Lillingston, Luke Theodore

He was the only son of Captain William George Lillingston, late Royal Irish Rifles, and Olive Theodora Lillingston (daughter of Edmund T. Doxat). His grandfather had taken the extra name of Johnson on succeeding to the Johnson estates at Ulverscroft, Leicestershire; this name his father dropped.

He entered Mr. A.E. Wilson’s House (Kingsgate House) from Mr. Ernest Smith’s school in September 1920. Here he showed great promise as a runner, having both speed and determination. However, he left young to prepare for RMC Sandhurst, which he entered in 1925, being commissioned into the Scots Guards in 1927.

On his father’s death he left the Scots Guards and devoted himself to country life, living at Mount Coote, County Limerick. In particular he distinguished himself as a fine rider to hounds. In 1933, after a year as Master of the Meath Hounds, he became Master of the North Atherstone, a post which he still held at the outbreak of war.

On July 14th 1934 he married Susan Margaret Trelawney, the widow of the 10th Earl of Harrington and daughter of Major H.H.D. Seaton.

He served as a Captain in the Leicestershire Yeomanry Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery, which formed part of the Guards Armoured Division, during the war, equipped with self-propelled Sexton 25 pounder guns.

He was killed in action during some of the bitterest fighting the Guards Armoured Division had to face, by a direct 88 mm hit on his Sherman tank’s turrent, near Le Desert in the Basse-Normandie region of France, on 13th August 1944.    The War Diary simply states:   “August 13th 1944, area of Le Desert : Captain L.T. Lillingston killed while supporting 1 Grenadier Guards as 130 Battery OP.”     His death is also mentioned in “Armoured Guardsmen” by Robert Boscawen (Pen & Sword 2001):   “August 12th-17th 1944: Michael Fox from ‘A’ Echelon nearby came several times a day and cheered us up, though he had just lost a great friend of his, Luke Lillingston, in the Leicester Yeomanry, who was Bill Harrington’s step-father.  (“Armoured Guardsmen”, Robert Boscawen).

He lies in grave IX.G.12 of the St Charles de Percy War Cemetery.


War: World War 2

  • Surname: Lillingston
  • Forenames or initials: Luke Theodore
  • House: K
  • Years in School: 1920-1923
  • Rank: Captain
  • Regiment: Leicestershire Yeomanry, Royal Artillery
  • Date of Birth: 27th August 1907
  • Date of Death: 13th August 1944
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner E1
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: St Charles de Percy War Cemetery: Grave IX.G.12