In the late autumn of 1878, Tom Hampden Mills and Betsy Celia Smith married at St Thomas' Church, Stockport. Tom was their first born child (it is not known if they had more) and their only son. It has not been possible to identify the family on the 1901 Census. However, it can be said with certainty that Tom enjoyed a privileged middle class upbringing being educated at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge (where he gained a BA in 1907). By the time of the Great War, the family home was at White Bank House, Brinnington and Tom, senior, was serving the community as a Justice of the Peace.
When War was declared on 4 August 1914, Tom rushed to join enlisting the next day. As with many young men of his background, he was quickly selected to become an officer and his commission dates from that day. He left England, with the Battalion and, presumably, without any training as an officer, on 10 September. An account of the Battalion's early months of service can be found here.
During the War, the Battalion commander, Colonel Worthington, maintained a diary which has recently been published by the Regimental Archives as "Great Gable to Gallipoli". It notes that, on 30 March 1915, " "A" Company recruits fired on miniature range under Lieutenant Mills".
At the end of April, orders were issued for the Battalion to go into action at Gallipoli and, on 1 May, Tom was promoted to Lieutenant (although it would not be until July before official notification appeared in the London Gazette). The next mention of Tom is amongst the list of officer casualties for the attack on 4 June.
On 20 June, family and friends held a memorial service for Tom at St Mary's Church, Stockport and a tablet was dedicated to his memory.