Tom Mitford

Major Thomas David Freeman-Mitford (2 January 1909 – 30 March 1945) was the only son of the 2nd Baron Redesdale and brother of the Mitford Sisters. Tom Mitford was killed in action during the Second World War.


Tom Mitford
Thomas David Freeman-Mitford.jpg
Personal details
Born
Thomas David Freeman-Mitford

(1909-01-02)2 January 1909
England
Died30 March 1945(1945-03-30) (aged 36)
Sagaing, British Burma
Cause of deathDied of wounds
Resting placeTaukkyan War Cemetery
ParentsThe 2nd Baron Redesdale
Sydney Bowles
RelativesNancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity, Jessica, & Deborah Mitford
EducationEton College
Military service
Allegiance United Kingdom
Branch/serviceDevonshire Regiment
RankMajor[1]
Battles/warsSecond World War

Early lifeEdit

 
The Mitford family in 1928

Mitford was born on 2 January 1909, the only son of David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale. He attended Eton College. He had relationships with several students there, among whom were Jim Lees-Milne and The Hon. Hamish St. Clair-Erskine (later engaged to his sister Nancy).[2][3]

In the late 1920s, Mitford studied law in Berlin and it was at that time that he displayed a favour for the Nazi Party.[2]

Military service and deathEdit

While serving, at first Mitford chose to serve in Italy and North Africa, and then in Burma, since he did not want to fight against Germany.[4]

Mitford was killed on 30 March 1945 in Burma, while serving with the Devonshire Regiment. He is buried at Taukkyan War Cemetery.[1] His sister Diana, Lady Mosley, wrote: "his loss was something from which I never recovered for the rest of my life". His father, Lord Redesdale, erected a memorial tablet inside St Mary's Church, Swinbrook, near their ancestral home, Swinbrook House.[2] The 2nd Baron Redesdale, Lady Mosley, Nancy Mitford, and Unity Mitford are buried in the churchyard, while Pamela Mitford is buried in the northwest of the tower.[5] Another tablet to the memory of Tom Mitford is inside Holy Trinity Church, Horsley, just south of Rochester, Northumberland, near their estate in Northumberland.[6] This hamlet of Horsley should not be confused with the village of Horsley, Northumberland, overlooking the Tyne valley, some twenty miles to the south.

Personal lifeEdit

In July 1929, Mitford took part in the "Bruno Hat" art hoax. He took the role of the imaginary reclusive artist, Bruno Hat; other people involved were Brian Howard, Evelyn Waugh, Bryan Guinness, and John Banting.[7]

In the summer of 1930, Mitford met Sheilah Graham, who would later describe him in her memoirs, Beloved Infidel, as "a youthful edition of his father and, at twenty-one, one of the handsomest men I had ever seen".[8]

In the 1930s, he was a lover of Austrian-born dancer Tilly Losch, while she was married to art patron Edward James.[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "MajorFREEMAN-MITFORD, The Hon. THOMAS DAVID". Retrieved 22 September 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b c Seymour, Miranda (2013). Noble Endeavours: The life of two countries, England and Germany, in many stories. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9781847378262. Retrieved 22 September 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Cooper, Michelle (9 May 2013). "Meet The Mitfords". Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  4. ^ Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford. Alfred A. Knopf. 2006. ISBN 9780375410321. Retrieved 22 September 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Pearson, Lynn F. (2004). Discovering Famous Graves. Shire Publications. p. 93. ASIN 0747806195.
  6. ^ "The Mitford Men". 7 October 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Lovell, Mary S. (2011). The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 111. ISBN 9780393076103. Retrieved 22 September 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Lovell, Mary S. (2011). The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 114. ISBN 9780393076103. Retrieved 22 September 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Lovell, Mary S. (2008). The Mitford Girls: The Biography of an Extraordinary Family. Hachette UK. p. 107. ISBN 9780748109210. Retrieved 22 September 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit