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Sibyl Sasson, Countess of Rocksavage

Sybil Sassoon, Countess of Rocksavage, oil on canvas, 1913

Sybil Rachel Betty Cecile Sassoon, Marchioness of Cholmondeley, CBE (30 January 1894, London – 26 December 1989, Cheshire) 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.


Houghton Hall 20080720-2

Houghton Hall

Married on 6 August 1913 to George Cholmondeley, 5th Marquess of Cholmondeley (19 May 1883 – 16 September 1968);[1] they had two sons and one daughter:

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.[2] In the area called "the pool garden", the entwined initials "SS" are represented in the outlines of the clipped box-hedge which surrounds plantings of lavender and rosemary.[3]


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

  • 1894–1913 Miss Sybil Sassoon
  • 1913–1923 Sybil Cholmondeley, Countess of Rocksavage
  • 1923–1968 Sybil Cholmondeley, Marchioness of Cholmondeley
  • 1968–1989 Sybil Cholmondeley, Dowager Marchioness of Cholmondeley

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