Sunday, March 28, 2010


A wedding announcement from the London Times, Friday, 24 April, 1925 reads [with key attendees and locales bearing my own emphasis]:


The marriage took place yesterday at Holy Trinity Church, Brompton, of Mr. George Acland Ramsay Mills, son of Rev. Barton and Mrs. Mills, 38, Onslow-gardens, S.W., and Miss Vera Louise Beauclerk, daughter of the late Mr. William Nelthorpe Beauclerk, of Little Grimsby Hall, Louth, Lincolnshire, and Mrs. Nelthorpe Beauclerk, 4, Hans-mansion, S.W. The officiating clergy were the Rev. Barton Mills (father of the bridegroom), the Rev. Walter Farnsworth, vicar of Little Grimsby, the Reverend Watkin Williams, and Rev. H. S. Sard.

The bride wore a cream gown embroidered in gold, and a gold and cream brocade train. She carried a bouquet of cream roses. the train was borne by Master Rafael Beauclerk and Master Robert Hart (cousins of the bride), who were dressed in black velvet suits with yellow shirts, and the bride was also attended by three child-bridesmaids, the Misses Diana and Hermione de Vere Beauclerk (nieces) and Miss Isyllt Llewellyn, and two grown-up bridesmaids, Miss Violet Mills (sister of the bridegroom) and Suzanne Flemming, whose frocks were of yellow georgette.

A reception was afterwards held at the Hans-crescent Hotel, and the bride and bridegroom later left for the honeymoon, which will be spent in Devonshire. Mrs. Mills wore a nigger-brown crêpe de Chine frock, embroidered in gold, with a hat to match.

Among those present were :—

Mrs. Barton Mills, Miss Othlie Mills, Miss Verity Mills, Colonel and Mrs. Dudley Mills, Mrs. Nelthorpe Beauclerk and Miss Beauclerk, Hester Lady Hart, Lady Hart, Mrs. Topham Beauclerk, and the Masters Beauclerk, Miss Agnes Mills, the Japanese Ambassador and Mme. Okamato, Don Carlos Dominguez and Mdlle. Dominguez, M. and Mme. de Lembeke, Mrs. R. de Lembeke, Mr. and Lady Isabel Margesson, the Hon. Mrs. Walter Paton, the Hon. Sophia Trollope, Mr. and the Hon. Mrs. Llewellyn, the Hon. Montagu and Mrs. Forbes, Theodosia Lady Hughes and Miss Winifred Hughes, Sir Claude and Lady Mallet, Lady Arnold, Sir William and Lady Adair, Lady Thompson, Sir John and Lady Jordan, Lady Atterbury, Sir Henry and Lady Burke and Master Burke, Lady Pontifex, Lady Addis and Miss Addis, Lady O'Conor, Lady Trollope, Mr. Benson Kennedy, Mr., Mrs., and Miss Wardrop, Colonel F. Gore, Mrs. Daniell, Mrs. Rolls, Mr. William Stone, Mr. Richard Pryce, the Misses Bryant, Ms. Sinclair, Mrs. Lacy Rogers, Miss Ethel Rogers, Mr. and Mrs. Erskine Barrett, Mrs. Alfred Porter, Mr. Gerald E. Maude, Mrs. Hayes Dashwood, Mrs. Eden, Mrs. Rochford, Miss Hughes, Mrs. Lane, Miss Jane Lane, Mrs. Fleming, Mr. and Mrs. Cory, Mrs. Baxter, Mr. and Mrs. Blois, Mr. Jenning, Captain Russell, Mrs. Dudley Morrison, Miss Henrietta Gladwell, Mr and Mrs. Seddon, Mrs. Philip Du Cros, Mrs. Arnold Ellert, Miss Irene Hart, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Legge, Mrs. Cecil Fleurscheim, Captain and Mrs. Stanley Musgrave, Miss McConnell, Mrs. Leigh Taylor, Mrs. Douglas Ramsay and Master Ramsay, Mrs. Lugard, Mrs. de Vere Evans, Mrs. Ash, Mrs. Duncan Payne, Mrs. Wingate, Mrs. Ronald Wingate, Miss Plowse, Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Norman Lamplugh, the Misses Sanders, the Misses Chance, Major and Mrs. Brodie and Master Michael and Master Alexander Brodie, Mrs. Fardell, Mrs. and Miss Lindsay Watson, Miss Garford, Miss Wyndham Murray, Miss Ricardo, Mr. Derrick Clayton, Mr. Clive Bayley, Mr. and Mrs. Hubert Ansell, Miss Bower, Mr. Watkin Williams, Mrs. Watkin Williams, Mrs. Greenfield, Miss Acland, Miss Griffith, Mrs. Montague(?) Napier, Mrs. Bowra, Mr. and Mrs. A. Hughes, Mrs. Wintringham, Captain and Mrs. Gerald Greig, Miss Sparks, Mr. M. Acheson, Mrs. Leigh-Pemberton, Mme. Challe, Major R. B. Denny, Mr. R. W. S. Seton, Mr. and Mrs. Boyd Bredon, Mr. Eric Sachs, Mrs. Spencer Beaumont, Mrs. and Miss Farnsworth, Miss Standen, Mrs. Cavendish, Mr. and Mrs. Stirling, Mrs. Arthur Mcdonald, Miss Jean Anderson, Mrs. and Miss Vandeleur, Colonel and Mrs. Mortimer, Mr., Mrs., and Miss Seton, Mr. and Mrs. Flannery, Mrs. Griffith, Mrs. C. F. Hughes, Mrs. George Cooper, Miss McEwan, Mrs. Hazlett, Mrs. Darrioch, Mrs. George Lyster, Mr. and Mrs. Godfrey Pharazyn, Miss Ruth Pharazyn, Mrs. Peet, Mr. Mackellar, Colonel Jocelyn, Mrs. Heaton Armstrong, and Mrs. Langley.

