SIR HENRY SEGRAVE
MAJOR SIR HENRY O’NEAL DE HANE SEGRAVE was born in Baltimore, U.S.A., thirty-four years ago.
He started his career of adventure and achievement early, for at the age of 18 years he was serving in France in the infantry, in the first year of the War. In 1915 he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and learned to fly at C.F.S., Upavon, afterwards again being posted to France. There he soon showed himself to be a very fine scout pilot and it was not long before he became a Flight-Commander in No. 29 Squadron. He did not come through the War unscathed, however, and on three occasions he was wounded and shot down. On the last occasion he crashed and was so severely injured in the foot that he was unfit for further active service. He was, therefore, attached to the staff at the Air Ministry and ultimately went to America with the British Aviation Mission. After the Armistice he left the Service—with the rank of Major at the age of 22. With the return of Peace, Segrave did not seek out a sedentary occupation as one might expect of a man who had passed through the hard school of War, but turned to motor racing. His first appearance at Brooklands was made, it is believed, with an Opel, and later on, through his determination and persuasive powers, he got Mr. Coatalen to agree to his driving officially for the Sunbeam Co. His career from this stage, is known of course, to every reader of MOTOR SPORT, and really needs no recapitulation. All will remember his win in the first J.C.C. 200-Miles Race with the Talbot-Darracq; his victory in the French Grand Prix in 1923 (the first time an Englishman had won it), and his achievements on the Continent in other big events during 1924, 1925 and 1926. And then came his record of 203.9 m.p.h. at Daytona on the giant red Sunbeam, and his final triumph last year of 231.362 m.p.h. on the “Golden Arrow.” For these feats he was rewarded with a knighthood. More recently Segrave concentrated his energies on high speeds on the water, and at the time of his death, he was also “coming back” to flying. [Sir Henry had entered a machine, the Segrave “Meteor” in the forthcoming King’s Cup Air Race; this has now been withdrawn—ED.]
Amongst his personal friends it was well known that he had been working on big plans in regard to both these spheres for a considerable time, and had he lived he would undoubtedly have added still more triumphs to a splendid career. As a racing driver he stood second to none, not only in this country but throughout the world. But besides this, besides being a courageous sportsman and a good friend, Sir Henry was a man of foresight and ideas and in him Fmgland has lost a very great man indeed.