Kaye Ernest Don
Born Ireland, 10 Apr 1891 the son of Charles Frederick Don;
Died Chobham, Surrey, 29 Aug 1981
Probably born in Rathmines Road area of Dublin
Sometimes claimed the name Donsky or Donski, of supposed Polish ancestry
Kaye Don was Chairman and Managing Director of US Concessionaires Ltd, formed in 1947, and later to become the Ambassador Motorcycle Company. He retired in 1965 after Ambassador was taken over by D.M.W.
Don was educated at Wolverhampton Grammar School and was just seventeen when his father died. Unable to pursue further education, he commenced a career in the rubber industry. He was with the Avon Tyre Company till 1915, when he joined His Majesty's Forces. He served in the Army Service Corps and was discharged on medical grounds, but joined the Royal Flying Corps as a pilot in 1916. After service on the Western Front, he was posted to the British Mission.
Before the War, Kaye Don had raced motor cycles and took up motor car racing in 1920 and high speed motor boat racing in 1931. He was British Motor Racing Champion in 1928 and 1929.
Don held several World Water Speed Records: Buenos Aires, 103-104 mph, 1931; Italy, 110 mph, 1931; Loch Lomond, 119 mph, 1932. He was awarded an International Motor Yachting Union Medal in 1931. He travelled extensively in the U.S.A., South America, Australia, South Africa and Europe. and his recreation was golf.
In 1932, aged 41, he married Eileen the daughter of Leonard F. Martin of New York. They lived at Weybridge, Surrey and had two sons and one daughter. This marriage was later dissolved. In 1954, aged 64, he married Valerie Evelyn, daughter of Ronald Farquar Chapman and they lived near Chobham, Surrey. The photo shows Kaye Don's Aerdale dog, 'Burra', which lived with this writer's mother, when Don went to prison.