The Collection of Medals to Yeomen of the Guard formed by Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Denny

Date of Auction: 8th May 2019

Sold for £650

Estimate: £360 - £400

The Burma 1885-87 campaign pair awarded to Garrison Sergeant-Major J. M. S. Miller, 17th Regiment, afterwards a Yeoman of the Guard

India General Service 1854-95, 1 clasp, Burma 1887-89 (800 Dr. Mr. Sergt. J. M. S. Miller 2d Bn. Leic. R.); Coronation 1911, unnamed, the first with slightly bent suspension post, one or two edge bruises, very fine and better (2) £360-£400


Provenance: The Trevor Harris Collection of Medals to the Leicester Regiment, Dix Noonan Webb, September 2005.

John Miller (name later changed to John Mount Stephen Miller) was born in the Parish of Saint Pauls, Exeter, and enlisted into the 17th Regiment at Plymouth on 14 December 1872, aged 18, a whitesmith by trade. He served continuously in the 2nd Battalion until being discharged in October 1896, the last 20 of those years as a member of the Sergeant’s Mess - he was advanced to Sergeant-Major in December 1890, shortly after his participation in the Burma operations. Miller, who was also the recipient of a L.S. & G.C. medal in 1905, next served on the Staff at Cork as a Garrison Sergeant-Major but finding this new post not to his liking, departed the Colours for a second time in February 1898. However, as described in his own account of his career, which appeared in The Green Tiger, he was quickly back in uniform:

‘On 31 March 1900, I again found myself playing the old game, as I was appointed by the War Office to be a Sergeant-Major of the 1st Battalion, Royal Northern Reserve Regiment, and proceeded, with a party from the depot at Leicester, to Woking, where I had no cause to complain of little work. I met many an old “Tiger” I had not seen for years in this regiment and Captain Pearson of “Ours” was the Assistant Adjutant. After thirteen months the Battalion was disbanded and I again found myself in civil life. I settled in a charming little village on the coast of North Devon and thought I was at last a fixture, but no. On the 8 October 1904, I received a letter from the War Office saying that I had been selected to fill a vacancy in the King’s Body Guard of the Yeoman of the Guard. I can’t tell you how I felt when I received the letter. Anyway it was marching orders for me. I soon packed up and got nearer my work, sworn in at St. James’s. I was served out with my kit, and now, I hope, I shall have the honour of being actively connected with the Service till the end of my days.’

Miller died at Yeovil, Somerset, on 20 November 1915. Sold with copied discharge papers and article from The Green Tiger.