Honouring Antarctica’s fallen scientists

The monument in Stanley The monument in Stanley BAS
26 Feb
2015
A monument to Britons who lost their lives for science in Antarctica has been unveiled on the waterfront in Stanley, Falkland Islands

Since 1948, 28 men and one woman have died in the British Antarctic Territory. Each one would have passed through Stanley on the way to the Polar South.

The fatalities are not confined to distant history.

‘Kirsty Brown lost her life at Rothera in 2003, while Miles Mosley, John Anderson, Robert Atkinson, Ambrose Morgan, Kevin Ockleton and John Coll were lost in three separate incidents in the 1980s,’ says Felicity Aston, an ambassador for the British Antarctic Monument Trust (BAMT), which honours those who did not return from the South.

‘The majority of personnel working in the British Antarctic Territory are young, which makes the losses even more tragic. It also means that there are many remaining relatives,’ says Aston.

The monument has a counterpart 8,000 miles away at the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University.

The Stanley monument’s mirror finish reflects the water and clouds around the historic Dockyard Point to represent both the human intrusion into the environment and the need for study and understanding.

‘A main aim of the monument is to generate awareness,’ says Aston. ‘Today many cruise ships visiting Antarctica travel via the Falklands, so many more visitors will be able to see the monument in Stanley than if it was located in a remote part of Antarctica,’ she adds.

Oliver Barratt designed both sculptures while Graeme Wilson designed the plinth. He has previously been involved in constructing a monument to those killed on Everest. Wilson designed the plinth using 3D printing to create accurate maps and lettering for the monument.

The Cambridge sculpture consists of two oak pillars to create a long needle shape from which the stainless steel needle in the Falklands was taken.

‘I was a surveyor on an expedition from the British Antarctic Survey’s Research Station Halley Bay in 1965, when three of my colleagues, including Jeremy Bailey, were killed when their tractor fell into a crevasse,’ says Roderick Rhys Jones, chairman of the BAMT.

‘I have never forgotten them and wanted to create a lasting monument to them and the others who lost their lives in the pursuit of science in Antarctica.’

Share this story...

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

Related items

1 comment

  • Admiral Byrd Good thing you didn't count the fallen army/navy men. Because thats in the thousands. Friday, 27 February 2015 16:30 posted by Admiral Byrd

Leave a comment

ONLY registered members can leave comments and each comment is held pending authorisation before publishing. Please login or register to voice your opinion.

Geographical Week

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox every Friday.

Subscribe Today

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth UniversityUniversity of GreenwichThe University of Winchester

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

DOSSIERS

Like longer reads? Try our in-depth dossiers that provide a comprehensive view of each topic

  • REDD+ or Dead?
    The UN-backed REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) scheme, under which developing nations would be paid not to cut dow...
    The true cost of meat
    As one of the world’s biggest methane emitters, the meat industry has a lot more to concern itself with than merely dietary issues ...
    Long live the King
    It is barely half a century since the Born Free story caused the world to re-evaluate humanity’s relationship with lions. A few brief decades later,...
    London: a walk in the park
    In the 2016 London Mayoral election, the city’s natural environment was high on the agenda. Geographical asks: does the capital have a green future,...
    The Money Trail
    Remittance payments are a fundamental, yet often overlooked, part of the global economy. But the impact on nations receiving the money isn’t just a ...

MORE DOSSIERS

NEVER MISS A STORY - follow Geographical

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in NATURE...

Oceans

Analysis into a killer whale found dead off the shores…

Geophoto

For the past ten years, the Chartered Institution of Water…

Geophoto

Less than 4,000 tigers remain in the wild, so it…

Oceans

Zafer Kizilkaya has been awarded the 2017 Whitley Gold Award…

Wildlife

John Kahekwa is the founder and general manager of the…

Polar

Recent observations of Arctic flora and fauna indicate major changes…

Oceans

A massive die-off of Australian mangrove forests is being attributed…

Energy

Geographical’s regular look at the world of climate change. This…

Climate

Was last year’s El Niño a practice run for future…

Wildlife

The continuing adventures of Aaron Gekoski as he joins the…

Geophoto

What do Ethiopia’s ‘church forests’, the incipient HS2 high-speed rail…

Wildlife

Aaron Gekoski continues working alongside the Wildlife Rescue Unit

Geophoto

Today, the camera is regarded as an essential smartphone feature.…

Oceans

An innovative new theory hopes to save millions of lives…

Wildlife

Aaron Gekoski continues his personal adventure into the wilds of…

Wildlife

Simple tracking devices have enabled conservationists to amass big data,…

Climate

In a new report, researchers have calculated the global emissions…

Climate

Geographical’s regular look at the world of climate change. This…

Wildlife

The latest episode sees ‘Bertie’ enlisting in wildlife rescue boot…

Energy

Icelandic engineers are attempting to harness the powerful geothermal energy…