This obituary was read out at my dad's funeral, it was written by his family to celebrate his life.

James Henry Miller (Dusty)


This is a very brief history of a much loved and respected gentleman.

 Jim (as he was known) was born in Sunderland in October 1910.

 A world very much different from the present day. There were no luxuries.   It was a world where even at a young tender age and still being at school, Jim took part time jobs to help sustain family life.

 In 1926, as a young man of sixteen years, Jim emigrated to Canada to live and work for several years, sending money to his widowed mother to help both her and his siblings sustain family life. This must have been a daunting experience for a young man but at the same time no doubt enabled him to see another side of the world to that he had lived in.

 On his return he decided to join the army and signed up with the Durham Light Infantry in 1931, he was posted to India and the Sudan for 5 years and then mobilised in 1939 to fight for his country.

 He had the honour of serving under the command of the first person to receive a Victoria Cross during WWII. He was captured and was a prisoner of war for 5 years before he managed to escape.

 He got back to a wife and son he had not seen for 5 years and tried to begin a normal working life.

 He and his wife had two more children (quite late in life), even though money was short and at times life was no doubt difficult , he managed to support his family.

 Unbelievably he retired at the age of sixty through ill health and thirty seven years later he was still able to push a shopping trolley around the local supermarket.

 He was a founder member of the local Dunkirk Veterans Association and went on many pilgrimages to honour the memories of his fellow comrades for as long as he was able.

 He was a keen gardener, always out and about tending his vegetables in all weathers and he was an even keener story teller with respect to the exploits of his life.  Yes, sometimes you may have to say “Dad we have heard that one before” but even into his late 90’s he still managed to amaze us with a lost gem.

 He was funny, kind, gentle and an inspiration and in his later life suffered a lot of pain and discomfort but he always managed to smile through.

 Only a few weeks ago he visited the Alrewas Memorial Arboretum, not able to walk himself he got aboard one of those scooters they provide for the less able.  He had never ridden one before but managed to zoom around and almost ran his wife over. Not on a purpose I might add.

 What we have left now are great memories and they will remain for a very long time.

 He is now free from pain and all the pressures of this modern world.  He will be sadly missed by all of his family but he will always be loved.

 And as they say,


“Old Soldiers Never Die, They Just Fade Away”


 Be in peace now and god bless.