Sir Vivian Fuchs
Vivian Ernest Fuchs
11 February 1908
Freshwater, Isle of Wight, England
|Died||11 November 1999 91) (aged|
|Alma mater||St John's College, Cambridge|
Sir Vivian Ernest Fuchs FRS (11 February 1908 – 11 November 1999) was an English explorer whose expeditionary team completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica in 1958.
Fellowship of the Royal Society is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of London judges to have made a 'substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge, including mathematics, engineering science and medical science'.
Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 14,200,000 square kilometres, it is the fifth-largest continent. For comparison, Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km in thickness, which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Fuchs was the son of the German immigrant Ernst Fuchs from the Jena area and of his British wife Violet Watson. He was born in 1908 in Freshwater, Isle of Wight, and attended Brighton College and St John's College, Cambridge. He was educated as a geologist, and considered the profession a means of pursuing his interest in the outdoors. He was a member of the Sedgwick Club at Cambridge.His first expedition was to Greenland in 1929 with his tutor James Wordie. After graduation in 1930, he travelled with a Cambridge University expedition to study the geology of East African lakes with respect to climate fluctuation. Next, he joined anthropologist Louis Leakey on an expedition to Olduvai Gorge. In 1933, Fuchs married his cousin, Joyce Connell. A world traveller in her own right, Joyce accompanied Vivian on his expedition to Lake Rudolf (now Lake Turkana) in 1934. The findings from this expedition, in which two of their companions were lost, brought Fuchs his PhD from Cambridge in 1937.
Jena is a German university city and the second largest city in Thuringia. Together with the nearby cities of Erfurt and Weimar, it forms the central metropolitan area of Thuringia with approximately 500,000 inhabitants, while the city itself has a population of about 110,000. Jena is a centre of education and research; the Friedrich Schiller University was founded in 1558 and had 18,000 students in 2017 and the Ernst-Abbe-Fachhochschule Jena counts another 5,000 students. Furthermore, there are many institutes of the leading German research societies.
Freshwater is a large village and civil parish at the western end of the Isle of Wight, England. Freshwater Bay is a small cove on the south coast of the Island which also gives its name to the nearby part of Freshwater. Freshwater sits at the western end of the region known as the Back of the Wight or the West Wight which is a popular tourist area.
Brighton College is an independent, co-educational boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 3 to 18 in Brighton, England. The school has three sites: Brighton College ; Brighton College Preparatory School ; and the Pre-Prep School.
In February 1936, his daughter Hilary was born. Fuchs organised an expedition to investigate the Lake Rukwa basin in southern Tanzania in 1937. He returned in 1938 to find that his second daughter, Rosalind, had severe cerebral palsy. Rosalind died in 1945. His son, Peter, was born in 1940.
Lake Rukwa is an endorheic lake in the Rukwa Valley of southwestern Tanzania.
Tanzania officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a country in eastern Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; Comoro Islands at the Indian Ocean to the east; Mozambique and Malawi to the south; Zambia to the southwest; and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in north-eastern Tanzania.
At the age of thirty, he enrolled in the Territorial Army, and was dispatched to the Gold Coast from 1942 to July 1943. He returned home and was posted to London at Second Army headquarters in a civil affairs position. The Second Army was transferred to Portsmouth for the D-Day landings, and Fuchs eventually reached Germany in time to see the release of prisoners from the Belsen concentration camp. He governed the Plön district in Schleswig-Holstein until October 1946, when he was discharged from military service with the rank of Major.
The Gold Coast was a British colony on the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa from 1867 to its independence as the nation of Ghana in 1957.
Portsmouth is a port city in Hampshire, England, with a total population of 205,400 residents. The city of Portsmouth is nicknamed Pompey and is mainly built on Portsea Island, a flat, low-lying island measuring 24 square kilometres in area, just off the south-east coast of Hampshire. Uniquely, Portsmouth is the only island city in the United Kingdom, and is the only city whose population density exceeds that of London.
Plön is the district seat of the Plön district in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, and has about 8,700 inhabitants. It lies right on the shores of Schleswig-Holstein's biggest lake, the Great Plön Lake, as well as on several smaller lakes, touching the town on virtually all sides. The town's landmark is Plön Castle, a chateau built in the 17th century on a hill overlooking the town.
Fuchs was involved with the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (now the British Antarctic Survey) beginning in 1947, when he applied for a geologist position. The organisation's goal was to promote Britain's claims to Antarctica, and secondarily to support scientific research. In 1950 Fuchs was asked to develop the new London scientific bureau of the Survey, to plan research in the Antarctic and support research publication. He would eventually become director of the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey, from 1958 (after his return from the successful Antarctic expedition) until 1973. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974.
The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is the United Kingdom's national Antarctic operation. It is part of the Natural Environment Research Council. With over 400 staff, BAS takes an active role in Antarctic affairs, operating five research stations, two ships and five aircraft in both polar regions, as well as addressing key global and regional issues. This involves joint research projects with over 40 UK universities and more than 120 national and international collaborations.
The President, Council and Fellows of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, commonly known as the Royal Society, is a learned society. Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by King Charles II as "The Royal Society". It is the oldest national scientific institution in the world. The society is the United Kingdom's and Commonwealth of Nations' Academy of Sciences and fulfils a number of roles: promoting science and its benefits, recognising excellence in science, supporting outstanding science, providing scientific advice for policy, fostering international and global co-operation, education and public engagement.
His wife died in Oxford in 1990 of a heart attack, aged 83. The next year, he married Eleanor Honnywill, his former personal assistant at the British Antarctic Survey, in Kensington and Chelsea, London. Sir Vivian Fuchs died in Cambridgeon 11 November 1999, aged 91.
