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The 5th Earl of Longford.

Thomas Pakenham, 5th Earl of Longford KP, MVO (19 October 1864–21 August 1915), known as Lord Silchester until 1887, was an Irish peer and soldier.

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.

During the First World War Lord Longford commanded the 2nd (South Midland) Brigade of the British 2nd Mounted Division, a yeomanry, 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.

Family

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 daughter, Lady Violet Pakenham, was a writer and critic and the wife of the noted novelist Anthony Powell. The Countess of Longford died in November 1933, aged 56.

References

Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Longford
Lord Lieutenant of Longford
1887–1915
Vacant
Title next held by
The Earl of Granard
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
William Lygon Pakenham
Earl of Longford
1887–1915
Succeeded by
Edward Arthur Henry Pakenham
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