Captain Frederick Courteney Selous DSO

"Jimmy" de Rothschild was the son of Edmond James de Rothschild of the French branch of family. He was born on 1st Dec 1878 and educated at Lycee Louis-le-Grand in Paris, and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He served in World War I, firstly as a private in the French Army, and ended the war in the British Army, serving in Palestine as a Major in the 39th (Jewish) Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers (the "Jewish Legion"). He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

He was a keen follower of the turf and a racehorse owner. His 33-1 runner "Bomba" won the Ascot Gold Cup in 1909. He married Dorothy Mathilde Pinto at the age of 35 in 1913. She was 17 years old. He became a naturalised Briton in 1919, and in 1922 he inherited from Alice de Rothschild the Waddesdon Manor estate of his great-uncle Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild.

Described by the Journal of Liberal History as "one of the Liberal Party's most colourful MPs", Rothschild served as Liberal Member of Parliament for the Isle of Ely constituency from 1929 to 1945. During World War II he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply in the Coalition Government 1940-1945. He was also Deputy Lieutenant for the County of London and a Justice of the Peace in Buckinghamshire.

Rothschild continued to support his father's Zionist causes, and donated six million Israeli Pounds towards the construction of the Knesset building in Jerusalem.

When he died on 7th May 1957, he bequeathed Waddesdon Manor to the National Trust. His widow Dorothy de Rothschild inherited the surrounding estate, and maintained a strong interest in the house and collections until her death in 1988. The photo is of him after his horse won the Ascot Gold Cup in 1909.

Regimental Details | Soldiers

Armed Forces | Art and Culture | Articles | Biographies | Colonies | Discussion | Glossary | Home | Library | Links | Map Room | Sources and Media | Science and Technology | Search | Student Zone | Timelines | TV & Film | Wargames

by Stephen Luscombe