Max Milner was born in Berlin in 1918. He was the second of three children. His father was from Lemberg (Lviv) and mother from Berlin. Max had an orthodox upbringing and attended Jewish schools. In June 1936 he was sent to Aryeh House, a Jewish Boarding school in Brighton, where he matriculated in January 1937. He returned briefly to Berlin and in September 1937 he joined Edinburgh University to study engineering.
The rest of his family emigrated to Palestine. He was interned in May 1940 at Huyton and joined the Pioneer Corps in Oct 1940. In ca1942 he joined the RAOC and then REME as an engineer. He was responsible for maintaining and repairing the new anti-aircraft guns with predictors at Woolwich. He was sent to Belgium in 1944 and was in Germany at the end of the war. He was demobbed in 1946.
Max married Ruby Ockrent from Edinburgh in 1942. He found a job with GEC and they settled in Birmingham.