Second Lieutenant Thomas Robert Mills


Thomas Robert Mills was born on 23 May 1893 at Killycreeny, Cootehill, County Cavan, the first of ten children of farm labourer Robert Mills and his wife Jane (nee Campbell). Educated at Tullyvin School, Cootehill, by the time of the 1911 Census he was living at nearby Doocarrick and working as a servant for farmer John Robinson.

Mills enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Cavan on 2 December 1912 (No.764 – later Corps of Hussars No.71097). He embarked for France with A Squadron on 17 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne. He was appointed unpaid lance corporal on 10 December 1915, and the following year, paid lance corporal (30 January), corporal (27 March) and sergeant (19 June).

On 27 February 1918 Mills applied for a commission in the infantry, with a preference for the Royal Irish Fusiliers. He left France for the UK the following month and after a period of time attached to the 15th Reserve Brigade, on 10 May reported for duty at No.7 Officer Cadet Battalion at Fermoy. After a period of training he was assessed as having a good standard of education and military knowledge, and his power of command and leadership "Good ... & should do well." Overall he was a "Fair type. Moderate ability. Should make a good officer."

On 30 October 1918 Mills was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant and posted to the Royal Irish Fusiliers. Sent directly to France, by the time he reached his unit (the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers) the war was over.

Mills was released from service on 29 March 1919. He relinquished his commission on 1 September 1921.