Captain Etienne Geoffrey Milward

Service Army
Rank Captain
Regiment:Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, 7th Battalion
Date of Birth: 23/01/1896
Date of Death: 02/09/1916
Memorial: Cofton Memorial Inscription

Service History

In August 1914, soon after the outbreak of war, Etienne Milward applied for a Temporary Commission and this was granted on 15th August.

The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, 7th (Service) Battalion was formed at Bodmin in September 1914 as part of K2 and came under command of 61st Brigade in 20th (Light) Division.
It moved to Aldershot and Woking but by November 1914 was at Pirbright moving again to Witley in February 1915 and Amesbury next month. It landed at Boulogne on 25 July 1915.

On 26 July 1915 the 20th (Light) Division completed concentration in the Saint-Omer area, all units having crossed to France during the preceding few days. Early trench familiarisation and training took place in the Fleurbaix area.

Lieut E G Milward was first wounded on 6th September 1915 and a telegram to H W Sparkes shows that he was “admitted to Endsleigh Place Hospital, Endsleigh Gardens, London on 9th September, 1915 suffering from gunshot wounds”.

The 20th Light Division was later engaged in the Battle of Delville Wood between 15th July 1916 and 3rd September. Delville Wood was fought over countless times and became choked with the dead of both sides. The Division was also engaged in the following Battle of Guillemont between 3 and 6 September,1916.

Etienne Geoffrey Milward was holding the temporary rank of Captain in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, 7th Battalion when he died of wounds on 2 September 1916.
A “Field Service” report originates from No 21 Casualty Clearing Station showing cause of death as “died of wounds received in Action.”

Association with Dawlish

Etienne was the grandson of Robert Harding Milward (1839-1903) a solicitor practising in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.
Robert and Harriet Harding married and had ten children, the second son being Geoffrey (or Jeffrey) Lionel Milward who also studied Law and became a Barrister. He married Miss Katherine Sparkes, daughter of Mr. Weston Joseph Sparkes, of Oak Cliff, Dawlish on 17 April 1895.

Etienne Geoffrey Milward was born 23 January 1896 at Ayresdale North, Birmingham.
His mother committed suicide on 26 February 1908 when Etienne was 12 year's old. An extract from the newpaper report says that “her husband, Mr Geoffrey Lionel Milward, Barrister, formerly practising at Cairo, said he had lived apart from his wife for some time.”

Etienne enrolled at University of London and matriculated as a student at the January 1913 examination and was placed in the Second Division having satisfied the examiners in English, Mathematics, Latin, French and Heat, Light and Sound. (Main subject unknown -ed)

In August 1914, soon after the outbreak of war, Etienne Milward applied for a Temporary Commission and this was granted on 15th August. In applying for a Temporary Commission for the duration of the War he gave his address as Oak Cliff, Starcross, Devon.

His application was counter-signed by his uncle, H W Sparkes, as Guardian. It also contained a “Certificate of Moral Character” from Charles Francis Benthall, Vicar of Cofton St Mary, Starcross who certified that he had known Etienne Geoffrey Milward for “the last five years”.
It may therefore be assumed that he had spent much of his time at Starcross after the death of his mother.

Devon Roll of Honour He is listed on the Birmingham Roll of Honour
Additional Information Commonwealth War Graves Site

Next of Kin: Geoffrey Lionel Milward, father
Last Known Address: 9 Manor Road, Edgbaston

Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry badge

1915 telegram of wounds received 7th September

1916 telegram advising death from wounds on 2nd September

Field Service Report of death of wounds received in action.

National Archive, Kew – Officer's record and correspondence file

Birth Certificate from General Record Office

Newspaper references (quoted)

Devon Family History Society

Free Birth Marriage & Death records

Refs from subscription services:

Census records
(Ancestry) Carter family tree

UK, Soldiers died in the Great War

National Probate Calendar