The Mysterious Arthur Millard

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.

4 thoughts on “The Mysterious Arthur Millard”

  1. pos 1999 death record copied from ancestry.com

    Name: Reginald Arthur Millard
    Birth: 5 Aug 1914
    Death: Jun 1999 – Kettering, Northamptonshire

    Name: Arthur Verdun Millard
    Birth: 27 Aug 1916
    Death: Feb 1999 – North East Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire

    the birth cert of the dau [name?] will reveal some info.

    1. Thanks, tankard. We’ve been using Ancestry.co.uk to search and view records.

      We’ve got reasonably firm dates for birth and death (b.1916, d.1999), which puts Arthur Verdun Millard in the frame, but then he doesn’t appear to have gone anywhere near London (where our Arthur worked); Surrey (where he lived); or Essex (where he went to school).

      No name for his daughter as yet, but hoping someone might recall that fact and let us know.

      Driving us nuts, this!

  2. I am not sure where you are going on this new line of research and the hint of a book but I am fairly certain I like it.

  3. Are you sure you aren’t looking for Arthur Mullard, face like a pizza and star of such side-splitting 70’s comedies such as ‘Yus, My Dear!’, with Queenie Watts..? I saw him at Pimlico tube station in the 70’s after school one day…

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