Harold Miller O.B.E. (1909-1995)

Miller bookHarold Miller lived in Barrow Hill from 1914 to 1921. In his book, “Growing up with Primitive Methodism,” he wrote that, “It was from Barrow Hill that I obtained a scholarship at the age of eleven to go to the Grammar School at Staveley; and it was this school which shared my earliest educational development with the Primitive Methodist Chapel and my home, attached to the Co-operative store, where my father was employed.”

His earliest memories of home life “are at Barrow Hill. We lived for some nine years in the house attached to the shop. It was in this village that I started school at the age of three, in a building still a live and vigorous infant school.”

Co-op Ida wm

In 1928, Miller won an Open Scholarship to St. John’s College, Cambridge, from Netherthorpe Grammar School, and there took a first class degree in Physics. He was a research student at the Cavendish Laboratory, the foremost centre of atomic physics. He worked in the Research Department of EMI doing fundamental research in a team which established the first successful system for commercial television.

As a committed pacifist he refused military service during WWII, and instead undertook hospital work, being appointed in 1942 Medical Physicist to the Sheffield National Centre for Radiotherapy, where he was involved in the development of medical radiophysics in clinical work, later becoming Chief Physicist of what became an independent Regional Department of Medical Physics. He became President of the Hospital Physicists Association, President of the British Institute of Radiology, and in 1972 Professor Associate of Medical Physics at the University of Sheffield, which awarded him an Honorary D.Sc Degree in 1980.

In the post-war world Harold Miller took a keen interest in the development of medical services in the Third World, also playing a part in the Pugwash group of scientists who endeavoured to direct the use of atomic energy to peaceful objectives. As a Consultant to the International Atomic Energy Agency he spent two extended periods in Ghana and visited Afghanistan, Thailand and India after his retirement. Both of these agencies have since been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

In recognition of his work he was awarded an OBE in 1972. On retirement in 1975 he left in being a large and comprehensive service department and a developing academic department in the Royal Hallamshire Hospital; following retirement he played a major role in the setting up of a Day Care Unit at Weston Park Hospital. Source

Ann Lucas 2015