Born Derek James Craig in 1939, I was stripped of my identity and renamed Thomas Humphreys in the Foundling Hospital’s last intake of illegitimate children.
After leaving the hospital at 15, I managed to find work in a Fleet Street press agency before being called up for National Service with the 15th/19th The King’s Royal Hussars who were, at that time, engaged with the IRA in Northern Ireland. Following my spell in the Army, I sought out and located my biological parents at age 20. I then became Thomas Humphrey Mackenzie and formed the closest of relationships with my parents for the rest of their lives. All this formed the basis of my book, The Last Foundling (Pan Macmillan), which went on to become an international best seller.
In the years following, I enjoyed a successful career in business and continue in a hands-on roll to this day. I have been a keen skier, scuba diver, tennis player and cyclist, and at one time enjoyed flying my own hang-glider over Dartmoor and the beautiful coastal areas of South West England. As a sports enthusiast and entrepreneur, I opened several health clubs in Scotland and England, as well as the country’s leading ski & snowboard centre, which continues to be a regional attraction to this day. I am currently engaged in a pioneering new artistic venture with my younger son, Grant.
I have a great interest in art, history and anthropology and enjoy penning poetry. On the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, I wrote a poem to commemorate that extraordinary feat of arms and feel greatly honoured that it has found a home in the Battle of Britain Museum. I am also a columnist for local and regional newspapers in South West England and was shortlisted for Columnist of the Year at an EDF Energy awards ceremony.
I have been married four times (two unhappy and two happy, one of which was cut short by bereavement) and have three surviving children.