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Tommy Clark or Tom Clarke


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#1 ChrisD

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 17:32

Can anyone throw any light on a mystery : the identity (or identities) of Tommy Clark (or Clarke)?

In 1969 the Aston Martin Owners' Club magazine published an obituary of Tommy Clarke who had died in Antigua aged 57. The obituary noted his place in Aston Martin history, several of his racing achievements, his membership of the BRDC and in particular his racing relationship with Maurice Faulkner (spelled incorrectly with a U) with whom he had a class win in the 1935 Mille Miglia in Falkner's Aston Martin. The obituary also notes that he again raced in the Mille Miglia in 1957 driving his AC Aceca.

In 2015 the BRDC issued a notice of death of Tom Clarke aged 104 who had shared an Aston Martin with Maurice Falkner at Le Mans in 1935 and then drove at Le Mans in 1950 with Eddie Hall.

All the references that I have seen (both on the history of the Mille Miglia and of Aston Martins) suggest that the Tommy Clarke (T G Clarke) who raced in the 1935 and 1936 Mille Miglia with Maurice Falkner, at Le Mans 1935 with Maurice Falkner, and again in the 1957 Mille Miglia driving an AC Aceca, are the same person. This does not, however, fit with the two obituaries.

The ages and year of reported death in both obituaries point to someone born 1910/1911.

Can anyone help me unpick this mystery, please?

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#2 Rupertlt1

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 17:54

Racing Driver May Stand for Parliament

Tommy Clarke, the 26-year-old Liverpool-born racing driver, has been unanimously recommended by the executive of the Newton (Lancashire) Division Conservative Association for adoption as prospective National Conservative candidate for the division. The seat is held by Sir Robert Young (Soc.), who won it in 1935 from Mr R. C Essenhigh (Con.), now county court judge on the Sheffield circuit. Mr Tommy Clarke is the son of Mr George Clarke, formerly of Allerton Hall, Liverpool, and grandson of the founder of Clarke & Co., which some years ago was amalgamated with the Imperial Tobacco Company. The family estate was presented to Liverpool Corporation. Tommy Clarke won the Italian 1000 mile road race in an Aston-Martin in 1935, and last driving a French Delahaye in the Ulster T.T., broke the lap record with a speed of over 85 m.p.h. He married last year Miss Morgan, of Florence, Italy.

Dundee Evening TelegraphSaturday 12 February 1938

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 17 January 2020 - 17:56.


#3 Tim Murray

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 18:11

Discussion in this earlier thread showed that there were (at least) two racing drivers named Tom Clarke. One was the man from Liverpool who raced Astons with Maurice Falkner, etc. The other was from Bristol and raced Iota and other marques in F3 in the early 1950s. Perhaps the BRDC got them confused.

T.G. "Tom" or "Tommy" Clarke was a wealthy young man who in 1935 was associated with Aston Martins. He rode with Maurice Falkner in the Mille Miglia (in LM17) winning their class; drove at Le Mans in CMC 614, (sharing with Falkner) finishing 8th. The following year the pair again drove the Mille Miglia in CML 721 but retired with fuel feed problems.

Later that year he bought a Type 135 Delahaye from the banker Pierre-Louis Dreyfus (who had moved on to a Talbot) and drove the Delahaye in the Tourist Trophy where he retired in the wet race with ignition problems. The car was lent to Clement Talbot for Georges Roesch to examine, and then to Prince Bira for the Pau race in 1937 before being sold to the Siamese Princes for the rest of the season. At this point Clarke was said to be considering a career in politics.

Post war he was listed as Co-driver to Eddie Hall in his 4.25 Bentley at Le Mans in 1950 but did not drive in the race.

I believe he also raced an Iota in 500cc F3

All my info has the 500 driver as Tom J Clarke, racing an Iota (perhaps a chassis rather than a P1) from late 1950, then the CBP/CBP2 1952-54. I also have a JJ Clarke in an iota at Shelsely - either a typo or relative, i would presume.
Results suggest he was based in the South West, but so far i have nothing else on him

Leif lists a Thomas Graves Clarke on his website...http://www.kolumbus....snellman/dc.htm

Tom Clark was a garage owner from Bristol,he raced 500s and not related to the Aston driver.



#4 Tim Murray

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 18:52

The entry for Thomas Graves Clarke on The Peerage site has the same birth and death dates as on Leif’s site:

http://www.thepeerag...580.htm#i365794

ETA: His entry on the RNVR Officers 1939-45 listing has the same birth and death dates:

https://www.unithist..._officersc.html

#5 Vitesse2

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Posted 17 January 2020 - 21:44

Thomas Graves Clarke is on the 1939 Register at 19 Chester St in Belgravia, which is a substantial 6-storey Georgian terraced house. Only other residents were his wife and a cook. His occupation is given as 'member of the London Stock Exchange'.

 

At the time of his death he lived at 200 Sloane Street - which is actually an apartment building called Richmond Court - and he was still on the Navy List as a reserve officer in 1958.



#6 ChrisD

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 11:38

Many thanks to all who replied to my post. As ever, that is really helpful. Matching what I had already found with all your comments I thnink that it is most likely that the AMOC obituary had it right and that the BRDC one had confused the two Clarks / Clarkes. Thanks again

#7 ReWind

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Posted 18 January 2020 - 13:09

Indeed