It is with deep regret that we have to record the death of H. C. Hamilton, while competing in the Swiss Grand Prix, at Bern, on August 26th. He was driving a Maserati and had completed 69 of 70 laps when he crashed into some trees on a corner. He was thrown from the car and killed instantaneously.
Hamilton was considered by many authorities to be England’s most brilliant racing driver. Certainly he had some performances to his credit—his handling of M.G. Midgets on the Ards Circuit in particular—which will long be remembered. Most of his racing experience was gained with M.G. cars, at the wheel of which he performed consistently well at Brooklands, Belfast and Donington. On the same cars he built up a fine reputation in Continental circles, especially at the Nurburg Ring. He several times partnered Earl Howe in driving the latter’s Bugattis. At the beginning of this season he joined the Whitney Straight Syndicate, driving principally a very fast Maserati, originally built to the order of Nuvolari. It was in this car that he met his death. For the same stable he sometimes drove an M.G. Magnette, with which he won the Junior Race of the Coppa Acerbo, a week before the fatal race at Bern. His career was marked by several narrow escapes from death, the most serious being at Belfast and Masaryk.
“Hammy,” as he was known to his friends, possessed those quiet manners which so often characterise men of valour. Modest to the point of reserve, he never referred to his own exploits. Yet his racing career was all important to “Hammy,” for it represented the ruling ambition of his life from the time he was a schoolboy, through his youthful days of early motoring with an old but well-tuned Talbot Eight, to this present season of growing reputation as a Grand Prix driver.
The death of a young man can never be completely justified, be the cause ever so fine. That Hamilton should devote all his fine qualities to motor racing was inevitable, and consolation for his passing can be found in the thought that it was in the heat of the battle he loved so well that the end came, suddenly and without illness or lingering pain.
Motor racing has lost one of its finest exponents; many of us will mourn an admired and respected friend. To his bereaved mother we offer our sincere condolences, to which are joined those of all our readers.