The British steamship Serpho, carrying a cargo of barley, ran into a heavy gale on 24 Nov 1887, and thrown onto her beam ends, she filled and sank. The details of the award to Millar state "Serpho" sinking off the Portuguese Coast on 24 Nov 1887 when Gwalia bore down and launched a boat which did not however get near enough owing to heavy seas which tore out her gunwale and carried away four oars.
"Serpho" then launched her own boat and the shipwrecked men were at last got into the two boats by means of ropes from the bowsprit-end. The "Gwalias" crew were badly bruised in the service. For his service as a member of Gwalias boat crew Millar was awarded the bronze medal and £2.