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Sculptures dedicated to 29 Britons who lost their lives in Antarctica service

Thursday, February 19th 2015 - 06:15 UTC
Full article 4 comments
Oliver Barratt is the sculptor of the Northern and Southern sections of the Antarctic Monument Oliver Barratt is the sculptor of the Northern and Southern sections of the Antarctic Monument

A two-part sculpture dedicated to Britons who lost their lives in service of science in Antarctica will be unveiled by a Watford man. Brian Dorsett-Bailey, 75, will officially reveal one of the monuments at Stanley in the Falkland Islands in tribute to the 29 people who have died in British Antarctic Territory, reports the Watford Observer.

 The ceremony will be an emotional day for the Watford resident, as one of those to perish in the extreme conditions was his brother Jeremy. He was trialing ice-depth radar equipment developed at the Scott Polar Research Institute when the tractor he was travelling in was swallowed by a crevasse in Dronning Maud Land in 1965.

Mr Dorsett-Bailey, secretary of the British Antarctic Monument Trust, said: “It’s going to be a difficult and emotional day.

“Jeremy was a pioneer of ice-depth radar, a technique used for plotting the profile of the Antarctic terrain thousands of feet below the surface of the ice. His loss was devastating. His body was never recovered.

“The work of the trust to commemorate and recognize those who never returned has helped families to come to terms with their loss and assist in providing some closure.”

Many people from the Falkland Islands, regarded as the ‘gateway to the Antarctic, have worked for the British Antarctic Survey and its predecessor, the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey, since Britain’s first permanent base was set up at Port Lockroy in 1944.

The second of Oliver Barratt’s sculptures, stationed at the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge University, is also set to be officially unveiled.

Together the two sculptures symbolize the scientific link between Britain and the Antarctic, and ‘reflect upon the emotional and physical separation experienced by explorers and their families’.

Mr Dorsett-Bailey, who has been working on the project since 2006, will be among the 85 people on the week-long cruise.

He said: “I was invited to a reunion at Halley Bay, where Jeremy was based, which was celebrating its 50th anniversary where I met Rod Rhys-Jones, who was on the trip on which Jeremy died.

“We felt there should be something more public and had the idea of these monuments – and it has taken us nine years to complete it.”

Mr. Rhys Jones, chairman of the trust, added: “I have never forgotten my three colleagues and wanted to create a lasting monument to them and the others who lost their lives in the pursuit of science.”

Visit for more information about the project

Top Comments

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  • Spanish Mole

    one of the best things about Britain is how they celebrate and recognize the people helping to shape its history . Congratulations

    Feb 20th, 2015 - 08:45 am 0
  • zathras

    Indeed SM, we remember all of out history good and bad and try to learn from it.

    In 1938 we believed a piece of paper meant peace in our time.
    We were wrong.

    We reduced the defenses and let the Falklands be invaded in 1982.
    But that won't happen again.

    Arctic and Antarctic research is something we do well.

    Oh and it's on Lensfield Road, next to the Department of Chemistry.

    Feb 20th, 2015 - 09:16 am 0
  • nerosaxo

    In honour of all who worked and died exploring the Secrets of the Last Unspoiled Continent...... Regardless of Race, Creed or Colour. PLEASE LEAVE OFF THE POLITICAL SNIPING.

    Feb 20th, 2015 - 12:32 pm 0
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