Also known as
- WWI 2/1045 AWMM
- WWII 6191 AWMM
Medals and Awards
- Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) AWMM
CBE. Posthumous 1944 AWMM
- Companion of the Distinguished Service Order and bar (DSO*) AWMM
DSO citation: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He fought his battery until the enemy were within 500 yards, and his ammunition exhausted, at the same time rallying infantry stragglers and manning a fire trench, then made a reconnaissance into a wood sending back valuable information. He was finally wounded by rifle fire at close range." (London Gazette, 26 July 1918). DSO Bar citation: "Escape from Camp 12, P.M. 3200, Italy (General's Camp). This camp was extremely well guarded and in consequence it was decided that the only possible method of escape would be by way of a tunnel. n the 18th September, 1942, tunnelling began. All officers and other ranks worked, with the exception of one officer who was awaiting repatriation. The entrance to the tunnel was through a sealed up chapel which all soil was placed. The work, which consisted of a 3 foot by 3 foot tunnel, 40 feet long with a 10 foot shaft at the entrance and a 7 foot shaft at the exit, was completed by the end of February 1943. At 2100 hours on the 29th March, 1943, Brigadiers Miles and Hargest, in company with four other officers, escaped through the tunnel. The four other officers were subsequently recaptured. Brigadiers Miles and Hargest dressed as workmen and having walked to Florence station, caught a train to Milan where they went to the North station. They caught a train to Como and walked towards Chiasso. 2 kilometres from Chiasso they left the main road and proceeded across country until they reached a knoll south of Chiasso where the frontier lay along the opposite slope of a valley below them. The frontier consisted of heavy cyclone netting 12 foot high interlaced with brambles and with small bells near the top. They cut the wire with pliers at ground level without making much noise and came on to Swiss territory at 220 hours on the 30th March, 1943. They gave themselves up to the police at Mendrisio and were released in Berne on the 2nd April, 1943." (London Gazette, 21 September 1944) AWMM
- Military Cross (MC) AWMM
- Silver Jubilee Medal 1935 AWMM
- Coronation Medal 1937 AWMM
- Efficiency Decoration (ED) AWMM
- New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal AWMM
- Cross of Valour (Greece) AWMM
WW2 POW - P.G. 12, Florence, Italy AWMM
North Africa, Africa AWMM
01 Dec 1941-29 March 1943 AWMM
Defence of Tobruk AWMM
- WW2 29 March 1943 AWMM Escaped 29 March 1943 AWMM
- WW2 Escaped to Switzerland; received Bar to the DSO; crossed into France, died in Spain AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
- Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWI AWMM
Wounded at Ploegsteert Wood by sniper fire, April/May 1918 AWMM
- Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
Wounded at Tobruk, 1 December 1941 AWMM
- Suicide, Cause of Death AWMM
Son of William Miles and of Mary Margaret Miles (nee Restell); husband of Aimee, and later Rosaline Georgette Miles
Married his first wife Aimée Zita Donnelly in Egypt on 26 February 1916. They had four daughters and a son. Aimée died in the late 1930s.
After returning to New Zealand in 1918, Miles took charge of the Wellington harbour defences.
Upon his return to NZ, Miles was appointed third military member of the Army Board in 1939.
Appointed Quartermaster General (QMG) in September 1939.
In January 1940, Miles was seconded to 2 NZ Expeditionary Force as Commander Royal Artillery (CRA) of the New Zealand Division with the rank of Brigadier.
Appointed Commander of 2NZEF section in the United Kingdom in May 1940.
Married Rosalind Georgette Bisset-Smith at Westminster, London on 31 May 1940.
Miles' son, Reginald Joseph Braithwaite Miles, was killed on 8-9 June 1940 when the HMS Glorious, on which he was serving as a pilot with the Fleet Air Arm, was sunk in the North Sea.
On 1 December 1941, Miles was involved in the defence of Tobruk, Libya. His unit was overrun and he was wounded and taken prisoner.
Miles escaped from Campo 12 in Florence, Italy in 1943 and made his way to Switzerland and eventually to Spain. His citation for his DSO bar has more details.
Sadly, in a state of depression and exhaustion, Miles committed suicide in Figueras, Spain, on 20 October 1943. According to Haigh and Polaschek (1993) in the DSO book, Miles died on active service in Spain "attempting to reach Gibraltar".
His family spent 20 years collating the medal group and in a special ceremony at Waiouru the medals were donated to the National Army Museum, 13 August 2009. AWMM
Roll of Honour, Officers' Club Auckland, The Northern Club, 19 Princes Street, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
Roll of Honour
Remember Reginald Miles by laying a poppy.
Leave a note
Leave a tribute or memory of
- Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
- New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1914-1919). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Volume I. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
Vol1: 502 AWMM
- Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 1 (Embarkations to 31st March, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
WW2 1: WW2 124 AWMM
- Beattie, P.J. & Pomeroy, M. (2013-2020). Onward : portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (vols 1-5). Auckland, New Zealand: Fair Dinkum Publications AWMM
Vol. 3: Includes portrait AWMM
The development of the Online Cenotaph is an ongoing process; updates, new images and records are added weekly. In some cases, records have yet to be confirmed by Museum staff, and there could be mistakes or omissions in the information provided.