China 1900, silver, 689 Driver Reginald Mills, 5th Section, Vicker Maxim Battery.
Officially impressed: “689 Dvr: R. Mills. Vickers-Maxim Bty:” Some contact marking.
Confirmed on the medal roll as a member of 5th Section, 1 Pounder Maxims. One of 45 men from this section.
The Maxim Gun had been in development since about 1883, with financing by Albert Vickers. By 1896, Vickers bought out the company and developed the brand new “Vickers-Maxim Gun”, which he had improved on the previous offerings, inverting the mechanism as well as reducing weight by lightening and simplifying the action and using high strength alloys for certain components. A Muzzle Booster also being added.
By about 1898-9 the orders came flowing from armies around the world, by 1912 it was adopted as the Standard Machine Gun of the British Army.
Reginald Mills, was born 21st March 1881 in Tiverton, Devon.
At first aged 17, he had joined the 4th Devon Regiment of Militia with number 3712 on 2nd September 1898, working as a Haulier.
At 19 he joined the Royal Horse and Field Artillery on 14th August 1899. He came straight from the local 4th Devon Regiment of Militia.
He saw overseas service in China for almost 2 years from 10th November 1900 until 7th October 1902.
His service records show he was graded as a Driver on 29th September 1899 with 17th Battery.
Then on 10th November 1900 posted with the “Maxims China.”
Total service from his records:
Home, 14th Aug 1899 – 9th Nov 1900
China, 10th Nov 1900 – 7th Oct 1902
Home, 8th Oct 1902 – 13th Aug 1911
12 Years service in total.
Reginald had been born and raised in Tiverton, attending the Tiverton Heathcote School 1884-7.
After his discharge he is later found in 1911 back working as a Haulier now in Cardiff Wales, where he remained for the rest of his life.
However in 1913 he received a Conviction for breaking and entering a warehouse.
“Reginald Mills, 32, Haulier, Arrested on 22nd March 1913, Between 6pm and 315 am on 21st March 1913, at Cardiff, did feloniously break and enter a warehouse in the occupation of Thomas Mathias and another, and therein did feloniously steal a quantity of Lead, value £3, the property of the said Thomas Mathias and another.
Pleased Guilty, being bound over in the sum of £5 to come up for judgement if called upon.”
In 1939 living in Wellington Street in Cardiff, Glamorganshire, Wales, working as a Haulier General with his wife and children.
He died in Cardiff during 1953.