The Fan Hitch Volume 13, Number 2, March 2011

Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog
In This Issue....

From the Editor

British Antarctic Survey Monument Trust

Mistaken Identities

Piksuk Mediaís Nunavut Quest Website

Product Review: Servus Boots

Tip for the Trail: Ice 'Fishing'

IMHO: Are We There Yet?

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Index of articles by subject

Index of back issues by volume number

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Editor: Sue Hamilton
Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
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The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog.

David Statham was one of three men and
several dogs whose fate was never learned.
                  Photo: courtesy Robin Sherman

The British Antarctic Survey Monument Trust

by Roderick Rhys Jones

The British Antarctic Monument Trust has been set up to celebrate the achievements of the men and women whose scientific exploration in the British Antarctic Territory has led to a new understanding of our planet, and in particular to honour those who did not return. Thirty men and one woman have died in the pursuit of this scientific knowledge.

We are anxious to raise awareness of the Trust and to increase the size of the fund through donations. The Trust is seeking to:
  • ensure that all those who have lost their lives have an appropriate place in the Antarctic named after them.
  • place a memorial tablet in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral in London.
  • create a monumental sculpture, part of which will be in the United Kingdom and part of which will be sited in the South.
The commemorative plaque to be placed in the crypt of St Paulís is sited next to the memorial to Major Frederick George Jackson who, whilst mapping Franz Josef Land by dog sled, happened upon and rescued Fridtjof Nansen. Designed by the artist Graeme Wilson and the stone mason Fergus Wessel, the circular plaque, four feet (1.2 m) in diameter, is being made of riven Welsh slate with a map of Antarctica inset in white Carrara marble.   A huddle of Emperor penguins is being carved at the base of the disk. The inscription "For those who lost their lives in Antarctica in pursuit of science to benefit us all" will be cut into the periphery of the disk.  Around the rim the title "British Antarctic Territory" and its motto "Research and Discovery" will be cut and finished in palladium.

The Antarctic monument has been designed by Oliver Barratt who designed the memorial for those lost on Everest.  The Monument is in two parts, North and South. The part in the UK, to be sited outside the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, is made of British oak. It represents the mould from which the Southern part, a stainless steel needle, is cast. The two parts of a single sculpture represent the emotional connection and physical distance between the two places on the surface of the Earth. We are still progressing with the planning stage of the other part of the sculpture in the Falkland Islands, gateway to Antarctica, which we hope to bring to a conclusion as quickly as possible.

Through the generosity of the Government of the British Antarctic Territories, the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, the families and friends of the victims and many other supporters, we have covered the costs of the memorial in St Paulís and the monumental sculpture at Scott Polar. However we still need to raise £50,000 ($80,000) to cover the costs of the Southern part of the monument in the Falklands. We appeal to all Fids and others to support us. If you feel you can help, we would be most glad to receive your donation. Please contact Chairman Roderick Rhys Jones. Or write to him at: The British Antarctic Monument Trust, 27 Sullivan Road, Lambeth, North London SE11 4UH, or telephone +44 207 840 0480, or visit our Charity Choice page. You may also make a donation by visiting the Trust website.

There will be a dedication of the Antarctic Memorial in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral, London as part of evensong on 10 May 2011, 5:00pm. The monumental sculpture to be placed outside Scott Polar Research Institute will be dedicated on 12 May 2011, 3:00pm. Please let us know if you would like to come to either or both of these events.

The stories of all the Antarctic deaths of British explorers and scientists are recounted on our web site. Many of them occurred whilst sledging with dogs. The histories draw heavily on the book Of Ice and Men by renowned British Antarctic explorer Sir Vivien Fuchs, but include memories from the colleagues who were there at the time. You can read of the tragic story of the deaths of Stanley Black, Dave Statham and Geoff Stride who were, in total darkness, driving two dog teams across sea ice near Horseshoe Island May 1958 of an Antarctic winter to carry out research at an Emperor penguin rookery when they were lost in a terrible storm. Although some of the dogs survived and returned to base still wearing their harnesses cut from the traces, the menís fate was never learned.
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