Glen Kidston

Glen Kidston

23/1/1899 - 5/5/1931

W.O. Bentley described Glen Kidston as "a born adventurer." He was rough, tough, sharp and as fearless as Birkin. He was one of the four core members and perhaps the most wealthly of the infamous Bentley Boys of the late 1920s. A former Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy, he specialised in narrow escapes. He was torpedoed twice during World War I and was the sole survivor from an early London to Paris airliner that crashed in fog, escaping from the burning aircraft by punching through the fuselage with his bare hands. He had succeeded in extracating himself from his submarine after being caught in mud on the sea bed and had also survived a major crash in the 1929 Isle of Man TT motorcycle race. But it was not all a matter of survival: he competed in numerous races and rallies and won at Le Mans in 1930 with Barnato. In April 1931, he completed a record breaking flight from Netheravon to Cape Town, completing the journey in just 6½ days, flying a specially adapted Lockheed Vega monoplane. Sadly he never to make the return trip as his luck finally ran out a year after his Le Mans victory when his overloaded De Havilland Moth biplane broke up in midair while flying through a dust storm over the Drakensberg mountains during a tour of South Africa. A memorial to him stands at the place where his aircraft crashed.


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