John Moore-Brabazon

8/2/1884 - 17/5/1964

Record updated 07-Feb-08

Raced a Kaiserpreis Minerva at Brooklands 1907 but is best know as a aviation pioneer and the first person to qualify as a pilot in the United Kingdom.

John Moore-Brabazon
John Theodore Cuthbert Moore-Brabazon (Lord Brabazon of TaraJohn ) was born in London on February 8, 1884.

He raced a Kaiserpreis Minerva at Brooklands 1907 and it was in this car that Vincent Herman had his fatal accident at Brooklands. Horace Vincent Herman was classified 5th in his fatal race. The crash occured after he had crossed the finish. The yellow Minerva was entered in the name of J.T.C. Moore-Brabazon, but it belonged to a syndicate of 4 of whom the deceased was one.

Moore-Brabazon was to be married shortly and at the urgent entreaty of his fiancée he gave up the idea of driving the car himself. He learned to fly in 1908 in France in a Voisin biplane. On October 30, 1909, flying a Short Brothers aircraft, he flew a circular mile and won a 1,000 pound prize offered by the Daily Mail newspaper. On November 4, 1909 he made the first live cargo flight by airplane when he put a small pig in a waste-paper basket tied to a wing-strut of his airplane. With Charles Rolls he would later make the first ascent in a spherical balloon made in England by the Short brothers.

On March 8, 1910 Moore-Brabazon became the first person to qualify as a pilot in the United Kingdom and was awarded Royal Aero Club certificate number 1, his car also bore the number-plate FLY 1.. During the First World War he served in the Royal Flying Corps and was awarded the Military Cross. He was instrumental in the development of military aerial photography.

Moore-Brabazon later became a Conservative Member of Parliament for Chatham (1918-29) and Wallasey (1931-42) and served as a junior minister in the 1920s, then Minister of Transport and Minister of Aircraft Production in Winston Churchill's wartime government. Moore-Brabazon was elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Brabazon of Tara in 1942.

In 1943 he chaired the Brabazon Committee which planned to develop the post-war British aircraft industry. He was involved in the production of the Bristol Brabazon, a giant airliner that first flew on September 4, 1949. It was then and still is (as of 2004) the largest aeroplane built in Britain.

A keen golfer, Moore-Brabazon was captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the governing body of golf, from 1952-1953. In 1906, he married Hilda Mary Krabbé, with whom he had two sons. At the age of 70 he was still riding the Cresta Run. Moore-Brabazon was President of the Middlesex County Automobile Club from 1946 until his death in 1964.


In the foregrond is Moore-Brabazon's Austin GP car with the Napier of Ron "Steady" Barker next in line. Third in line is, I believe, Sam Clutton's 1908 Grand Prix Itala.