Philip William Herbert Miles, who appears on cricket scorecards under the third of his forenames, was born in Bingham, Nottinghamshire, on 7 January 1848 to the rector of that parish, Robert Miles, and his wife Mary. Even by Victorian standards, theirs was a large family – six sons and four daughters; four of the sons played cricket, as did two of Herbert’s cousins and one uncle. The sixth son, George Francis, known professionally as Frank Miles, was a successful society portrait painter and artist-in-chief to Life magazine.
Of the cricketers, Herbert and his brother Robert and the cousins Audley and Charles Miles all played First-Class cricket, though only Robert had an extended career, appearing in ten matches for Oxford University and 59 for Gloucestershire.
Herbert played just three First-Class games, all for Nottinghamshire. He made his first team debut against Lancashire in 1868, scoring 2 and 23, and the following year was in the XI to meet the MCC at Lord’s, when he made 18 and 17. His final First-Class appearance came several years later, in 1877 and was versus Gloucestershire (His brother was not on the opposing team) in which he was twice bowled by WG Grace, for 5 and 0. He bowled nine (four-ball) overs in this match and took 1-11, bowling Billy Midwinter for 19; his only other First-Class bowling was five wicketless overs against the MCC.
Miles was educated at Marlborough College where he was in the XI in 1865, being then described as a ‘fine hitter and promising medium-pace bowler with a curl to leg and a good deal of slip work”. In addition to his trio of games for Notts, he played for his home village club – for which he hit 132 v Radcliffe in 1868 – and for the Gentlemen of Nottinghamshire.
He was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1869, which may explain the long gap between his second and third First-Class outings, and appeared for them on the cricket field regularly from 1872 to 1881. In the annual Royal Artillery v Royal Engineers match of 1873, he scored 126; his last recorded game was in this fixture of 1881 when he did rather less well, making just 11 runs.
Major Philip William Herbert Miles died in Bude, Cornwall on 4 December 1933.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 121