Thomas ‘Dusty’ Ellemore Miller was a pre-Second World War regular soldier who had enlisted into the Irish Guards.
He was awarded a Military Medal while serving as a Sergeant with 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, in Palestine and Trans-Jordan for conspicuous gallantry during an engagement with an armed band in the vicinity of Deir Bajjala on 18 August 1938.
Miller was granted an emergency commission with The Middlesex Regiment in February 1943 and volunteered for The Parachute Regiment later that year.
He qualified as a military parachutist on course 86, which ran at RAF Ringway in October 1943. The course instructors’ notes record that he was a “good leader and jumper”.
Miller was posted to the 8th Parachute Battalion and commanded the battalion’s seaborne party for the Normandy landings in June 1944. His party joined up with the rest of the battalion, which had parachuted in as part of the spearhead force, on 9 June.
Shortly after arrival he took over command of a platoon in A Company. Later that month elements of the battalion, including A Company, repulsed a major attack by German forces, which resulted in six gallantry awards (Military Crosses to Lts Fry and Miller and Military Medals to Sgt Reading, Sgt Mayhew, L/Sgt Littlewood and Pte Lewis)
Lt Miller’s MC citation records : “For outstanding courage and leadership. At LE MESNIL on the 16th June Lieut MILLER was Pl Comd of a forward Pl which was heavily attacked by the enemy over a period of eight hours. During this period the pl was under heavy mortar and MG fire and was repeatedly attacked by superior numbers of the enemy. Lieut MILLER by his courage and complete disregard for his own safety so inspired his pl that the position was held against very heavy attacks.”
He was wounded towards the end of June and evacuated but rejoined the battalion on 1 August. Miller then led a number of reconnaisance and fighting patrols until the battalion were rested on 26 August prior to its withdrawal from Normandy in early September
Miller was promoted to Temporary Major in December 1945 and his last posting prior to demobilisation in 1947 was at the Training and Holding Battalion, latterly based at Talavera Barracks in Aldershot.