D-Day ceremony sparks interest in fallen soldier

The grave of Flight Sergeant James Miller, in Bayeaux War Cemetery, France. PHOTO: JEFF BOOTH
The grave of Flight Sergeant James Miller, in Bayeaux War Cemetery, France. PHOTO: JEFF BOOTH
A former Gore man, who recently attended D-Day commemorations in France, is wanting to hear from anyone who has a connection with a fallen southern soldier.

Jeff Booth, who is originally from Gore, but now lives in the United Kingdom, attended the ceremonies marking 80 years since D-Day.

On his travels, he went to Bayeaux War Cemetery and he stumbled across the graves of three New Zealanders who had been killed on June 11, 80 years ago.

"Doing some more research on those prior to leaving, I found Flight Sergeant James Stuart Miller who was born in Otautau, then resided in Broad Bay [in Dunedin]," he said.

Flt Sgt Miller was born in 1911 and died aged 33.

Bayeaux War Cemetery is the largest Commonwealth cemetery of World War 2 in France.

Flt Sgt Miller was one of three New Zealanders who lost their lives on June 11, 1944, when their Lancaster Bomber ME702, part of the No75 (NZ) squadron of the RAF, was shot down over France.

Flight Sergeant James Miller
Flight Sergeant James Miller
Mr Booth, who has an interest in war history and looking into the backgrounds of fallen soldiers, said he placed a small New Zealand flag beside the grave of Flt Sgt Miller.

The No 75 (NZ) squadron flew more sorties than any other RAF heavy bomber unit, suffered more casualties than any other squadron, and dropped the second-largest weight of bombs.

Mr Booth’s interest in the fallen trio, especially Flt Sgt Miller, had been piqued by his D-Day commemoration visit. He is keen to hear from any relations of Flt Sgt Miller.

He said he visited Kaka Point every year for about a month about Christmas time, so could visit relations then.

His email is: Jeff.Booth@volkerlaser.co.uk