Helenus Milmo

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Helenus Milmo
BornHelenus Padraic Seosamh Milmo
(1908-08-24)24 August 1908
County Limerick, United Kingdom
Died30 August 1988(1988-08-30) (aged 80)
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
Spouse(s)Joan Frances Morley (9 March 1907 – June 1978), Mrs. Anne Brand (1998)
RelativesDaniel Milmo (father)
Kathleen (née White) Milmo (mother)
Chuka Umunna (grandson)

Sir Helenus Milmo, QC[1] (born Helenus Padraic Seosamh Milmo; 24 August 1908 – 30 August 1988)[2] was a British lawyer and High Court judge. His career was notable for his role in the prosecution team at the Nuremberg trials.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

He was born in County Limerick, Ireland on 24 August 1908, the third son of Daniel and Kathleen (née White) Milmo, but spent his early years in Furbogh, Galway Gaeltacht. Milmo attended St. Gerard's School, Downside School and Trinity College, Cambridge; he was called to the Bar and was later appointed QC in 1961.[citation needed]


During World War II, Milmo was a member of MI5.[5] Having previously worked under Kim Philby, Milmo was selected to investigate Philby in 1951, when Philby's treason became increasingly obvious. Milmo failed to elicit definitive answers[5] and concluded "that Philby is and has been for many years a Soviet agent. But the case remained unproven."[6] Milmo's peers were not entirely forgiving. "Some felt", wrote Peter Carter-Ruck when Milmo died in 1988, "that he was perhaps too much of a gentleman for that daunting task."[5]

Milmo was appointed to the High Court in 1964.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Milmo married Joan Frances Morley (9 March 1907 – June 1978), the second daughter of Francis Morley of Sloan Court, London, in 1933. The couple had five children:

  • Deirdre (born 1934)
  • Patrick, QC (born 1938), a barrister
  • Verity (born 1941)
  • Shaun (born 1943), a journalist
  • Patricia (born 1949/1950), a solicitor; she married Bennett Umunna in 1976

Two grandchildren, Cahal and Daniel Milmo, are also journalists, while another, Chuka Umunna, is a Labour Member of Parliament.[8]

Joan Milmo died in 1978, aged 71, from undisclosed causes. His second marriage,in 1980, was to Mrs Anne Brand the widow of Francis Bernard Brand. Mrs Brand was born Anne Gilmore O'Connell, the daughter of Maurice William O'Connell. Anne, Lady Milmo (born 27 May 1907 – died 28 November 2003) died at age 96.[9] Sir Helenus Milmo died in 1988 in Chichester, West Sussex, six days after his 80th birthday.[10] He was a distant nephew of Don Patricio Milmo O'Dowd (né Patrick Milmo; 1826–1899), born in Collooney, County Sligo, who emigrated to Mexico and became a successful businessman and banker.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Name anglicized on death registration, familysearch.org; accessed 30 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes, 1845–1958" index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FBPQ-R6B; accessed 12 March 2014), BIRTHS entry for Helenus Padraic Seosamh Milmo; citing Limerick, July–September 1908, vol. 5, p. 334, General Registry, Custom House, Dublin; FHL microfilm 101072.
  3. ^ The tragic past haunting Chuka Umunna (his grandson)
  4. ^ How my grandfather duelled with Cambridge spy Kim Philby by Cahal Milmo
  5. ^ a b c "Nobody is talking" The Guardian, 18 February 2005
  6. ^ "How MI5 spent 18 years hunting the spy it had already caught", The Times, 6 October 2009.
  7. ^ Image of Milmo's 1964 swearing in, gettyimages.com; accessed 8 May 2015.
  8. ^ "The British Obama? No, Labour high-flyer Chuka's the black Blair". Daily Mail. 30 September 2012.
  9. ^ Notice of death of Anne, Lady Milmo, groups.google.com; accessed 30 November 2014.
  10. ^ "Sir Helenus Padraic Seosamh Milmo, QC (1908-1988) - Genealogy". Geni.com. Retrieved 5 May 2017.

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