Military Wiki
The Most Honourable
The Marchioness of Cholmondeley
Sybil Sassoon, Countess of Rocksavage by John Singer Sargent, oil on canvas, 1913
Born Sybil Rachel Betty Cecile Sassoon
(1894-01-30)30 January 1894
Died 26 December 1989(1989-12-26) (aged 95)
Nationality British
Religion Judaism
Spouse(s) George Cholmondeley (m. 1913)
Children 3
Parents Edward Sassoon
Aline Caroline de Rothschild

Sybil Rachel Betty Cecile Cholmondeley, Marchioness of Cholmondeley, CBE (born Sybil Rachel Betty Cecile Sassoon; 30 January 1894 – 26 December 1989) was Chief Staff Officer to Director WRNS, WRNS HQ, Admiralty (HMS Pembroke III) from 12 November 1939 until 1946. On 9 February 1945 she was appointed as Supt. of the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) and the following year was made CBE. She belonged to the prominent Sassoon and Rothschild families.


1922 portrait of Cholmondeley by Charles Sims; a preparatory work for the artist's The Countess of Rocksavage and her Son

Sassoon was born in London, to a Jewish family. She was the daughter of Sir Edward Albert Sassoon (1856–1912), 2nd Bt., and Baroness Aline Caroline de Rothschild (1865–1909)

Married on 6 August 1913 to George Cholmondeley, (courtesy) Earl of Rocksavage, later 5th Marquess of Cholmondeley (19 May 1883 – 16 September 1968); they had two sons and one daughter:

  • Lady Aline Caroline Cholmondeley (5 October 1916 – 30 June 2015)
  • George Hugh Cholmondeley, 6th Marquess of Cholmondeley (24 April 1919 – 13 March 1990)
  • Lord John George Cholmondeley (15 November 1920 – October 1986)

The Sybil Sassoon gardens at Houghton were opened to the public in 1996. Lady Sybil's grandson, the current marquess, developed the gardens in honour of his grandmother. In 2008, the garden was named Historic Houses Association and Christie's Garden of the Year.[1] In "the pool garden", the entwined initials "SS" are represented in the outlines of the clipped box-hedge which surrounds plantings of lavender and rosemary.[2] Sassoon died in Cheshire. Through her son George Hugh Cholmondeley, Sybil is the great-grandmother of actor Jack Huston.[citation needed]


Houghton Hall

She was identified by a number of changing titles during the several phases of her life:

  • 1894–1913: Miss Sybil Sassoon
  • 1913–1923: Countess of Rocksavage
  • 1923–1946: The Most Honourable The Marchioness of Cholmondeley
  • 1946–1968: The Most Honourable The Marchioness of Cholmondeley, CBE
  • 1968–1989: The Most Honourable The Dowager Marchioness of Cholmondeley, CBE


  • 1939–1945 Superintendent in Women's Royal Naval Service
  • 1939–1946 Chief Staff Officer in Women's Royal Naval Service
  • 1946 Birthday Honours Commander of Order of the British Empire (CBE)

See also

  • Rothschild family
  • Sassoon family
  • Cholmondeley Award (poetry), established 1966


  1. Caroline, Donald. "The new garden at Houghton Hall, King’s Lynn, Norfolk", The Times (UK); 11 May 2008.
  2. Houghton Hall Gardens webpage; accessed 26 March 2014.


External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).