Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Eleanor, Edie, Baby Alexander, and Sir George Dalhousie Ramsay

Another outpost heard from while I vacationed was the Isle of Man, where friend of this website David Wingate was on holiday with his fiancée. I'd been pestering him for a while about forwarding me an image he has of Edith Mills, mother of George Mills. Here's an excerpt from David's latest e-mail:

Hi Sam,

Attached is the picture of Edith as a young girl… Pictures of St. Michael's, Bude; St. Olaf's, Ploughill; and St. Andrew's, Stratton will be on their way to you on Monday.

Have a nice weekend,



You see the long-awaited image above, at the left. It features a photograph of "Edie," her father, Sir George Dalhousie Ramsay, his wife, Eleanor Juliat Charteris Crawford, and Edie's brother, Alexander Panmure Oswald Ramsay, who died on 15 February 1897 at the age of 30.

"Edie" was born Elizabeth Edith Ramsay on 27 July 1865 in Kensington, London. She married Reverend Barton R. V. Mills at St. George's Hanover Square in Kensington on 10 January 1894. Their first child, Agnes Edith Mills, was born in Stratton, Cornwall, on 11 June 1895.

Their second child and first son, George Ramsay Acland Mills, was born on 1 October 1896, also in Cornwall where Rev. Mills was vicar of Bude Haven.

After the family moved to London in 1901, Violet Eleanor Mills was born on 17 November 1902.

Reverend Barton passed away suddenly on 21 January 1932 in London. "Edie" lived at Cadogen Gardens in Kensington afterwards with her daughters Agnes and Violet, and possibly her son, George, at times.

"Edie" Mills passed away in nearby Chelsea, probably at the Royal Hospital, during the last few months of 1945 [Oct/Nov/Dec] at the age of 80.

Knowing as we do that George Mills suffered through the deaths of his wife, Vera, in 1942, and a young friend who was important to George's career as an author, Terence Hadow, in the Burmese campaign in 1943, his mother's passing near the end of the war in 1945 certainly made it a difficult three years for Mills, already, as we know, in failing health—he relinquished a commission as a lieutenant in the Royal Army Pay Corps due to "ill-health" in late 1943.

Thank you, David, for this wonderful portrait of Edith Mills with the family of her youth. I'll look forward to receiving those images from Cornwall via snail mail!

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