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The Honourable Major Thomas David Freeman-Mitford (2 January 1909 – 30 March 1945) was the only son of David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale, all other children being the daughters collectively known as the Mitford Sisters. Tom Mitford was killed in action during World War II.
Mitford was born on 2 January 1910, the only son of David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale. He attended Eton College where he had homosexual relationships, among whom were James Lees-Milne and James Alexander Wedderburn St. Clair-Erskine (later engaged to his sister Nancy).
In the late 1920s, Mitford studied law in Berlin and it was at that time that he displayed a favour for the Nazi Party.
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.
Tom Mitford was killed on 30 March 1945 in Burma, while serving with the Devonshire Regiment. He is buried at Taukkyan War Cemetery. His sister Diana Mitford wrote: "his loss was something from which I never recovered for the rest of my life". His father erected a memorial tablet inside St Mary's Church, Swinbrook, near their ancestral home, Swinbrook House. David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale, Diana Mitford, Nancy Mitford, and Unity Mitford are buried in the churchyard, Pamela Mitford is buried in the northwest of the tower. Another tablet to the memory of Tom Mitford is inside Holy Trinity Church, Horsley, just south of Rochester, Northumberland, near their estate in Northumberland. This hamlet of Horsley should not be confused with the village of Horsley, Northumberland overlooking the Tyne valley, some twenty miles to the south.
In July 1929, Tom 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.
In the summer of 1930, a young Mitford met Sheilah Graham, who would later describe Mitford 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".
In the 1930s, he was a lover of Austrian-born dancer Tilly Losch, while she was married to art patron Edward James.
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