Arthur Millard was one of the founders of the Society for the Preservation of Beers from the Wood (SPBW).
He worked as a clerk at the Bank of England from 1934 until 1971, interrupted only by World War II where he served with distinction in the Western Desert. He was on the radio and TV, and featured in lengthy newspaper articles several times at the height of the SPBW’s success in the late sixties and early seventies.
We’ve got his obituary from the May 1999 issue of the SPBW newsletter, Pint in Hand, thanks to Roger Jacobson, its current editor. We also have a copy of a long and affectionate retirement notice from the Bank of England staff magazine thanks to an extremely kind archivist. And we have those newspaper pieces from the early seventies. From all of that, we gain a sense of his habits and personality — the puffing pipe, the five pint-a-day habit, and a certain provocative bluntness. We even know where he went to school (Bancroft’s in Essex) and the ins-and-outs of his rugby career.
What we just can’t find, after hours of searching, is any convincing record of his birth, marriage or death. Beyond the fact that he had a daughter, we know nothing of his family life. Does any of that matter? Well, it does to us. A married man who spends his free time campaigning for beer has different motivations than a widower or a divorcé. Was he a native Londoner? Welsh? A Yorkshireman?
If you knew Arthur personally, or know how we can get in touch with his daughter or grandchildren, we’d love to hear from you.