Thomas Pakenham, 5th Earl of Longford
Born in Dublin, Longford was the eldest son of William Pakenham, 4th Earl of Longford, and his wife the Hon. Selina (née Rice-Trevor), and succeeded in the earldom on his father's death in 1887. He served in the Life Guards, achieving the rank of Colonel, and also held the honorary post of Lord-Lieutenant of County Longford from 1887 to 1915. In 1901 he was made a Knight of the Order of St Patrick. In January 1902 he was seconded for service with the Imperial Yeomanry in South Africa during the Second Boer War, where he was appointed in command of the 29th Battalion with the temporary rank of Lieutenant-colonel.
During the First World War Lord Longford commanded the 2nd South Midland Mounted Brigade of the 2nd Mounted Division, a yeomanry formation, with the rank of Brigadier-General. The Division was initially based in Egypt but was sent dismounted to Suvla on the Gallipoli peninsula as reinforcements during the Battle of Sari Bair. On 21 August 1915 the Division was in reserve for the final attack on Scimitar Hill. When the initial attack by the 29th Division failed, the yeomanry were ordered to advance in the open across a dry salt lake. Raked by shrapnel fire, most of the brigades halted in the shelter of Green Hill but Longford led his brigade in a charge which captured the summit of the hill. As he continued to advance, he was killed. His last words before his death were, reputedly "Don't bother ducking, the men don't like it and it doesn't do any good...."
Longford's body was never recovered as the British made no further advances before the evacuation of Suvla on 20 December. His grave is marked as a special memorial in Green Hill Cemetery at Suvla.
Lord Longford married Lady Mary Julia Child Villiers, daughter of Victor Child Villiers, 7th Earl of Jersey, in 1899. They had two sons and four daughters. He was succeeded in the earldom by his eldest son Edward. His second son Frank later succeeded his elder brother and became a prominent Labour politician. Longford's daughters were Lady Violet Pakenham, a writer and critic and the wife of the noted novelist Anthony Powell, Lady Mary Clive, author of Christmas at the Savages and other novels, Lady Pansy Lamb, novelist, biographer, and wife of the painter Henry Lamb and Lady Julia Mount, mother of Sir Ferdinand Mount. The Countess of Longford died in November 1933, aged 56.
- Kidd, Charles, Williamson, David (editors). Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage (1990 edition). New York: St Martin's Press, 1990,[page needed]
- Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]
- Lundy, Darryl. "FAQ". The Peerage.[unreliable source]
The Earl of Longford
|Lord Lieutenant of Longford
Title next held byThe Earl of Granard
|Peerage of Ireland|
William Lygon Pakenham
|Earl of Longford
Edward Arthur Henry Pakenham