Charles Mill

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment: August 1914
  • Place of enlistment: HMS Unicorn, Dundee
  • Service no: ZX/19
  • Rank: Able Seaman Bandsman
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards:
  • Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
  • Unit/Ship: Hood Battalion, R.N. Div
  • Place of Death: France
  • Age at Death: 26
  • Date of Death: 23.04.1917
  • Burial Country: France
  • Cemetery: Arras Memorial
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: Bay 1

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth:
  • Address: 16 Annfield Street, Dundee
  • Occupation: Calander Worker
  • Mother:

    Isabella Mill, 16 Annfield St, Dundee

  • Father:

    John Mill, 16 Annfield St, Dundee

  • Siblings:

    John, Isabella, Helen, Lizzie, Annie, William & Marjory

  • Spouse:
  • Children:

More about Charles Mill

Charles has no known grave but is remembered on the Arras Memorial.

Charles Mill   ZX/19   Hood Bn Royal Naval Division

Bandsman Charles Mill, who resides at 16 Annfield Road, has only been slightly wounded.  He was employed as a stretcher bearer, and while acting in that capacity was struck in the forehead by a spent bullet.  Bandsman Mill was attached to the Hood Battalion, Royal Naval Division, and is a member of the Dundee Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Band.

Dundee People’s Journal 19th June 1915


After emerging practically unscathed from some of the hottest actions of the war since its commencement, Charles Mill, a young Dundee lad, has made the supreme sacrifice for his country while assisting to bring in a wounded comrade.  It fell to a young brother—also out from the start—to break the painful tidings to those at home.  The deceased lad was 25 years of age, the second son of Mr and Mrs John Mill, 16 Annfield Street, Dundee, and as a member of the local R.N.V.R. band was among the first to cross the Channel.  With his comrades he laid down the musical instrument for stretcher work, and it was while in charge of a party of German prisoners engaged in carrying the wounded that he was killed.  A shell wiped out the whole party.  He took part in the siege of Antwerp, the landing at Gallipoli, the Somme, the Ancre, being only once wounded precisely a year ago.

Dundee People’s Journal 5th May 1917

Family Background:

Charles` father, John ,was a slater and chimney sweep and the family lived at 20 and then 16 Annfield Street, Dundee. His brother, William, was also a bandsman with the RNVR Unicorn band pre war.

Service History:

Charles had been a pre war Unicorn band member and joined up with his younger brother, William, at the outbreak of war. He fought at Antwerp and then Gallipoli where he was wounded in the skull in May 1915.In France he served at the Somme and at Ancre, Puisieux and River Trenches. He was supervising the recovery of wounded soldiers with a party of German prisoners when the entire group was wiped out by a shell.


Charles Mill was the son of Mr and Mrs John Mill of 16 Annfield Street, Dundee and he was employed as a Calender Worker in the Dundee Mills. He and his brother William were two of the civilian Bandsmen in HMS Unicorn’s Band. In August 1914, the Unicorn Band members volunteered to go to the war with their comrades, enlisted into the RNVR and proceeded south at the end of August to Betteshanger Camp near Deal in Kent to be trained as Naval Infantry. The Band became the Hood Battalion Band and in October, proceeded abroad to Antwerp to assist the Belgians in the defence of that city. The RND was withdrawn after two days and returned to Britain for further training. At the end of February 1915 the Hood Battalion sailed for the Dardanelles and landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in late April. In May Charles Mill was injured with a shrapnel wound to his skull. After the withdrawal from Gallipoli in January 1916 the RND carried out garrison duties in the Aegean until May when it sailed to France. In September he was granted UK Leave and returned in time for the final battle in the Somme campaign. As a stretcher bearer he would be exposed to the same risks as the rest of his comrades and he survived the fighting at Puisieux and River Trenches and Miraumont in early 1917. However it fell to his brother William to inform those at home how his elder brother had been killed in action on 23 April during the fighting at Gavrelle, a German held village which had become the next objective of the RND. Charles Mill was engaged in recovering wounded during the fighting and had organised some surrendered German soldiers to carry injured men back to safety when the entire group were killed by an exploding shell. His body was not recovered. A photograph of the Hood Battalion Band was taken at Bethune on or around Easter 1917 and this is probably the last picture taken of Charles Mill. Charles Mill is commemorated on the Arras Memorial in Northern France, on the HMS Unicorn Memorial and the St Mark’s Church Memorial.

Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie


Additional information and image kindly supplied by Michael Caldwell and Hugh Macrae.

Further information supplied by Iain Stewart and Iain Birnie

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