This pocket watch was given as a token of thanks from one survivor of the First World War to another.
In June 1915, the 7th and 8th Battalions of The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) were fighting against Turkish soldiers on the Gallipoli Peninsula. During one particularly fierce battle, at Gully Ravine, Second Lieutenant T. L. Tillie was badly wounded and unable to make it back to his own trench. Sergeant Stephen Miller crawled out, under heavy rifle and machine gun fire, to where the wounded officer was lying and dragged him back to safety.
Second Lieutenant Tillie recommended that Sergeant Miller be awarded a gallantry medal, for risking his life to save another. Sadly, Sergeant Miller did not receive any official recognition for his bravery, nor was he ever awarded a gallantry medal for saving the young officer. When Second Lieutenant Tillie learned this, he presented this gold pocket watch to Sergeant Miller as a token of thanks.
Inside the watch is the message “With thanks to Sergeant Miller from T.L. Tillie, 28th June 1915”. The back of the watch shows the crest of The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles).
Tragically, two of Lieutenant Tillie’s brothers were killed in the First World War. This pocket watch reminds us that, had it not been for the bravery of Sergeant Miller, Lieutenant Tillie’s family may have lost another son.