Against all odds: The birth of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarc
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TitleAgainst all odds: The birth of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1955-1958AbstractWhen the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-1958 advance party sailed from the Millwall Docks in November 1955, bound for the Weddell Sea, their departure was the product of five years of intensive effort on the part of Vivian Fuchs to achieve the first overland crossing of the Antarctic continent. This paper investigates the many obstacles that had to be overcome leading up to Theron sailing and explains the manner in which they were overcome by the Fuchs-Wordie-Clifford triumvirate. The British Foreign Office was particularly opposed to the expedition with the office's focus on sovereignty rather than science while an alternative proposal from Duncan Carse raised a unique set of difficulties. The withdrawal from involvement by the Scott Polar Research Institute Director, Colin Bertram, indicated further disaffection. Most important, if political and financial goals were to be met, was the need for participation by several Commonwealth countries of which New Zealand was the essential partner. Fortunately, the vigorous efforts of a few Antarctic enthusiasts in New Zealand were successful in moving their government to assert its long dormant position in the Ross Dependency. New ZealandÅ› commitment turned the tide of commonwealth apathy towards the TAE. Although the TAE preceded the IGY, events, including the dominating IGY presence of the United States, caused the two projects to become tightly interwoven. For these reasons the years leading up to the departure of Theron were as intriguing as the crossing journey itself. Copyright 2011 Cambridge University Press.AcknowledgementsMany people provided valuable assistance in our efforts to produce this paper. We wish to thank the staffs of the Alexander Turnbull Library and Archives New Zealand in Wellington as well as those at the UK National Archives, Kew and the archives team of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge. Special thanks are offered to Wg. Cdr. John Claydon, who as chief pilot was a member of the New Zealand TAE team, and to the late Dr. Jon Stephenson, geologist and sole Australian member of Dr. Vivian Fuchs TAE crossing party. We also wish to acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Alec Trendall, Dr. H.J. (Larry) Harrington and Peter Fuchs for their generous support and encouragement of this project.
1st AuthorHicks, S.AuthorHicks, S.Storey, B.Smith, P.Year2013JournalPolar RecordVolume49Number248Pages50-61DOI10.1017/S0032247411000660URLhttps://www.scopus.com/inward/recor.....18e05eee7229ae6c6bd20fcc4KeywordsCommonwealth of Nationsexplorationpolar regionresearch program, AntarcticaNew Zealand, rank1
TypeArticleCitationHicks, S., Storey, B. and Smith, P. (2013). Against all odds: The birth of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1955-1958. Polar Record, 49(248): 50-61 IdentifierHicks2013Relevancerank1
Smith, P., Against all odds: The birth of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarc , [Hicks2013]. Antarctica NZ, accessed 04/03/2024, https://adam.antarcticanz.govt.nz/nodes/view/63552, 10.1017/S0032247411000660