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British Industrial History

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Gwenda Stewart

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Gwenda Stewart (1884-1990)

1884 Born Gwenda Glubb in Preston the daughter of Major General Sir Frederic Manley Glubb and the sister of Glubb Pasha who built up and commanded the Arab Legion between 1930 and 1956.

Coming from an adventurous family in World War 1 she drove ambulances on the Russian and Romanian fronts and in World War 2 served in the London Auxiliary Ambulance Service.

1921 Under official scrutiny in daily runs of 190 miles in a Ner-A-Car, she survived 1,000 gruelling miles on the fragile machine over icy roads without a spill or breakdown.

1922 Rode a 2-hp Trump-J.A.P. continuously around England's two-mile Brooklands track for 24 hours at an average speed of 44.65 mph.

1924 Married Robert Neil Stewart

Between the two World wars she raced at Brooklands. She competed in the 1933 single seater Duesenberg in the 1936 BRDC 500 miles race sharing the drive with its then owner, Jack Duller.

1930 December. She brought glory to the Derby-Miller with a record for 10 miles, standing start, at 137 mph.

1933-34 Set the five-mile and 10-mile records (at 140.17 mph and 138.34 mph)in a Derby-Miller at France's Montlhéry track.

1935 At Brooklands she became the first woman to circle the track at more than 130 mph.

1936 In one of her rare appearances in a race, she teamed with George Duller in a Duesenberg at Brooklands and took an incredible seventh place in the British Racing Drivers 500, an event which is in all respects as torturous and demanding as the U.S.'s own Indianapolis "500."

Thrice married Gwenda raced at Brooklands as Gwenda Janson and married her third husband, Douglas Hawkes, in the late 1920s and became Gwenda Hawkes.

With Douglas she ran the Brooklands Engineering Co in the 1940s.

1976 Detailed article.[1]

Gwenda Hawkes died in 1990 aged 95.

1992 Detailed article.[2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Brooklands Society Gazette Vol 1. No 4. 1976
  2. Brooklands Society Gazette Vol 17. No 2/3. 1992