Evelyn Achille de Rothschild (1886-1917)
Evelyn Achille de Rothschild was born on 6 January 1886, the son of Leopold and Marie Perugia.
During his childhood he spent many long summers in Scotland at the Sassoon family's Speyside lodge where he enjoyed to the full all the sporting activities the area could offer.
He was a close friend of his cousin, Neil Primrose, the son of Hannah Rosebery, whose family also joined the summer parties. Evelyn was an exceptionally fine horseman. He went to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1904, and in 1907 became Joint Master of the Cambridge University Draghounds. He twice represented the University in the Grind and rode the winners of several races in the University Steeplechases.
He entered the family business at New Court in 1907, although he never became a partner. He visited Brazil and Chile, in 1913, in the interests of the firm, and was active in Jewish affairs, serving as Treasurer of the United Synagogue, 1911, and Vice-President in 1917.
The First World War
Evelyn Achille served as a Major in the Bucks Yeomanry, and was mobilized with his Regiment on the outbreak of the War. ln August, 1914, he was promoted Captain and left for Egypt in April, 1915. He was then sent to Gallipoli, where he was temporarily in command of the Regiment, but after three months there was invalided to the base. He remained in Egypt till his death on November 17th, 1917, and was present at both Battles of Gaza. In March, 1917, he became Major. He was wounded in the Yeomanry charge on El Mughar on November 13th, 1917, and died in the Citadel Hospital, Cairo, four days later. His cousin Neil Primrose fell on the same day. The Officer Commanding the Bucks Yeomanry wrote:
"The Regiment was taking part in a mounted charge on the Turkish infantry, who were very strongly posted on some high ground, El Mughair. I attacked with the Regiment in column of squadrons, and Evelyn was with the 2nd Squadron and was to take command of the two leading Squadrons on reaching the objective. We had some two miles of open country to cross, which was fairly swept by machine-gun and rifle fire. It was about half-way across this plain that Evelyn was struck down by a bullet. After all his death was a glorious one, killed when charging at the head of his men of Bucks.”
Writing to his father, Leopold, Evelyn’s Commanding Officer, said:
"And then Evelyn has gone - a friend of fifteen years. Evelyn was a 'very perfect gentle knight; and as Second-in-Command of the Regiment almost ' more royalist than the king.’”