Find out more about the early Segrave Trophy Winners

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Kingsford SmithHinklerMollisonCampbellCloustonBatternEystonWallerGardnerSegrave Trophy

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Winners of the Segrave Trophy

1: Kingsford Smith

Sir Charles Edward Kingsford Smith (1897–1935) was a well-known early Australian aviator. Kingsford Smith learned to fly in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I. After the war he had a series of flying jobs in England and America, before returning to Australia where he qualified as a commercial pilot. In 1928, he made the first trans-Pacific flight from the United States to Australia. He broke many air records in the Pacific and Australia. In 1930, he won the England to Australia air race flying solo. Kingsford Smith and co-pilot Tommy Pethybridge died when they disappeared in the sea off Burma in 1935 during their attempt to break the England-Australia speed record. He was awarded the Segrave Trophy in 1930 for his East to West Atlantic and England to Australia record flights.

2: Hinkler

Squadron Leader Herbert John Louis Hinkler (1892–1933), better known as Bert Hinkler, was a pioneer Australian aviator (dubbed the Australian Lone Eagle). During World War I, Hinkler served first with the Royal Naval Air Service as a Gunner/Observer, then was posted to the RAF with which he served as a pilot. After the war he worked as a test pilot for the aircraft manufacturer A.V. Roe in Southampton. During the 1920s he competed in numerous aviation events and created many records. Hinkler flew the first solo flight between England and Australia in 1928. In 1931 he achieved his most remarkable feat, flying from Canada to New York and then non-stop to Jamaica. From there he continued on to Venezuela, Guyana, Brazil, and then across the South Atlantic to Africa, and on to London. On 7 January 1933, Bert Hinkler left England in an attempt to break the flying record to Australia. Nothing more was heard of him until his body was discovered in the Tuscan Mountains in Italy. He was awarded the Segrave Trophy in 1931 for his New York to London flight.

3: Mollison

Mrs J.A. Mollison (1903–1941) is better known by her maiden name, Amy Johnson. While working in London she was introduced to flying as a hobby, gaining a pilot's licence in 1929. Using a plane paid for by her father Johnson achieved worldwide recognition when, in 1930, she became the first woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia. In 1932, she married famous Scottish pilot Jim Mollison, with whom she made many record flights. In May 1936, Johnson made her last record-breaking flight, regaining her Britain to South Africa record. In 1938, Johnson divorced Mollison, reverting to her maiden name. During World War II, Johnson joined the newly formed Air Transport Auxiliary, whose job was to transport Royal Air Force aircraft around the country. On 5 January 1941, while flying an from Blackpool to RAF Kidlington, Johnson went off course in poor weather. She drowned after bailing out into the Thames Estuary. Although she was seen alive in the water, a rescue attempt failed and her body was never recovered. She was awarded the Segrave Trophy in 1932 for her record breaking flights between Britain and South Africa.

4: Campbell

Sir Malcolm Campbell (1885–1948) began racing cars at Brooklands in 1910. He competed in Grand Prix motor racing, winning the 1927 and 1928 Grand Prix de Boulogne driving a Bugatti. He is best remembered for the World Speed Record on land and on water at various times during the 1920s and 1930s, using vehicles called Bluebird. Malcolm Campbell broke nine land speed records between 1924 and 1935, with three at Pendine Sands and five at Daytona Beach. He set his final land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in 1935, when he was the first person to drive a car over 300mph/482kph. He set the water speed record four times. His highest speed was 141.740mph/228.108kph in the Bluebird K4 in 1939. He was awarded the Segrave Trophy in 1935 for breaking the land speed record, and again in 1939 for his water speed record. He died after a series of strokes in 1948.

5: Clouston

Flying Officer A.E. Clouston (1908–1984) was born in New Zealand and joined the RAF in 1930 as a test pilot. In 1937, using the De Havilland Comet airplane that won the 1934 MacRobertson England-Australia derby, he took off from Croydon with Mrs. Betty Kirby-Green, sponsored by the fashion house Burberry, speed-bound for South Africa. Six days later they were back with the record for the return journey. He had a distinguished record in World War II, during which he was given command of No 224 Squadron, a Liberator anti-submarine unit based at Beaulieu. He was awarded the Segrave Trophy in 1937 for his England to South Africa record flights.

6: Battern

Jean Gardner Batten (1909–1982) was arguably New Zealand's greatest aviator. Encouraged by her mother, Jean went to England to join the London Aeroplane Club and gained private and commercial licences by 1931. She wanted to break records and one early success in 1934 was England to Australia in record time, smashing Amy Johnson’s time of four years earlier by five days. In 1936 she flew from London to New Zealand, establishing a solo flight record which was maintained for 44 years, as well as a new solo England–Australia record. Her final record was for a flight from Australia to England in 1937. She was the first person to hold both England–Australia and Australia–England solo records at the same time. Unable to obtain a flying job during World War II, Batten gave up flying. She eventually became a recluse, living in Majorca, where she died in 1982, when, unknown, she was buried in a communal paupers' grave. She was awarded the Segrave Trophy in 1936 for her England to New Zealand record.

7: Eyston

Captain George Edward Thomas Eyston (1897–1979) began his racing career with European road races, particularly in Bugattis, with success in races such as the 1921 and 1926 French Grand Prix. In 1935, he was one of the first British racers to travel to the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah, with his 24 and 48 hour record-setting car Speed of the Wind. He is best known today for land speed records set in his car Thunderbolt between 1937 and 1939. History has rather overlooked him and he is far less well known today than the Campbell dynasty, or even John Cobb. As well as racing, he was also an engineer and inventor, with a number of patents related to motor engineering and particularly supercharging. At 70 he passed the test for his seaplane licence! He was awarded the Segrave Trophy in 1935 for breaking the 1, 12, and 24 hour land speed records.

8: Waller

Kenneth Herbert Fraser Waller learnt to fly at Lympne and later became well known as a long distance and air race pilot. Owen Cathcart Jones and Ken Waller entered the 1934 MacRobertson England to Australia Air Race in a de Havilland DH.88 Comet built specially for the race. They finished fourth. The same plane was then used by Waller and Maurice Franchomme to fly from Belgium to the Belgian Congo and return in record time in order to prove that an airmail route was possible. He was awarded the Segrave Trophy in 1934 for this feat.

9: Gardner

Alfred Thomas Gardner (1890–1958) was better known as Goldie Gardner (Goldie was his mother's maiden name). Gardner had a distinguished World War I military career. He suffered severe injuries to his right leg when his reconnaissance plane was shot down in 1917. After the war, despite his disability, he took up motor racing, but suffered a crash during the 1932 RAC Tourist Trophy race that further damaged his leg. After accompanying Sir Malcolm Campbell’s expedition to Daytona Beach in 1935 for the World Land Speed Record attempt, he returned to England and concentrated on speed racing records. In the years between 1936 and 1952 he set over 100 international and national speed records throughout England, Europe and the USA, mainly in MG cars. He was awarded the Segrave Trophy in 1938 for his Flying Kilometre and Flying Mile records in an MG. In 1952 he retired from motor sport after a cerebral haemorrage. He died in 1958 aged 68.

10: Segrave Trophy

The Segrave Trophy is awarded to the British national who accomplishes the most outstanding demonstration of the possibilities of transport by land, sea, air, or water. The trophy is named in honour of Sir Henry Segrave, and has been awarded in most years since 1930.

 

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