Family history: originally minor nobility in the Electorate of Hanover, descended from a line of horse-breeders. Accompanied George I’s court to England in 1714, and served in various minor posts in both the English and Hanoverian governments. Served the Hanoverian government-in-exile during the Napoleonic Wars before returning to Hanover permanently in 1837 with Ernest Augustus when the union of Britain and Hanover came to an end.

Father (1841-)
A Hanoverian diplomat who frequently shuttled between Hanover and London. After Hanover’s annexation in 1866, he was retained as part of the new Prussian delegation due to his contacts and experience, and remained with the embassy when the German Empire was founded in 1871. Served first as an aide, then as an attachĂ©, and finally as a consular agent before retiring to Germany in 1905. Was married twice: first to the daughter of a minor Hanoverian noble (1861-65) who died in childbirth, and later to Anna Gregory.

Anna Gregory
Mother (1861-)
A British woman of Scottish ancestry. Fluent in several languages, she found work as a secretary, interpreter, and governess in London’s diplomatic community. Met Thomas, two decades her senior, at a reception in the German Embassy in 1882; they were married the following year. The family maintained residences in London and Hanover, but gradually increased their time in Germany until moving there permanently in 1905.

Born in London, and split his time growing up between a variety of English and Continental schools before moving permanently to Germany in 1905 and enrolling in gymnasium. Entered the German Army with a lieutenant’s commission just before the start of the First World War.

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