A true Aussie Speedway pioneer.
Wiliam Hector 'Bill' Sticpewich is one of our forgotten Aussie Speedway pioneers. Starting on Solos in France and Spain, Bill went on to captain the Rochdale league team in the UK in the 1929 - 1930 seasons. Affectionately known as 'Stippy' he rode with and could beat the best of the era. He and brother Charlie, who rode for Wembley at one stage, returned home in 1930 and stated that there was no place like Australia. Bill also did riding tours in New Zealand in 1930 and 1931. Coming from Carrington, a suburb of Newcastle NSW, Bill rode in Sydney at the Royal and Wentworth in 1930 and up at his home track in Newcastle on Solos. In 1936 Bill was in at the pioneering stage of Midget car racing in Australia as a car builder and driver. He worked as an Abattoir meat Inspector on his return from the UK and later, when in Brisbane in 1940, signed up to join the army and was shipped out to take his part in WWII. Bill, as a Warrant Officer, was captured by the Japanese and placed in a Japanese prisoner of war camp in North Borneo. After torture, beating and starvation, he was one of six Australians to survive the 'Sandakan Death Marches' in North Borneo and one of only 4 men to escape from capture after surviving the 'Death Marches' to Ranau in 1945.
1930 - Bill Sticpewich leads Aussie 'Cyclone' Billy Lamont.
Riding back home in 1930 at the Sydney Showground Speedway The Royal.
Bill toured New Zealand in 1930 and 1931.
Then it was Queensland's turn for the mighty midgets. February 22nd. 1936 and Bill is one of our Aussie midget pioneers at the first Speedcar meeting at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds.
With Midget Speedcar racing beginning in Australia in Victoria at Olympic Park in 1934 - Sydney at the Royal on November 2 1935 now it was Newcastle's turn on December 1st 1935 and Bill was on the programme in his self built midget.
Bill with his award winning self built midget # 33 .
June 1940, Brisbane, and Bill joins up for WWII.
Bill Sticpewich MBE was not only a Solo Speedway and Midget car Speedway pioneer but is also an Australian WWII hero.
Read of Bill's experiences from the links below.
STICPEWICH, WILLIAM HECTOR
Service Australian Army
Service Number 1905032 (QX9538)
Date of Birth 4 Jun 1908 Place of Birth CARRINGTON, NSW
Date of Enlistment 19 Jun 1940
Locality on Enlistment BRISBANE, QLD
Place of Enlistment KELVIN GROVE, QLD
Date of Discharge 26 Mar 1947
Rank Warrant Officer Class 1
Posting at Discharge 8 DIVISION AUSTRALIAN ARMY SERVICE CORPS
WW2 Honours and Gallantry
Member of the
Order of the British Empire
Prisoner of War - Yes
After all he had endured on the world Speedways, war and prison camps, Bill lost his life in a road accident in Melbourne in 1977 aged 68.
........from the link below read of Bill's war time experiences.
Thank you to Bill's daughter, Leanne, for allowing us access to her famous Dad's memorabilia.
..at Sydney's Wentworth Speedway ( Wentworth Park).