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British Industrial History

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Ellice Victor Sassoon

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Sir (Ellice) Victor Sassoon (E. V. Sassoon) (1881-1961), 3rd Baronet GBE was a businessman and hotelier from the Sassoon banking family. Early aviator.

1881 December 20th. Born in Naples

1891 Edward E Sassoon 38, merchant, in Hove, with Leonline Sassoon 27, Ellis Sassoon 9, Lydia Sassoon 7, Isabella Sassoon 5, Hector Sassoon 2[1]

1910 Gained his aviator's certificate at Brooklands[2]

Mr. E. V. Sassoon was one of the leading personalities at Brooklands, and notorious for his amazing landings. One of the machines he flew was a Bleriot.

1911. Mr E. V. Sassoon, with Grey, founded The Aeroplane magazine.

Post-WWI: Sassoon walked with the aid of two sticks as the result of injuries in World War I in which he served in the Royal Flying Corps.

1924 He succeeded to the Baronetcy on the death of his father Edward Elias Sassoon in 1924. He had no issue, and the Baronetcy became extinct on his death.

He lived in Shanghai up until the Japanese occupation. The Cathay Hotel, now the Peace Hotel, was confiscated by the PRC after 1949. He was also an avid photographer and held extravagant parties at his hotel. Late in his life, Sassoon converted to Buddhism.

Sassoon was related by marriage to the Mocatta family and he himself was a Sephardic Jew. One of his former employees, Lord Kadoorie, later founded the Hong Kong based-utility company China Light and Power. One of his right-hand men in Shanghai was Gordon Currie who was put into a concentration camp by the Japanese and remained there for several years.

During the 1950s Sassoon lived at his home on Cable Beach in Nassau, The Bahamas.

Late in life he married his American nurse, "Barnsie", who remained in Nassau long after Sassoon's death in the early 1960s. Lady Sassoon continued to provide support for the charity founded by her late husband to help Bahamian children, by hosting the black-tie Heart Ball each year over the Valentine's Day weekend.

A fan of thoroughbred horse racing, he owned a highly successful stable of horses that won numerous prestigious races in the United Kingdom. In 1925 he purchased Woodditton Stud in Cambridgeshire not far from the Newmarket Racecourse. He remamed it Eve Stud Ltd. as he was know to his intimates as 'Eve'- a contraction of his first two names, Ellice Victor. Today, it is owned by Darley Stud Management.

Among his stables' significant performances were wins in the Epsom Derby, Epsom Oaks, 1,000 Guineas, 2,000 Guineas, St. Leger Stakes, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He is quoted to have once said: "There is only one race greater than the Jews, and that is the Derby."

The Sassoon Road in Hong Kong is named in his honour.

1961 August 13th. Died.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1891 census
  2. Roayl Aero Club records