Lord Louis Mountbatten, whose assassination shocked the world in 1979, was a member of the Royal family and second cousin once removed of Queen Elizabeth II. He was the fourth child of Prince Louis of Battenburg and he entered the British Royal Navy in 1913 and served as the British Viceroy in India, where he oversaw the transition of India to independence.
Exploits during World War II
When the war broke out in September 1939, Mountbatten became commander in the British Navy where he commanded the HMS Kelly.
He was soon promoted by Winston Churchill to Combined Operations Command, with effective rank of a navy vice admiral, an army lieutenant general and an air marshal. Mountbatten was in charge of the disastrous Dieppe raid in 1942.
He was then appointed to command British forces in south east Asia to reclaim the British colonies of Burma, Malaya and Singapore from Japan.
He oversaw the capture of Burma and the receipt of the surrender of the Japanese in Singapore.
Following the war, Mountbatten was given the victory titles of Viscount Mountbatten of Burma and Knight of Garter.
Last British Viceroy of India
Lord Mountbatten served as British Viceroy of India from March to August 1947. He was charged with overseeing the transition of British India to independence by the 30 June 1948.
Shortly after arriving in India, where he spoke to the leaders of all Indian parties and with his own officials, Mountbatten decided that the situation was too dangerous to wait even that brief period.
Fearing a forced evacuation of British troops still stationed in India, Lord Mountbatten resolved to opt for partition, rather than risk further political negotiations while civil war raged in the country.
Mahatma Gandhi was the only Indian leader who was opposed to partition and urged Mountbatten to maintain a united India rather than separate into two.
On 15 August 1947, under Mountbatten's guidance, India and Pakistan attained independence.
The partition led to the mass exchange of 14.5 million people between the newly formed countries following partition, as Muslims in the predominantly Hindi India moved to the predominantly Muslim Pakistan and Hindis in the Muslim dominated Pakistan moved to India for safety.
The issue of Jammu/Kashmir would become a lasting thorn in Mountbatten's legacy, one that is not resolved to this day. India and Pakistan are locked in conflict over Kashmir since partition.
Mountbatten's connection to Mullaghmore
Lord Mountbatten regularly holidayed with his family in Classiebawn Castle in Mullaghmore, Co Sligo.
The castle was the property of the family of his wife, Edwina Mountbatten. Mountbatten used to visit the area annually.
Lord Mountbatten and his family were revered by many at Mullaghmore. The locals welcomed the employment that came with his arrival, with many of them working in the castle.
A letter from Mullaghmore residents, which was published by the Sligo Weekender, shows how highly some of the locals in Mullaghmore thought of him.
It read: "Lord Louis Mountbatten was very kind and generous to all of his staff and to the local community in Mullaghmore. The local community thought very highly of him and his family.
"His wife Edwina Mountbatten visited Classiebawn Castle during the Second World War where she thoughtfully visited every house in Mullaghmore and delivered blankets and tea during this period of ration."