It seems quite an international affair, although I'm unfamiliar with most of the names on the guest list. If any of them ring a bell with any readers, I do hope you'll let me know. Notably absent is the older step-brother of George, author Arthur Frederick Hobart Mills of London, born 12 July, 1887 and then 37 years of age. That same year, writing under the name Arthur Hobart Mills [He also wrote for American magazines as Arthur Mills], he published his book The Gold Cat [Hutchinson & Co., London; 1925]. By 1926, it was in its third edition. He was the author of dozens of books found in the British Library, mostly adventure fiction, as well as some memoirs of the First World War that he'd written under the pseudonym "Platoon Cammander" [right]. (The website Great War Dust Jackets charcaterizes the writings of the elder Mills brother as "now long forgotten", much like the published work of George Mills.) A. F. H. Mills is described as "a handsome and well connected man but with little money [in 1916]". One wonders exactly how as yet unpublished—and seemingly by comparison quite unaccomplished— younger step-brother George would have been described at the time of his own wedding in 1925, and if the half brothers got along.

Arthur F. H. Mills was the son of Revd Barton R. V. Mills and the late Lady Catherine Valentia Mary Hobart-Hampden, who took the rank of Earl's daughter at the wedding. Lady Catherine passed away in 1889, and Revd Mills remarried, taking Elizabeth Edith Ramsay, daughter of military man Sir George Dalhousie Ramsay, C.B., as his wife on 10 January, 1894. [George Ramsay Acland Mills was born to them on 1 October, 1896.]

The eccentric Lady Dorothy Rachel Melissa Walpole Mills, a cousin as well as then-wife of Arthur Hobart Mills, was also not in attendance. Lady Dorothy was a half-American who was also a journalist, writer, and well-known world traveler/explorer. In 1925, she had only just returned from becoming the first white woman to reach Timbuktu and had recently published The Arms of the Sun and The Dark Gods [Duckworth & Co., London, 1924 and 1925, respectively]. She likely did not attend the Mills/Beauclerk nuptials as she was undoubtedly traveling [as seen, left], at least some of 1925 in Palestine, and readying herself to publish four books in the next two years: A science-fiction novel, Phœnix, [Hutchinson & Co.: London], and travel books Beyond the Bosphorous and Through Liberia [Duckworth & Co., London] in 1926 and Episodes from the Road to Timbuktu [G. G. Harrap and Co., London] in 1927. She's the author of twenty-some books in the British Library, scattered here, here, and here.

It's conceivable Lady Dorothy was a bit busy in 1925! Incidentally, she is also the subject of a search for information similar to my own being conducted by American James Wallace Harris, who describes Lady Dorothy as "a forgotten writer whose books are about to disappear."

Anyway, it appears that George Mills and Vera Beauclerk boarded their own ship called Matrimony with much ado made of it, even without the reigning heavyweight authors of the family in attendance.

Easter that year was on 12 April, 1925. According to Windlesham, Mills "taught 4 terms at Windlesham House School from Lent 1925 until Easter 1926".

So Mills almost certainly would have been teaching at Windlesham at the time of wedding. As noted previously: "In April George Mills married Miss Vera Beauclerc; they bought a house on Benfield Way, Portslade. [below, right]"

The word "they" would imply that the purchase was made after the wedding, the then-28-year-old Mills opting to settle down near the school in Portslade with his 31-year-old bride.

The association of Mills and Vera lasted until her passing on 5 January, 1942, just months short of what would have been their 17th wedding anniversary.

The association of Mills and Windlesham was far shorter in duration. The list of wedding guests above simply does not appear to be any sort of compendium of British citizens likely to have been wildly sympathetic with the General Strike of 1926. That doesn't mean, however, Mills didn't walk with the million or so labourers who supported the coal miners during the strike's dates of 3 May, 1926, and 13 May, 1926.

According to and its reference, the 1988 book Two Georges: The Making of the Modern Monarchy by David Sinclair, the Trade Union Congress "feared that an all-out general strike would bring revolutionary elements to the fore. They decided to bring out workers only in the key industries, such as railwaymen, transport workers, printers, dockers and ironworkers and steelworkers."

Mills just seems a terribly unlikely candidate to have been swept up in any fervency [left] on behalf of the coal miners, despite having possibly fought alongside some youngsters whose destiny would soon be found within those mines after the armistice. I find it incredibly difficult to believe, at least from my desk here in 2010, that a "junior appointment" and freshly minted bridegroom and homeowner would've risked his new found position at Windlesham, a situation he apparently loved dearly.

Still, a truly trusted authority on Windlesham, Dr. Houston, has speculated, "[Mills] could, like a handful of other prep school masters, have been excited by the General Strike (that term)."

Stranger things have happened, and "wildcat" involvement in a strike—even though Mills was no longer very much a youngster, being almost 30 years of age by May, 1926—would, indeed, go a long way in explaining his then bouncing from Eastbourne to Windermere, on to Glion, and back to Eaton Gate in London as a preparatory school master over the next decade, instead of having stayed settled at Windlesham.

Was Mills so active politically that it may have had a negative impact on his career at the time? As always, any thoughts, ideas, or information on the subject would be greatly appreciated!

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