Mills, Hugh Basil Edward

He was the eldest son of the Reverend Canon William Riches Mills BA, Headmaster of Highfield School, Liphook, Hampshire. His mother, Margaret Campbell Mills, was the daughter of Colonel Henry Sparke Stabb. His younger brothers also came to the school: Peter Cecil Mander Mills (F 1932-1937) and their half-brother (by their father’s second marriage) John William George Mills (F 1936-1937).   John Mills died at home on July 8th 1937 after a term’s absence, and was commemorated by a tablet in Cloisters and a carpentry prize.

He came to Southgate House from his father’s school at Liphook, and played a notable part in the life of his house and the school. He was a Commoner Prefect, and gave outstanding service to his house as Senior Prefect and was keenly interested in literature and history.  At school and at Oxford, and later in the army, he did much literary work. He went on to New College, Oxford in 1935 to read PPE and took his degree in 1938. On leaving Oxford, he taught at Malvern College.

In 1940 he was commissioned into the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, his maternal grandfather’s regiment. Drafted to Kenya, he was attached to the King’s African Rifles, but twice succumbed to rheumatic fever.    He did good work, however, as ADC to Sir William Platt, commander-in-chief in East Africa, in 1942, and acted as Brigade Major and GSO3 at HQ East Africa in 1943.   However, he longed to return to active service. One of his last letters spoke of his desire to get “right, right forward.”   In 1944, after his transfer to Ceylon, India and then Burma as Brigade Intelligence Officer with 26 (East African) Brigade, his wish was granted.

Mills fell in action, at the age of twenty-eight, at Bram Hill in Burma on October 27th 1944.    He is buried in grave 6.K.11, Imphal War Cemetery. A memorial service for him was held in the chapel of Highfield School at 1530 on Saturday November 18th 1944.


War: World War 2

  • Surname: Mills
  • Forenames or initials: Hugh Basil Edward
  • House: F
  • Years in School: 1929-1935
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
  • Date of Birth: 21st May 1916
  • Date of Death: 27th October 1944
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner G1
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Imphal War Cemetery: Grave 6.K.11