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Sir William Mills

Crest: Issuant from the battlements of a tower a dexter hand grasping and in the act of throwing a Mills hand grenade all Proper.
Arms: Azure, a millrind in pale Or, a chief Argent, three Mills bombs Proper
Motto: Fortissima Veritas

SOURCE, NOTES and CREDITS: Achievement blazon: p. 1358, “Armorial Families”, Vol. II, 7th Ed. A. C. Fox-Davies, Hurst & Blacket, Ltd., London, 1930. Illustration for background from the Internet. Text based on Wikipedia article, Armorial Families entry and lecture by D. V. White, Somerset Herald from the English College of Arms in London adapted by D.Q. Wedvick.

Sir William Mills, Knt.-Bach. B. 24 Apr. 1856, d. 1932, apprenticed as a marine engineer. He subsequently invented in 1886 a safe mechanism for lifting and lowering lifeboats which quickly came into world wide use on both naval and merchant vessels. He then founded the first aluminum foundry in the UK and went on to manufacture golf clubs and castings for the automotive and aircraft industries.

Becoming aware of the grenade's danger to throwers in 1914, he designed and tested a safe (to the thrower at least ) hand grenade known as the Mills Bomb which had a spring loaded firing pin with a spring loaded lever handle locked by a pin, with a four second fuse. He opened the Mills Munitions Factory in Birmingham, England in early 1915 and proceeded to manufacture some 75,000,000 grenades for the use of the British and her Allies during WW1 to the discomfiture of the Germans and its Central Powers partners.

He received arms from the English College of Arms and was rewarded with a Knighthood in 1922. We were made aware of Sir William and his Mills grenade at a lecture given by David V. White, Somerset Herald at the English College of Arms in London whilst he was visiting in New York City. dqw 2015 0708

The artwork is a rendering by John Hamilton Gaylor
Bayard_2729.jpg Longford.jpg MillsAchievement.jpg Beil3.jpg CPR_Semi_Heraldry_002a.jpg
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