Australians in the Boer War
Oz-Boer Database Project

Acknowledgements Dedication Main Page Main Sources Medals Memorials Contributed Information Progress Search Database Site Map Units

Full Record

Hint: This site is intended as a search aid - not a definitive source. It is essentially an index to documents that seem to relate to this person plus a very brief precis of relevant elements. Sources often conflict and I also flag things with a ? when I am unsure. So if the information below is important to you, then please check the original sources to see what else they contain (and in case I have inadvertantly introduced transcription and/or precising errors). There can be additional information that was not included in the database for both space and copyright reasons.


Surname MILLS
Given Name(s) or Initial(s) John Brier
Regimental Number 52
Unit Name 2nd West Australia Mounted Infantry
Extracts and Comments
(from Sources as shown)

Murray: John Brien, Corporal 3.3.1900 Sergeant 30.3.1901.
Burridge1: Queen's South Africa Medal WW1 Trio Major RAA killed in action Gallipoli 31.5.1915 photo.
West Australian: letter criticising Perth War Memorial design.
URL1: WW1 AIF Major 2Bde AFA died of wounds 30.5.1915 Gallipoli enlisted Perth WA.
URL2: Major MILLS John Brier.
URL3: barrister aged 44 from North Perth WA next of kin from Claremont.
B5165: MILLS J Brier previously 3rd Regt. NSW Vol. Infantry.
Source:# 658 WW1 AIF John 2FAB Major, King's 1902 Coronation Medal, Queen's South Africa Medal, Colonial Auxilliary Forces Long Service Medal, born in St. Marys South Creek NSW a barrister & solicitor from Perth WA/Broken Hill NSW/Coolgardie & Perth WA, next of kin in Claremont WA, died of wounds (exact location unknown) in Helles sector on 30.5.1915 aged 45, grave in Pink Farm cemetery.
URL5: law clerk aged ?29 from NSW.
URL7: selected for Coronation Contingent, a onetime member of literary staff of West Australian newspaper now studying for the Bar.
URL8: AN INTERESTING CAREER. FROM PRESS WORK TO WIG AND GOWN. Among those admitted to the Western Australian bar today [21.3.1905] was Mr. John Brier MILLS, who up to 1899 had spent ten years on the Broken Hill and Western Australian press. In that time he had occupied some high journalistic positions , and at the age of 25 held an important post on the Broken Hill 'Age,' a daily newspaper, on the staff of which he had previously been associated with Messrs. COLEBATCH, the associate editor of the 'Morning Herald,' and Mr. J WESTON, for years Fremantle representative of the 'Went Australian.' During his four years subsequent connection with the 'West Australian' Mr. MILLS was on engaged in reporting Parliamentary and legal matters, and it was possibly the latter duties which gave him the idea of studying for the bar. At any rate in 1899 he secured articles with Mr. RS HAYNES KC, and then began a period of hard work, to be interrupted, however, a few months later by the outbreak of war in South Africa, whence Mr MILLS went as a member of the second contingent. He was present at the fall of Pretoria, and recalls an incident of the war which possibly has not been published, General POLE-CAREW was inspecting the contingent, and congratulating them on the fact that a small body had charged a superior force of Boers at the battle of the Vet River, and taken an important position a short time previously. The general derived some amusement from the various occupations of tho troops. A 'dryblower' thoroughly puzzled him, and he inquired what the man blew. When the late Stanley REID told him he was a clergyman, the general perhaps not unnaturally asked, 'Where is your frock?'? Coming to young MILLS he was informed that the trooper was 'reading for the bar'. The General laughed, 'Surely you will not learn much law here!' 'On the contrary,' said MILLS, 'I already have learnt the charge, and I am a sergeant, and eligible for the inner bar.' Legal practitioners will enjoy this. By permission of the military authorities, Mr. MILLS sent regular letters to the 'West Australian' regarding the war, and these were recognised at the time as being of particular interest and merit. On returning to Western Australia, Mr. MILLS resumed his law studies, but these were again interrupted. The Commonwealth was sending a contingent to London to take part in the Coronation celebrations, and one member of each contingent sent by this State to South Africa was included, the selection being made on a population basis, though Western Australia had sent 1,300 men to the war. Mr. MILLS was chosen to represent the second contingent, In consequence of these absences, the Barristers' Board imposed a period of extra service on the candidate, and hut for this Mr. MILLS' application for admission would have been made in September last. As it was, Mr. MILLS went up for his final examination in November last, and passed with credit. Possibly he obtained the incentive to take up law studies from the fact that his father is a member of the Broken Hill Licensing Board and a justice of the peace for three States - Queensland, New South Wales, and South Australia. In moving for Mr. MILLS' admission this morning in the Full Court, Mr. RS HAYNES KC said the admission of Mr. MILLS was a complete answer to those who held that it was difficult for legal practitioners to gain admission to the local bar. Mr. MILLS had held a leading position on the staff of the 'West Australian,' but renouncing press work, had by sheer hard work won his present position.
URL9: The detachment for the Coronation Contingent is now completed. It is made up as follows - Sergeant BULLOCK and Privates CORKHILL, MILLS, WALLIS, ARUNDEL. ALLEN and MORRISON. The uniforms to be worn by them are being made in Sydney. They will probably be sent over by the RMS Rome, the vessel by which the men will leave on Monday, the 12th inst. [12.5.1902].
Source References
Murray: Official Records of the Australian Contingents etc. page(s) 405
Burridge1: John Burridge Military Antiques catalogues date(s) 8/85
West Australian: West Australian newspaper date(s) 29.1.1900, 26.7.1901 & 26.4.1902
B5165: National Archives of Australia series B5165
Source:# Oz-Boer contributed source number 658
W. Mail: Western Mail newspaper date(s) 3.2.1900
Perth Daily News: Perth Daily News newspaper date(s) 21.3.1905
West Australian: West Australian newspaper date(s) 3.5.1902
External Link
External Link
External Link
External Link
External Link
External Link
External Link
External Link
External Link

Please email me if you can contribute any other relevant information about this person (eg any other military service, where in Australia they came from or when/where they died). Also, if you find an external link broken.

Apology: For some time now it has been difficult to keep up with the newly available sources (especially the Trove newspaper site) plus the flow of contributions and queries. So I have been forced to prioritise maintenance and data entry over replying to correspondence. Nevertheless, your contributions are being added to the database and acknowledged on the contributions page and, although my replies are many months behind, I will attempt to get to them more often.
Colin Roe

The Oz-Boer Database is copyright and may not be used for any commercial purpose.