Whilst trawling through the Pathe News archive I came across a short newsreel film of the 1937 Cork International Car race http://www.britishpa...ce/query/Romeos
The winner in a MG was a Mr H.B. Prestwich. William Fitzsimmons' excellent little book "The Cork Motor Races 1936-1938" descibes how Prestwich's MG judged to be the slowest car in this handicap event held the lead until passed by C.E.C. Martin in a monoposto Alfa Romeo. The favourite on scratch was "Bira" in the ex-Whitney Straight 3 litre Maserati but he crashed on the 7th lap. As the race went on the sun gave way to heavy rain and the little MG regained the lead and won after 2 and a half hours by nearly 3 minutes.
So who was this H.B. Prestwich from Cheshire?
He proved a little tricky to find on Ancestry because Prestwich was not his surname at birth. He was born Henry Bryce Stadelbaur or Stadelbauer at Altrincham, Cheshire, England in 1911. Both spellings appear on documents. His father was Otto Stadelbau(e)r, a British subject from a Saxony family. However, like many with a German sounding name, the family changed their name during the 1914-18 war to acquire a more English sounding one (following the example of King George V).
I found that Prestwich had raced a M.G. at the Donington Park Motor Car races in May 1936 (9.5.36) and at the same track in the Coronation Trophy races in May 1937 (12.5.37). After the 1937 Cork race, he only appears once more in the records, starting but not finishing the 1938 Cork Light Car (voiturette) Race, again in a MG.
The London Gazette records that Prestwich was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the British Army in November 1940. He survived the war only to be tragically killed along with his wife and two of his children on 19th August 1949 whilst passengers on a BEA DC3 flight (G-AHCY) from Belfast to Manchester which crashed into a hill in mist near Saddleworth, Oldham, Lancashire. His son was one of 8 survivors from the 33 on board.
Can anyone add any more about Henry Bryce Prestwich ?
Edited by taylov, 08 February 2016 - 22:52.