Richard Mildmay Foot was born in Dogmersfield where his father was the Rector. At Westard Ho! public school, he met Kipling and exchanged Christmas cards often thereafter. At Sandhurst he was a term-mate of Haig. He became an officer in the Inniskilling Fusiliers on the last occasion when the British Army fought in red coats (the Inniskillings wore blue), at a battle on the Umvolosi River in the second Zulu war of 1888. (‘Memories of an S.O.E. [S.O.E. = Special Operations Executive] Historian’, by Michael Richard Daniell Foot, Richard’s grandson).

Whitehill House in snow Gen Foot_dem 1963_bk11945_5

Whitehill House

Having fought in the war in South Africa, Richard married Lucy Ann Cooper there in 1902. She was the daughter of Richard Powell Cooper, head of the agri-chemical factory in Berkhamsted. Richard died in 1933 at his home at White Hill near the town, which was demolished in 1963.