Saturday, 26 March 2011

Profile - Harry Millington

Terence’s youngest brother, Harry (1889-1943), fought in the Great War.
It is believed that Harry was in a regiment of smaller soldiers called the Bantams.
Harry Millington

Harry Millington was the youngest brother of my great grandfather Terence Millington. He was born in the Lee Bank area of Birmingham in 1889.

In the 1891 census the Millington family were living at 6 Court 1 House, William Street.

The father (my g-g-grandfather) John Millington is recorded as a 50 year old Jobbing Labourer, Alice was 44. William was 15 in 1891 and without an occupation, 12 year old Alice and 10 year old Terence were both ‘scholars‘, whilst the youngest Millington child, Harry was 2 years old. There is no record of their oldest child, Annie, in the 1891 census and we could therefore conclude that she may not have lived with her own immediate family.

Harry Millington married a woman named Mary Taylor on 30th May 1909 at Birmingham St Mark. Harry Millington was a 21 year old bachelor from Back 77 Nelson Street. He was a furnace man and his father recorded as John Millington, a wood turner (deceased). Mary Taylor was a 19 year old spinster from Back 77 Nelson Street and her father recorded as Joseph Taylor, a tube drawer (also deceased).

Anecdotal evidence about Harry has been related to me by my father’s cousins, Brian and Terence Millington (sons of my granddad’s brother George). There is a family photograph which shows Harry in army uniform wearing a snake belt. It is believed that Harry served in one of the Bantam Battalions during the Great War (1914 – 1918). These were apparently battalions for “vertically challenged soldiers”.

In March 2003, Terence wrote:

“I recall Dad saying that his Uncle Harry was in the Black and Tans during the Irish war of independence in 1920. These were well paid volunteers who had previously served in the 1st World War. They were not a very popular bunch of individuals according to the Irish account, which could explain why Dad used to refer to him as ‘a bit of a tartar’ ”

Birth indexes for the Registration District of Birmingham indicate that the following three children with the surname Millington were born to a mother with the maiden name of Taylor. There is a strong possibility that these three were the children of Harry and his wife Mary Taylor:

Edgar W. Millington born in 1922

Elsie M. Millington born in 1924

John Millington born in 1928

There is a record in the death index for the death of a Harry Millington in Birmingham in 1943 aged 54.

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