THE KING HONOURS WORLD SPEED RECORD HOLDER.
THE wonderfully successful expedition from which Major H. 0. D. Segrave has recently returned has been brought to a fitting climax by the fact that His Mejesty The King has been pleased to confer a Knighthood upon our national hero. His Majesty sent the following telegram to Major Segrave :— On your arrival home I send you my hearty
congratulations on your splendid achievement in winning for Great Britain the World’s Speed Record for Motorcars, and on you success in the race for the International Speed Boat Trophy. George R.I.–
Major Henry O’Neill de Hane Segrave was born in America and educated at Eton, from whence he went to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, just before the outbreak of war. On obtaining his commission he went overseas with his regiment, and was twice wounded in action. In 1915 he was seconded to the Royal Corps, and was promoted to the rank
of Flight Commander in the field. He was later appointed Staff Captain, R.F.C., at the General Headquarters of the B.E.F. He was later appointed Private Secretary to Major-General Sykes, Chief of the Air Staff. Major Segrave was detailed for important work under the British Ambassador at Washington, when the Air Force Mission was despatched to the United States.
He has been twice mentioned in despatches.
Major Segrave commenced his racing career just after the Armistice, when he was successful in several American dirt-track races at the wheel of a 4-litre Mercer car. His next car was a 4.t-litre Grand Prix Opel car, with which he was very successful as an amateur. In 1921 Major Segrave took his place in the Talbot team as a professional, and finished 7th in the Grand Prix. He also took part in the first 200 mile race at Brooklands and came borne first. The following year he finished second in the 200 mile race and was third in the Grand Prix des Voitnrettes at Le Mans. In 1923 he won the French Grand Prix on a Sunbeam. This being the one and only time that this race has been won by an Englishman. The same year he won the Grand Prix des Voiturettes at Boulogne. In 1924 he proved the winner of the Spanish Grand Prix at San Sebastian, and finished
third in the 200 mile race at Brooklands. In 1925 on a 1!!-litre Darracq he was the winner of the Grand Prix de Provence. and finished third in the Grand Prix de Montlhery the same year. He also won the 200 mile race on a Darracq.
In 1926 he lowered the world’s record for the Kilometre, raising the speed for that distance to 152.308 M.P.H., on a 12-cylinder Sunbeam.
In 1927 Major Seeraye created a new world’s speed record of 203 M.P.H., in a Sunbeam car which was really the fore-runner of the Irving Napier Special car in which he put up the present world’s speed record of 231.36 M.P.H. at Daytona Beach. This stupendous speed is all the more remarkable ‘when it is realised that the previous record, held by the American driver. Mr. Ray Keech, was beaten by approximately 24 miles per hour ! and that it was only the second time Major Seerave had driven the car at high speed. On his first trial run Major Segrave attained a speed of 180 M.P.H., and had it not been for the unfortunate accident to the American defender. Mr. Lee Bible, Major Segrave’s intention was to still further raise the record to 240 M.P.H. We have no doubt that the Golden Arrow could have accomplished this speed, since
the record of 231.36 was achieved on extremely wet sand, and on its return run the car was practically running in water.
By accomplishing this terrific speed (3.856 miles per minute !) Major Segrave has justly earned the title of “Speed King and he certainly deserves the honours bestowed upon him. Major Segrave himself was responsible for the
original urge to regain the record for the Old Country,and his chief wish was that every bit of the car should be British. This record proves to the world that British engineers and Britain’s foremost driver, who possesses both courage and skill, are unbeatable.