John Haskings Steele Milne was born at Orford Barracks, Warrington in 1894. He was the eldest son of John Steele Milne and Alice Evelyn (nee Haskings).
His father was born at Liverpool in 1851 and had been working as a clerk before he enlisted in the King's Liverpool Regiment at Aldershot on the 12th July 1876, having undergone a medical examination at Liverpool two days earlier. He was posted overseas to India on the 22nd September 1877 and remained in the sub-continent until the 10th February 1891. He earned the Afghanistan Medal & Clasp as well as the Burma Medal & Clasp. On the 15th August 1890 he was awarded a Certificate of Qualification as Sergeant Instructor of Musketry.
At the time of the 1891 census, shortly after arriving back in the UK, John Steele Milne senior was living at 51 Ismay street, Walton with his cousin William Crow and his wife Ann Crow. In 1871 John senior had been living with the Crow family at Toxteth Park.
He married Alice Evelyn Haskings, a native of Ramsgate and twenty years his junior, at St. George's C.of E. Church, Ramsgate, Kent on the 9th April 1892.
Their three eldest sons - John Haskings Steele (b 1894), William Alexander (b 1895) and Evelyn Robert (b 1897) - were born whilst their father was stationed at Warrington.
On the 12th July 1898 John senior obtained his discharge from the army after 22 years and 2 days with the colours and moved with his family to Bootle shortly afterwards where they took up residence at 126 Hawthorne Road.
Their youngest son, Frederick George, was born at Bootle in 1901.
In 1911 John Milne junior, aged sixteen, was an apprentice marine engineer. His father, John Steele Milne senior, was an army pensioner and a clerk at a stone quarry
His service records have survived. They show that John was a pre-War Territorial having joined the 5th battalion King's Liverpool Regiment for a period of four years at Liverpool on the 1st June 1910, aged 17. He was 5ft 5 inches tall at the time with a 35 inch chest. He was an engineer apprentice with Bruce & Hyslop and his address was126 Hawthorne Road, Bootle.
John was appointed Sergeant in 1913 and re-engaged for a further four years on the 27th April 1914.
He was posted overseas with his battalion on the 20th February 1915 and was killed in action on the 17th April 1915.
A report on his death appeared in the Bootle Times on the 23rd April 1915.
Officer's Tribute to a Bedford Road "Old Boy."
   We learn with regret that another local hero in the person of Sergt. John Hiskings Steele Milne, has fallen on the field of battle. Sergt. Milne, who joined the 5th Batt. King's Liverpool Regiment six years ago, was among the first to be mobilised in August last, leaving for the front in February. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Milne, of 126, Hawthorne-road, Bootle. His father formerly held the rank of Colour-Sergeant-Instructor of Musketry in the King's Liverpool Regiment, and saw active service in the Afghan and Burma Wars.
   Sergt. Milne was "a son of the Army," being born whilst his father was stationed at Warrington. The family came to Bootle in 1898, and the deceased had a very successful scholastic career at the Bedford-road Schools, winning a scholarship at the Technical School. Prior to being called up for service, he served his time as an engineer with Messrs. Bruce and Hyslop, Bootle, and was well-known and held in high respect.
   Whilst at the theatre of war, he regularly wrote home to his parents, each letter telling of hardships endured and brave deeds accomplished. How Sergt. Milne met his death is perhaps best described in a letter received from his captain which is as follows:-


Dear Mrs. Milne,-
   It is with grief that I have to tell you of your son's death.
   Sergt. Milne had only just been transferred to my Company, and it was only through knowing his sterling worth as a soldier that I took him, and during the short time he was with me, I formed the opinion that I should not be disappointed. He was a brave man and a good soldier, and what better epitaph could a man wish for more than that? His death was caused by a shell bursting on the side of the trench where he was posted, which blew in some two tons of soil that covered him up to four feet. Three other men were close to him and escaped unhurt. Every effort was made to get him out, but no power on earth could have saved him. He was buried in a soldier's grave, near a ruined church, by a Church of England clergyman. I was present, and the Colonel sent Major Shute to represent him, and so he received the last rites of his Church.
   You have my sincerest sympathy in your sorrow. His is another life given for the Empire in its fight for liberty and justice.
   The sacrifice he had made in giving his life for such a cause will be acceptable to the Great Ruler of the Universe, Who also gave His life for a similar cause. Let this fact comfort you in your sorrow.
   With kindest regards, believe me,
           Yours sincerely,
              HUGO K.S. WOODHOUSE,
                       Capt. O.C. "C" Company.
   The deepest sympathy is extended to Mr. and Mrs. Milne, who have two other sons in the Army, one Alexander, who is in France, and Evelyn Robert, who is at Canterbury.

Bootle Times 23rd April 1915

John's photograph was published in a commemorative booklet issued when the first part of the Bootle Roll of Honour was unveiled in 1916.
His brothers Evelyn Robert Milne and William Alexander Milne also fell.
The family were still living at 126 Hawthorne Road in 1920. Their mother died in 1923 and their father died at 25 Baucher Drive, Orrell in 1938.
Their only surviving son, Frederick George Milne, who became an insurance clerk married Annie Elizabeth Jones in 1920. He and his wife went on to have eight children. Frederick died at Bootle Hospital in1953.