Bennett, Alexander (‘Alec’) (1897–1973), motorcyclist, was born 25 April 1897 in Craigantlet, Co. Down, son of Robert Bennett, farmer, of Craigantlet, and Isabella Bennett (née Rea). Having emigrated to Canada at an early age, he began competing as a motorcyclist, primarily on half-mile dirt tracks, and won the British Columbia championship at the age of 16. He travelled to Britain shortly after the beginning of the first world war, and after war service found a position as motorcycle tester with the Sunbeam factory in Wolverhampton. On the strength of his testing performances he was drafted into the Sunbeam motorcycle team and made his debut for them in the Isle of Man in the 1921 senior TT. Adopting the dirt-track style favoured in Canada, he drifted his motorcycle broadside through the many corners of the 37.73-mile (60.72 km) mountain circuit, thrilling the spectators as he led the race for four laps until engine trouble relegated him to an eventual fourth place. He made amends the following year when, again riding a Sunbeam, he became the first Irish winner of a senior TT, setting a new lap record of 59.99 mph (96.54 kph). In 1923 he moved to the Douglas motorcycle company, but his only major win for them was the 100 miles (160.93 km) Welsh championship. He joined the Norton team for the 1924 season and recaptured the Isle of Man senior TT, as well as winning the French and Belgian grands prix. He won five French grands prix (1921 X 1926), and added a second Belgian grand prix (1925). He again won the Isle of Man Senior TT on a Norton (1927) with an average speed of 68.41 mph (110.09 kph). As well as his victories in senior races, he won the Junior TT twice (1926, 1928), riding a Velocette on both occasions.
He retired from competitive racing in 1932 to concentrate on the motorcycle business that he had established in Hampshire in 1924. His commitment to this successful business was such that he only competed in twenty-nine top-class events through his career, winning eleven. He died 27 January 1973 at Fordingbridge, Hampshire.