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Hugh, Duke Westminster

Full name: Hugh Richard Arthur Grosvenor
Gender: Male
Born: March 19, 1879 in Saighton, Cheshire West and Chester, Great Britain
Died: July 19, 1953 in Lairg, Highland, Great Britain
Title: Duke of Westminister
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Motorboating


Educated at Eton between 1892-97, Hugh, Duke of Westminster went to South Africa in 1899 when he was appointed an Aide-de-Camp to the Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, but he returned to England in December that year on becoming the second Duke of Westminster following his grandfather’s death. However, he soon returned to South Africa to continue with his duties and then serve with the Royal Horse Guards in the Boer War 1900-01. He was mentioned in dispatches and received the G.C.V.O. (Knight Grand Cross, Royal Victorian Order) in 1907

Prior to acceding to the Dukedom he was known as Viscount Belgrave but was known to family and close friends as “Bendor”, named after the 1880 Epsom Derby winner Bend Or, which was owned by his grandfather the first Duke,

The biggest private landlord in Britain, the Duke owned prime property in central London. He also owned a lot of property close to the family seat at Chester, in Scotland and shortly before his death he acquired Annacis Island in the Fraser River, British Columbia. Not surprisingly, the Duke was one of the wealthiest people in Britain at the time.

He was a keen sportsman, and in addition to riding with the hounds, he was an excellent shooter, polo player and a enthusiastic car driver. He was also a keen participant in the new sport of motorboating and at the 1908 Olympics drove his own boat, Wolseley-Siddley which took part in both races in the A-Class competition. But following the abandoned first race due to adverse weather, Grosvenor and his crew, [Winchester Clowes] and [George Atkinson] ran aground near Hamble Bouy on the third lap of the second race as the tide was rescinding, and victory went to [Émile Thubron], an Englishman representing France.

The Duke of Westminster served in World War I with the Royal Naval Air Service Armoured Car Division and following service in France and Egypt he was honoured with the D.S.O. in 1916. He later gained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and Honorary Colonel in the service of the Cheshire Yeomanry and was decorated with the award of the Commander, Legion of Honour in 1934.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire between 1907-20, Hugh Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster, was married four times but did not produce a surviving son and heir. He also had a much publicised affair with fashion designer Coco Chanel in the 1920s and she was a regular visitor to the family home at Lochmore Lodge in Scotland where the Duke died in 1953.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1908 Summer 29 London Motorboating Mixed A-Class (Open) Wolseley-Siddeley-1 GBR AC DNF

Mixed A-Class (Open)

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank
1908 Summer 29 London Motorboating Wolseley-Siddeley-1 GBR Race One AC DNF
1908 Summer 29 London Motorboating Wolseley-Siddeley-1 GBR Race Two AC DNF
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