Oxford is a university city in south central England and the county town of Oxfordshire. With a population of approximately 155,000, it is the 52nd largest city in the United Kingdom, with one of the fastest growing populations in the UK, and it remains the most ethnically diverse area in Oxfordshire county. The city is 51 miles (82 km) from London, 61 miles (98 km) from Bristol, 59 miles (95 km) from Southampton, 57 miles (92 km) from Birmingham and 24 miles (39 km) from Reading.
Eleanor Honnywill was instrumental in supporting the work of British Antarctic Survey (BAS).
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) is an inner London borough with royal status. It is the smallest borough in London and the second smallest district in England; it is one of the most densely populated administrative regions in the United Kingdom. It includes affluent areas such as Notting Hill, Central Kensington, South Kensington, Chelsea, and Knightsbridge.
Fuchs is best known as the leader of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition, a Commonwealth-sponsored expedition that completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica. Planning for the expedition began in 1953, and envisioned the use of Sno-Cat tractors to cross the continent in 100 days, starting at the Weddell Sea, ending at the Ross Sea, and crossing the South Pole.
Fuchs and his party arrived in Antarctica in January 1957 after camp had been set up. The party departed from Shackleton Base on 24 November 1957. During the trek, a variety of scientific data were collected from seismic soundings and gravimetric readings. Scientists established the thickness of ice at the pole, and the existence of a land mass beneath the ice. On 2 March 1958, Fuchs and company completed the 100-day trip by reaching Scott Base, having travelled 2,158 miles.
In 1958, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.He co-wrote, with Sir Edmund Hillary, The Crossing of Antarctica. In 1959 he was awarded the Hans Egede Medal by the Royal Danish Geographical Society.
The Fuchs Medal was created in 1973 for "outstanding devotion to the British Antarctic Survey's interests, beyond the call of normal duty, by men or women who are or were members of the Survey, or closely connected with its work."
The medal is awarded to one or two people per year for their contribution to the British Antarctic Survey.
The history of Antarctica emerges from early Western theories of a vast continent, known as Terra Australis, believed to exist in the far south of the globe. The term Antarctic, referring to the opposite of the Arctic Circle, was coined by Marinus of Tyre in the 2nd century AD.
The 1955–58 Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (CTAE) was a Commonwealth-sponsored expedition that successfully completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica, via the South Pole. It was the first expedition to reach the South Pole overland for 46 years, preceded only by Amundsen's and Scott's respective parties in 1911 and 1912.
Skelton Glacier is a large glacier flowing from the polar plateau into the Ross Ice Shelf at Skelton Inlet on the Hillary Coast, south of Victoria Land, Antarctica.
This is a timeline of the history of New Zealand's involvement with Antarctica.
James William Slessor Marr was a Scottish marine biologist and polar explorer, renowned for his role as the leader of Operation Tabarin.
Geoffrey Francis Hattersley-Smith D.Phil, FRSC, FRGS, FAINA was an English-born geologist and glaciologist, recognized as a pioneering researcher of Northern Canada.
Sir James Mann Wordie CBE FRSE LLD was a Scottish polar explorer and geologist.
James Edward Butler Futtit Farrington was a key member of a secret wartime Antarctic expeditionary force and the last surviving holder of the Polar Medal in Bronze, abolished after 1941.
The Fuchs Medal is a medal awarded by The British Antarctic Survey for "Outstanding devotion to the British Antarctic Survey's interests, beyond the call of normal duty, by men or women who are or were members of the Survey, or closely connected with its work."
There are seven sovereign states who currently maintain de jure, largely symbolic territorial claims in Antarctica: Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom. These countries have tended to place their Antarctic scientific observation and study facilities within their respective claimed territories; however, a number of such facilities are located nowhere near the sectors claimed by their respective countries of operation, and there are multiple other countries such as Russia and the United States who, despite having no territorial claim of their own anywhere in Antarctica, have constructed large research facilities within the sectors claimed by other countries.
Captain Harry Kirkwood OBE, DSC, RN was one of the most experienced British Ice Captains. He was "loaned" from the Royal Navy to command HMNZS Endeavour (1956) on the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition.
RRS Shackleton was a Royal Research Ship operating in the Antarctic from 1955 to 1992. She was then in service as a seismic survey vessel, Sea Profiler, until being scrapped in 2011.
Hariot Glacier is a glacier flowing northwest along the south side of Morgan Upland before turning west into the northern portion of the Wordie Ice Shelf, along the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. It was roughly surveyed by the British Graham Land Expedition, 1936–37, and the upper reaches were photographed from the air by the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition, 1947. The glacier was surveyed from the ground by members of the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey who travelled along it in December 1958, and it was named by the UK Antarctic Place-Names Committee after Thomas Hariot, an English mathematician who pioneered new methods of navigation under the patronage of Sir Walter Raleigh.
Richard Maitland Laws CBE FRS ScD was Director of the British Antarctic Survey from 1973 to 1987; Master of St Edmund's College, Cambridge from 1985 to 1996 and Secretary of the Zoological Society of London.
Kenneth Victor Blaiklock OBE is a British Antarctic surveyor who took part in Sir Vivian Fuchs' Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition that completed the first overland crossing of Antarctica. During this expedition, he reached the South Pole by dog sled for the first time since Amundsen. He has been awarded the Polar Medal with three bars. His daughter is British politician, Catherine Blaiklock.
Brian Birley Roberts was a British polar expert, ornithologist and diplomat who played a key role in the development of the Antarctic Treaty System.
Surgeon Captain Edward W. Bingham, "Ted Bingham", was a British polar explorer who had the rare third clasp added to his Polar Medal.