Born and brought up in South Africa, Hugh grew up on the back of a horse and went on to train and breed racehorses.
He has served in the South African Defence Force completing active duties in Mozambique, Caprivi Strip and South West Africa. He also managed large farming operations in Zimbabwe. Widely travelled he has lived in 6 countries and speaks 4 languages, working for several international companies, along with IBM and United Nations. He has been resident in the South of France for over 20 years and has served on the central committee of the British Association (Menton, Nice, Cannes & Var) linked with the British Consulate for over 15 years, providing help to British residents along the Riviera.
He is a member of the London Society of Authors and Chairman of SAFI, the South African International Association of the Riviera. Hugh is the great-great grandson, nephew and cousin to the last seven squires of Mitford, on the direct mainline of the Mitford family of Mitford, Northumberland since 1042.