download a copy of Adobe Reader (previously Acrobat Reader) you can do so via the Adobe Reader Site or click on the button below.

1857 Validictory Letter after the Mutiny from Capt Machell
August 1857

Validictory Letter after the Mutiny from Lt Henderson

10th August 1857 Validictory Letter from LtCol Glassford
30 December 1857 Validictory Letter from Maj Montgomery
15th May 1858 Validictory Letter from Lt Brown
16th February 1860 Validictory Letter from Lt Glubb (whom he rescued for his VC)
June 1860 Validictory Letter from Lt Wimberley
June 1860 Recommendation for VC from Col Turner
28 July 1864 Certificate of Appointment of Conductor
12 June 1874 Certificate of Appointment Deputy Assistant Commissary
2 Sept 1874 Commission of Appointment as Hon Ensign (Junior Officer)
10 Sept 1875 Commission of Appointment as Hon Lieutenant
9 August 1878 Commission of Appointment as Assistant Commissary
8 September 1879 Commission of Appointment as Deputy Commissary
11th November 1882 Application for Pension
1882 Army and Department Service Record
1862 National Archive -War Office entry, 25 Feb 1862

James Millers Wife Agnes

James Millers Sons, Eddie and Frank

The Following are Discussion entries on the Victoria Cross Website at

Sarah Ennis 5 Jun 2000
I have recently begun investigating the VC award to an ancestor of mine: Conductor James Miller of the Bengal Ordinance Depot, Indian Army, who was awarded the VC in 1857. In the family we have a watch given to him by the officer whose life he saved, but we do not know the whereabouts of the VC itself.. If anyone can suggest any avenues which might lead to loacting its whereabouts I would be most interested to hear from them. Thanks

Can we help track down the Miller VC? If you know anything please contact the Webmaster

John Cannon
James William Miller VC born in Glasgow 1820 (possibly in Kirkwall). He may have been brought up by an uncle who was a minister in the Kirk.
James Miller joined the Hon East India Company on 22 June 1841, arriving in Calcutta January 1842 into the 1/3 Bengal Artillery. He joined the arsenal at Fort William as a Staff Sergeant in 1846 and married Agnes Forsyth (born 6 August 1834 – died 5 August 1903 Agra) probably in 1852/53.
He was a Sub-Conductor based at Fort Agra when the Mutiny began and he was awarded a VC for carrying an officer to safety on 28 Ocober 1857. VC was gazetted on 25 February 1862 only after a lot of debate about the length of time it had taken to get the application for a medal from his senior officers. He didn’t return home to receive VC from the Queen but used the money to have a watch made for his wife in Edinburgh.
They had 5 daughters (Emily, Alice, Frances, Emily, Eva) and 3 sons (Andrew, Frank, Henry). James Miller retired from the Gun Carriage Agency on 10 August 1882 as an honorary Major and died in Simla 12 June 1892.

Is there anyone who has a James William Miller in their family who left Scotland in 1841?

Could someone contact Sarah Ennis and let her know that the Cannon family from New Zealand know what happened to the VC she was enquiring about (I am having difficulty). We are descendents of James Miller (mum born Calcutta, grandmum born Bangladesh [deceased]
Apparently the medal in question was stolen during a rail journey in India. My great aunt Maggie (Margaret) had it at the time. My sister Jane Eddy (nee Cannon)is the best keeper of family history and can be reached at . My mother (Wendy) who is a direct descendent of James now lives in California. Jane has the most knowledge regarding this sort of stuff and is the best one to contact. Thanks. John Cannon (Perth. WA)
ps. still many direct relies of James in England if Sarah E is interested. Also we are keen to gather further info that Sarah may have.

Dear Mrs Sarah Ennis, could you please contact me.. I believe my great great (great?)granfather is James Miller. I live in Perth, West Australia but am a New Zealander. My grandmother recently died in the UK (born, Bangladesh.. my mother born Calcutta 1933. We know James was our relative and possibly has other relatives in NZ.. by other means..) If you want to know what happened to the VC, I believe it was stolen on a train journey in India within the last 50 odd years..(my grandmother told me this before she died) My email is You can visit to find out more about me if you wish. My sister has much more info on this than myself (with documents I think) and has recently returned to Sydney from France.. so if you want I can put you in touch.. I have only researched this for the first time and have found it fascinating! I have a mining thing with Bangalore going at the moment thus my straying into the James Miller area.. I found your post and do hope we are talking about a common relative! Anyway, I hope you get this somehow because I did try the normal route but had no luck so just punched your name into the net and tried this one.. If anyone else is reading this please pass on, it will be most appreciated.. All the best, John C