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About us

The British Antarctic Monument Trust

The British Antarctic Monument Trust, Registered Charity 01123064, was 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 to honour those who did not return.

Our aim is to inspire a broader interest in the Antarctic and a deeper understanding of the fragility of our environment and the interdependence of our world.

The Antarctic is the highest, coldest, and windiest continent: remote, hostile and uninhabited. Yet it is a key part of the fabric of the Earth. Processes taking place in the Antarctic affect the world’s climate and its oceans, linking the continent inextricably to ourselves.

Research by British scientists and explorers contributes to our understanding of many vital phenomena including the way continents drift apart; communications are affected by solar flares; polar ozone holes are formed; weather systems are linked globally; climate change is reflected in ice cores; and marine ecosystems are affected by fishing.

Since the British Government established its first permanent research base in Antarctica in 1944 at Port Lockroy, over 2000 men and women of the British Antarctic Survey and its predecessor the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey have worked in the world’s most treacherous conditions to help us understand the world in which we live. Twenty eight men and one woman have died in the pursuit of this scientific knowledge. 

The Trust:
– placed a memorial tablet in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral
– is ensuring that all those who have lost their lives have an appropriate place in the Antarctic named after them
– has created a monumental sculpture, part of which is installed at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge University and part of which is sited on the waterfront, Stanley, Falkland Islands - gateway to the Antarctic.

Memorial in the Crypt of St Paul's Cathedral, London
The Antarctic Memorial in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral, London was dedicated following a Special Evensong on 10 May 2011.  The names of those who lost their lives were read by the Right Reverend Stephen Venner, Bishop to HM Armed Forces and the Falkland Islands. The Rev Canon Mark Oakley dedicated the memorial. The memorial was designed by Graeme Wilson and the sculptor Fergus Wessel.

A Reception at Saddlers Hall followed the events in St Paul's at which Roderick Rhys Jones, Chairman of the British Antarctic Monument Trust, Jane Rumble, Deputy Commissioner of the British Antarctic Territory and Professor Nicholas Owens, Director of the British Antarctic Survey, made short addresses.  Later in the evening many of those present continued to Balls Brothers Wine Bar for a meal together.

British Antarctic Monument
Oliver Barratt, the British sculptor who created the Everest Memorial, has designed a sculpture in two parts, the Northern part is made of British Oak and representing the mould from which the other part, a stainless steel needle, is cast. The Northern part is sited outside the Scott Polar Research Institute Cambridge and the Southern part is sited on Dockyard Point , Stanley, Falkland Islands - gateway to the Antarctic. The sculpture represents the emotional and physical distance and links between these two places on the surface of the Earth.

Northern part of the Monument
The Antarctic Monumental sculpture outside the Scott Polar Research Institute, Lensfield Road, Cambridge was unveiled on 12 May 2011 by the artist Oliver Barratt and Roderick Rhys Jones, Chairman of the British Antarctic Monument Trust.  Professor Julian Dowdeswell, Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute, welcomed to the Institute the friends and relatives of those who died in the Antarctic.  After the unveiling Oliver Barratt explained the significance of his design of the monument.  The Director concluded the afternoon by inviting the hundred or so visitors to explore the newly furbished Polar Museum and take tea in the Entrance Hall.

Southern part of the Monument
The southern part of the Antarctic Monument was dedicated on 25 February by the Bishop of the Falkland Islands, the Rt Rev Nigel Stock. The names of the dead were read out by the Rev David Roper. The Hon Jan Cheek, Member of the Legislative Assembly welcomed the congregation on behalf of the Falkland Island Government. The Governor, His Excellency Colin Roberts, spoke about the importance of the links between the United Kingdom, the Falkland Islands and British exploration of Antarctica. Chairman of the Trust, Rod Rhys Jones, spoke about meaning of the two parts of the monument, and the links between the families left behind in the United Kingdom and those that died in Antarctica. The monument, covered by a red cloth, was unveiled to an audible intake of breath as the mirror surface of the stainless steel caught the brilliant light.

British Antarctic Place Names
Many, but not all, of “those who did not return” who died before 1966 have geographic features in the Antarctic named after them. You can see the list of places linked to the names that have died in Memorial. We have submitted proposals to the UK Antarctic Place-names Committee about locating suitable geographic features for those that have not been honoured in this way.

Film of our activities
South 2015: an Antarctic voyage to remember was premiered at the Royal Geographic Society in June 2017. The film is about the contribution that Britons have made in the exploration of British Antarctic Territory and the cost in lives lost. It follows the voyage of Antarctic veterans to attend the dedication of the Southern Antarctic Monument in February 2015 and thence to visit the places in the Antarctic Peninsula where those "who lost their lives in Antarctica in pursuit of science to benefit us all" lived, worked and perished. It covers the creation of the Antarctic Memorial in St Paul's Cathedral, the Antarctic Monument at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge and its Southern counterpart on the waterfront in Stanley, Falkland Islands. It is available on DVD price £15 from briand_b@hotmail.co.uk

Supporting our work
If you are able to provide more information about the families of those that died please contact Chairman Roderick Rhys Jones.

Trustees
There are five trustees, four with experience of working in the Antarctic, Rod Rhys Jones, Chairman, Ken Gibson, Dick Harbour, and  Julian Paren.  Brian Dorsett-Bailey, Treasurer and Secretary, lost his brother Jeremy at Halley Bay in 1965.


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