Michael Thomas Henderson

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Major Michael Thomas "Mike" Henderson
Life dates
02 Jan 1906 - 19 Nov 1953
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Son of Lt.-Col. Hon. Harold Greenwood Henderson (MP) and Lady Violet Charlotte Dalzell. The family seat is at Buscot Park, near Faringdon, Oxfordshire.

Unit or location Role Posted from until
Coleshill House, GHQ Coleshill Staff 1940 1942

Harrow School

Royal Military College, Sandhurst

National ID
DERC 241/16
Military number

Managing Director of distillery Segar Evans & Co Ltd


Sept 1925 2nd Lieutenant  [33704]

3 Sept 1927 Promoted Lieutenant

1 Dec 1933 To be Adjutant 16/5th Lancers

24 Jun 1934 Promoted Captain

29 Sep 1936 Retired

1940 - Feb 1942 Soon after outbreak of Second World War was appointed General Staff Officer at General Headquarters, Home Force Staff dealing with Home Guard in their role of "Invasion of Britain" threat. During this time he enjoyed taking friends to the Depot and showing them the large mass of weapons which had been collected as a result of the Prime Minister's order to fight to the last ditch with any available weapon.

Colonel Gubbins sent Major the Honourable Michael T Henderson to scout around the country for a suitable HQ after the Luftwaffe blitzed the cramped offices in Whitehall Place, Westminster.

Henderson soon discovered that Coleshill, the country estate adjacent to that of his brother, was qualified in all respects (as a potential HQ). Coleshill's owner was the Earl of Radnor, but only the Earl's two Pleydell-Bouverie sisters and their dogs lived there. Leaving in 1942 he was presented with a tankard. Two tankards exist which would originally have been the same with the same engraving. One stayed at Coleshill and was used by Malcolm Hancock. It is unknown why he was presented with two.

Post Feb 1942 Later promoted Lieutenant Colonel and appointed General Staff Officer at Director of Military Training, War Office, dealing with Combined Operations to retirement 1945.

1 Jan 1949 Promoted W.S Major from W.S Captain.

Other information

He married his first wife Oonagh Evelyn Brassey on 14th Jan 1929. In 1935 they were living at The Dower House, Escrick, York. They divorced 1948. Michael’s second wife was the singer Esther Isabelle Coleman, they married in 1948 when they were living at 20 Queen Anns Gate, London Westminster SW1.

In 1940 he leant a house at Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire to Bill Beyts and his wife for their honeymoon.

He died at 48 Albert Court, South Kensington and is buried at St Mary's Church, Buscot, Berkshire.

Other pictures
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Caption & credit
Henderson portrait 1926 (from V&A)
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Henderson 1926 (from V&A)
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Henderson tankard 1942 (from the Hancock Family)
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Henderson Tankard (from Clive Bassett)