Friday, August 4 marked the 117th anniversary since James Daniel Duff, whose memory is honoured by the Millie Monument, was killed in the Boer War.
James Daniel Duff, son of James and Catherine Duff, was born on October 3, 1875. His father was a well-known resident of Millie, having spent 40 years in the rural district, roughly 50km south-west of Moree.
James and his brother Edward enlisted in the NSW Citizen’s Bushman and on March 3, 1900, sailed on the SS Atlantian.
They landed at Beira in Portugese East Africa and travelled firstly by train to Marendellas, then the 300 miles to Bulawayo by foot, in 17 days.
Andrew Thompson of Merah North, said that they had “had bad luck with their horses, having lost 300 of them” to blue tongue (Namoi Echo 21 July, 1900). They arrived too late to take part in the Relief of Mafeking.
Andy was also at Elands River, and “right beside” his friend “poor old Jim Duff” when Jim was killed at the Siege of Elands River Post in South Africa on August 4, 1900.
The monument at Millie was unveiled on January 19, 1901, after it was decided to go ahead with its construction rather than donating the money raised for a new wing on the Narrabri Hospital.
In 2001 the monument was rededicated after the restoration of the gold lettering (a Grant from the Commonwealth Department of Veterans' Affairs) and the repainting of the fence (by family and friends).
Later, a new stone and plaque was placed nearby to remember all those from the Moree, Narrabri and Wee Waa districts who served in the Anglo Boer War 1899-1902.
- written by Helen Haynes, author of ‘Poor Jim Has Died’