The 8th Earl De La Warr 1869 – 1915

8th Earl 2 largeGilbert George Reginald Sackville. Viscount Cantelupe / 8th Earl De La Warr. Gilbert Sackville was born on the 22nd of March 1869. He was second in line to the earldom but his elder brother died in a sailing accident in 1890 leaving Gilbert as the heir and with the title Viscount Cantelupe. In 1891 Gilbert married Muriel Brassey. It is said that some members of his family were against the marriage as the Brasseys were nouveau riche.

The Earl was a war correspondent during the Boer War and returned in triumph to Bexhill in 1900 after being injured rescuing a wounded soldier. During the First World War he obtained a Royal Naval commission and died of fever at Messina in 1915. Viscount Cantelupe had been managing the Bexhill estate with his father until 1891 when he assumed full control. He and Viscountess Cantelupe lived at the manor house which had been refurbished for them and became the ‘hub’ of ‘society’ in Bexhill. He was divorced for adultery in 1902, remarried in 1903 to Hilda Clavering and was again divorced in 1914. Earl De La Warr was intending to be Bexhill’s first mayor after the town was incorporated in 1902 but withdrew following his divorce. He was mayor in 1903-1904 and again in 1904-1905, Captain of the Bexhill Fire Brigade, Justice of the Peace and an Alderman of East Sussex County Council. The Earl did much to promote his new resort of Bexhill-on-Sea and is famous for initiating the 1902 motorcar races which were the first to be held in this country. The De La Warr estate included most of Cooden where the Earl created the Cooden Beach Golf Club in 1911.

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