In March 1900, a meeting of former soldiers of the Seaforth Highlanders took place in Aberdeen to investigate the legitimacy of a man calling himself John Henry Miller, who had claimed to be a veteran of the regiment. Miller claimed to have fought in Afghanistan alongside Lord Roberts and heroically held off a large group of Afghans. Many former Seaforth Highlanders attending the meeting doubted the accuracy of Miller’s claims and decided to investigate further.
During the meeting, Alexander Bennet Miller and his wife, alleged parents of John Henry Miller, were present but denied any relation to him. Furthermore, the attendees discovered several discrepancies in Miller’s story, which led them to believe he was not a soldier, but possibly a foreign camp follower who had served as a cook.
The attendees called for a formal investigation into the records of the Seaforth Highlanders in order to verify or refute Miller’s claims. In response, Miller stated that his appearance had changed dramatically due to illness and injury, which was why his former comrades did not recognize him. He also cited multiple officials who could vouch for his service to the Queen.
However, inquiries at the Barracks found that Mr Miller had provided some documentary evidence for his identity and military service, including his medals. As a result, it is possible that the former members of the 72nd regiment in Aberdeen were mistaken in their assessment of Miller’s legitimacy.
While the focus of this story is centered on the investigation of John Henry Miller’s military background and legitimacy in Aberdeen, it is worth noting the connection to Limerick City. As mentioned in the account, Alexander Bennet Miller and his wife, the supposed parents of John Henry Miller, got married in Limerick in 1869. This detail serves as a reminder that the rich history of the Seaforth Highlanders may extend to cities like Limerick, where the regiment might have had personal or professional ties. Moreover, this connection highlights the broader impact of military history on communities across various regions in the British Isles.
Dundee Evening Telegraph – 30 March 1900