David Vincent Hassett, 1896-1941

Interact with the Anglo-Indian Project

Facebook | Google+ | Paper.liTwitter | YouTube

David Vincent Hassett was one of the first official records found in the early stages of the Anglo Indian Project. David was the father of Elaine Cynthia Hassett and Leonard Havelock Hassett, and the husband of Edith Aileen Wharton. This post focuses on the records and information gathered on David, so far.


David Vincent Hassett was born on 23 September 1896, to James and Martha Hassett:

David Vincent Hassett_Bap_c

David’s baptism record reveals:

  1. Baptism date: 27 March 1912
  2. Conditional baptism
  3. Birth date: 23 September 1896
  4. Parents names: James and Martha Hassett
  5. Abode of parents: Bombay
  6. Profession of father: Engine Driver (Retired)
  7. Priest / Minister performing ceremony: W. Kennelly (senior chaplain)

A number of fascinating points emerge from this. Firstly, the baptism date is almost 16 years after David’s birth and is highlighted as a ‘conditional baptism’. What this means is that, at age 15 1/2 years, David was baptised, and either (a) he was previously baptised and this was deemed invalid, or (b) he was not baptised previously, claimed to be Catholic, but this could not be proven. For further information on this, see the previous entry.


David married Edith Aileen Wharton.

Edith Aileen Hassett

Edith Aileen Hassett

The date remains unknown, as official records have not been discovered yet, however, it is estimated that they married between 1919 (the year Edith turned 16 years old) and 1923 (the year their first child was born). The couple lived in Sion, Bombay, as evidenced in the baptism records of their two children (see below). (Sion is the last locality within the City limits of Bombay (Mumbai). The Marathi name for Sion is Sheev which means boundary or limit. In the 17th century the village formed the boundary between Bombay and Salsette Island).

UPDATE: Marriage certificate located


David and Edith had two children. The couple’s first child, Elaine Cynthia Hassett, was born on 20 November 1923. A year and ten months later, their second child, Leonard Havelock Hassett was born on 6 September 1925.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


David worked for HM Customs in Bombay, as a Preventative Officer of Customs, later moving to work as a driver on the I.M. Railway.


David appears to have been a very successful hockey player for Bombay Customs. As depicted below, between 1929-1936, the Bombay Customs hockey team appear to have taken in a haul of fifteen titles along with many other memorable achievements:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


David died in 1941, at the age of 44:

David Vincent Hassett_Bur_c

His burial record revealed:

  1. Burial location: Sewri cemetry
  2. Death date: 30 August 1941
  3. Age: 44
  4. Profession: Anglo-Indian H.M. Customs
  5. Burial date: 31 August 1941
  6. Cause of death: Pulmonary Tuberculosis
  7. Person whom buried: Dean, J. Reg. (Chaplain of Parel)

Pulmonary tuberculosis is defined as an active infection of the lungs (latin pulmo = lung). It is the most important TB infection, because an infection of the lungs is highly contagious due to the mode of droplet transmission. It can be life-threatingly dangerous to the patient.


David Vincent Hassett lived a short, but seemingly full, life. Official records and family records are lacking – especially photographs of David (perhaps he preferred taking photographs rather than being in them) – but what is available appears to show him to have been a hard-working, dedicated family man. In the words of his daughter, Elaine:

I remember as a tot how I used to run to the gate to empty Dad’s pockets of anything he had in them. He always brought us sweets or other things we liked, and then he used to hoist us up on to his shoulders and come strolling home with his two naughty babies pulling at his hair.

AIP_with web address2

Interact with the Anglo-Indian Project

Facebook | Google+ | Paper.liTwitter | YouTube

20 thoughts on “David Vincent Hassett, 1896-1941

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s