LEATHERHEAD WAR MEMORIALS - WWII

Flight Lieutenant Kenneth MacIver Miller RAF
73 Squadron

Town Memorial World War II


FLIGHT LIEUTENANT
KENNETH MACIVER MILLER

Service Number: 40478
Royal Air Force (RAFO)
73 Sqdn.
Died 03 November 1942
Age 28 years old
Buried or commemorated at
EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY
XXIX. A. 3.
Egypt
Son of Daniel MacIver Miller and Dorothy Jessie Miller, of West Moors, Dorsetshire; husband of Voula Miller.
Personal Inscription
ALWAYS IN OUR THOUGHTS. DAD AND MUM

No.73 Squadron was part of of the Desert Air Force, and was equipped at that time with Hawker Hurricane II fighters,


A 73 Sqn Hurricane

As noted below Kenneth had joined the RAF in 1937 and was posted to the Middle East in 1938. His promotion from Flying Officer to war substantive Flight Lieutenant was published in the London Gazette 3530 18 November 1941.

A No.127 Squadron website lists Flt Lt Kenneth Maciver Miller among the pilots posted to that Squadron (on 25 March 1942 at St Jean, Palestine).

He is first mentioned in the 73 Squadron Operations Record Book on 5 July 1942. From the same source we can follow his last few days:

73 Sqn Operations Record Book 1942
AIR 27/631/21
Landing Ground 89

Oct 31/Nov 1
Several patrols were made over the line without result. For the second night our pilots were subjected to Bofor fire from our own lines. Long range patrols were sent out over the  Heneish area to intercept possible Ju.87s but no activity was seen except our own bombers attacking Heneish station. Some MT was straffed on road east of Daba.

Nov 1st/2nd
No enemy aircraft activity was observed during our patrols over the line. Sgt Edwards reported that our army had broken through the enemy lines in the northern sector and was pushing West and South.

Nov 2nd/3rd
Line and layer patrols were maintained throughout the night. A twin engined aircraft was seen but not contacted by Flight Sergeant Phillips. During long range intruders to Heneish flares and bombs were being dropped on Daba without opposition.

Nov 3rd/4th
A good nights work of straffing MT in the Fuka area was marred by the failure of F/Lt Miller to return. F/O Waechter was also reported missing but return[ed] to the Squadron the following day. The controls had seized and his aircraft burnt out after crashing. Squadron Leader JB Selby DFC, Flying Officer J McGILL, Pilot Officer MS Jones and Pilot Officer WTH GILL were all successful in staffing MT tents and huts. 

...

Nov 8th/9th
Another night of anti-straffing patrols passed uneventfully and by morning 'B' party had reached LG13 and were ready to receive the aircraft. 'A' party were quickly on the move for LG155 away south of Barrani. The wreckage of Flight Lieutenant KM Miller's aircraft and his grave close by were seen near Fuka.   

73 Squadron had been at Landing Ground 89 since 24 October 1942 and moved again on 7 November - just part of its nomadic existence dictated by operational requirements at this time. November 3rd was D+11 in the Second Battle of Alamein. That night, 3/4 November, Montgomery ordered three of the infantry brigades in reserve to advance on the Rahman track as a prelude to an armoured break-out. At 17:45, the 152nd Infantry Brigade with the 8th RTR in support, attacked about 2 mi (3.2 km) south of Tel el Aqqaqir.

Kenneth died when flying a Hawker Hurricane mkII HV445. The Squadron code letters were PT but it is not known what code letter was assigned to identify this aircraft. It was built as part of Production Block 7, by Hawker Aircraft Ltd., fitted with a Rolls Royce Merlin XX engine, in the period 17 Mar 1942 to 23 Nov 1942.

It is not known whether his death was as the result of enemy action. As noted above an aircraft could be lost or put in jeopardy through mechanical failures.  The Desert was unkind to both men and machines and although the ground crews were often the unsung heroes of the Desert Air Force there was a limit to what even they could do.

In the CWGC records, the entry for Kenneth in Graves Concentration Report Form Report 10/GCU/3/S.B/56 states he was previously buried at BGR/SIM/10 and was re-buried [in the El Alamein War Cemetery] on 10 September 1943. Identification was made via his Identity Disc.

Surrey Advertiser
Saturday 28 November 1942
LEATHERHEAD AIRMANíS DEATH
A resolution of sympathy with Mr. D. M. Miller, assistant deputy clerk to Leatherhead Urban District Council, was passed at the Councilís meeting on Tuesday. Mr. Millerís son, Flight Lieut. Kenneth Maclver Miller, was killed in action at Mersa Matruh in November.

He joined the R.A.F. in 1937, and went East in February, 1938. Flight Lieut. Miller was educated at Moffatt, Scotland, and at Shrewsbury School, and spent a year at Cambridge. He was 28 years of age, and was married three years ago. His wife is at present in Egypt.


His life

He was born in about 1914.

His father was Daniel MacIver Miller, born 2 October 1884. He died on 27 April 1962 when living at Warriston, Moorside Road, West Moors, Dorset. In the 1939 England & Wales Register he was described as 'Oil Merchant, Retired'. At that time he was aged 55. There is much evidence that he had travelled the world presumably as part of his business. The MacIver part of his name (and of his son Kenneth's) suggests that he may have had Scottish connections.

As noted above, in retirement he had entered Local Government and during part of WW2 he was assistant deputy clerk to Leatherhead Urban District Council.

His mother was Dorothy Jessie Miller. She was born 14 January 1894. She died 11 June 1976 when living at 37 Moorside, West Moors, Wimborne, Dorset.

So far no record of their marriage has been traced nor whether there were any other children apart from Kenneth. It may be that they married abroad and lived there for much of the time: they have not so far turned up in pre-1939 Electoral Registers and Kenneth appears to have spent his school days as a boarder. If you can fill in the gaps here please contact the editor.

In the 1939 England & Wales Register they were living at Dunromyng, Cherkley Hill, on the Givons Grove Estate, Leatherhead.  Kenneth was at this time in the Middle East with the RAF.

Kenneth was educated at Moffat, Scotland and Shrewsbury School, followed by a year at Cambridge University. He is named on the War Memorial at Shrewsbury School.

On 27 January 1940 - with permission from HQ RAF Cairo - Flying Officer Kenneth MacIver Miller (25) married Voula Metalinon (25) at the Anglican Church in Alexandria, Egypt. Her father was Estematios Metalinon, a Physician.

After the war

Kenneth's parents lived on in Leatherhead for a time. The Electoral Registers show them at 14 St Johns Road in 1945 and 1946. In 1947 they were at Hillside Garth, Givons Grove and in 1949 at 29 Randalls Road. The final period of their lives was spent at 37 Moorside, West Moors, Wimborne, Dorset.


He is remembered on these memorials
Leatherhead Town Memorial
Leatherhead RBL Roll of Honour, Leatherhead Parish Church
Shrewsbury School War Memorial
  

the website editor would like to add further information on this casualty
e.g. a photo of him, his headstone, and any recollections of him

with thanks to Andy Ingham re 127 Sqn: last updated 26 Jul 20