RIFLEMAN FREDERICK THOMAS MILLER
KING'S ROYAL RIFLE CORPS
14TH AUGUST 1917 AGE 19
BURIED: GODEWAERSVELDE BRITISH CEMETERY, FRANCE
Frederick Miller's mother referenced a popular love song, The Sunshine of Your Smile, for her son's inscription. Written in 1913 with lyrics by Leonard Cooke and music by Lilian Ray, the song was recorded several times during the war years - you can hear this 1916 recording by John McCormack here.
Dear face that holds so sweet a smile for me,
Were you not mine, how dark the world would be!
I know no light above that could replace
Love's radiant sunshine in your dear, dear face.
Give me your smile, the love-light in your eyes,
Life could not hold a fairer Paradise!
Give me the right to love you all the while,
My world for ever, the sunshine of your smile!
Shadows may fall upon the land and sea,
Sunshine from all the world may hidden be;
But I shall see no cloud across the sun;
Your smile shall light my life, till life is done.
Frederick Miller was the eldest of his parents' seven surviving children - six boys and one girl. At the time of the 1911 census the family - parents, children and grandmother - lived in four rooms in Poplar where father, Henry, was a house and ship painter. Frederick served with the 21st Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps and died of wounds in a casualty clearing station on 14 August 1917. The battalion war diary records:
"On the morning of the 14th August a raid was attempted against enemy dugouts. The heavy condition of the ground and the heavy enemy machine gun fire prevented the party from reaching their objectives and they returned with slight casualties."
Was Miller one of the 'slight casualties'?