Z-fids Newsletter No. 24

May 2010

      Z - F I D S    N E W S L E T T E R   No. 24   18 May 2010 

Editor: Andy Smith  (email andy@smitha.demon.co.uk)
Website: www.zfids.org.uk

Sadly there are some deaths to report in this Newsletter.

David Dalgliesh
Surgeon Captain David Geoffrey Dalgliesh died peacefully at home in
Devon on 28th March 2010 aged 88. He was leader and medical officer
of the very first party to winter (in 1956) at Halley Bay, the
Royal Society International Geophysical Year Expedition (RSIGYE)
Advance Party. This was a small group of ten men whose job was to
establish the base, build the hut and set up other facilities which
would be used by the main party during the IGY, 1957-58, and begin
some of the observations. They landed on the Brunt Ice Shelf from
the "Tottan" in January 1956 at a place later named Halley Bay
after Sir Edmond Halley, Fellow of the Royal Society and leader of
astronomical observing expeditions to the southern hemisphere in
the seventeenth century. As it turned out, this laid the
foundations for the next fifty years of geophysical observations at
Halley. At the time Dalgliesh was Surgeon Lieutenant Commander in
the Royal Navy. He had previous Antarctic experience; he was the
wintering medical officer at Base E (Stonington) in 1948 and 1949
and was seconded to the Royal Society to lead the RSIGYE Advance

Hal Lister
From the same era was Hal Lister, glaciologist with the
Commonwealth Trans Antarctic Expedition (TAE). Although separate
from the RSIGYE, the two expeditions cooperated. Lister was one of
a three-man party which wintered in 1957 at the advance base of
South Ice, 300 miles south of the expedition's main base of
Shackleton. He was a member of Sir Vivian Fuchs' crossing party.
Previously he had had polar experience on the British North
Greenland Expedition. Later he became a member of the Department of
Geography at Newcastle University. He died peacefully on 25th March

Paul Wharton
Paul Wharton died on 2nd May 2010. He was wintering electrician at
Halley Bay in 1967.

Bog chisel
The item about the origin of the term 'bog chisel' in the last
Newsletter elicited replies from Ron Gill, Ian Buckler, John
Skipworth and Peter Noble. See the Z-fids 1964 page. Peter thought
the term originated at another base that did not have "long-drop"
toilets. He used a lump hammer in his battle with the turdicle. He
also drew attention to the FID song "Sanitation Blues". See General
Index on Z-fids.

Penguin chicks
No-one replied directly to Gavin Francis' query in the last
Newsletter about stuffed Emperor penguin chicks in the bar at
Halley, but Charlie Robb wrote in about his own experience of chick
stuffing. Link on the Z-fids 2003 page. While on subject of

"In Search of a Penguin's Egg"
This book by Nelson Norman, the wintering medic at Halley Bay in
1959, has recently been published (Authorhouse, ISBN 9781449017293;
price 6.50). See link on the Z-fids home page. 1959 was the first
year that Halley Bay was occupied by FIDS after it was vacated by
the Royal Society party when the IGY ended. The year was called the
International Geophysical Cooperation, a follow-up to the IGY, and
the emphasis at Halley Bay was on science. The book deals with
Nelson's experience with FIDS, and in particular the penguin
embryology project which involved spending six weeks in winter in a
caboose (nicknamed 'Little Scotland') at Emperor Bay, and taking
samples of penguin embryos at different stages of development. This
is related to what Apsley Cherry-Garrard of Scott's last expedition
was trying to do on the winter journey to Cape Crozier, described
in his book "The Worst Journey in the World". Nelson's book is well
worth a read for anyone interested in what it was like to winter
with FIDS at Halley Bay in the late fifties.

On Floating Ice
This book, Joe MacDowall's account of the RSIGYE, is still
available from Tony Wincott at a price of only 1 (donated to the
BAS Club Benevolent Fund) plus P&P. For details see link on the
Z-fids Home Page.

Z-50 discs
The two discs which were produced for the 50th Anniversary
Celebrations in Northampton in 2006 are still available from
Stephen Williams. One is the Z-50 commemorative photo DVD
comprising winterers' photographs of Halley base and surrounding
area, together with a commentary. More than 1000 photos are
included, from all phases of the base's history. The other disc is
a CD of Al Smith's fascinating and authoritative 100-page report:
"A Brief History of Antarctic Research Stations on the Brunt Ice
Shelf". If you did not get these at the time, they are well looking
at. For details, and how to order, click 'Z-50' from the Z-fids
home page then 'Commemorative DVD'.

The BAS Club
The BAS Club AGM and Reunion takes place in Cardiff on 12th June,
though it may now be too late to book a place. Details are on the
revamped BAS Club website www.antarctica.ac.uk/basclub/ which now
includes the useful Database of Winterers compiled by Keith Holmes.
You need to be a BAS Club member and log on to access this. If you
are not a member, why not consider joining?

Scott Centenary Lecture Cardiff 12 June 2010
Rod Rhys Jones sent the following information about an event
happening in Cardiff on the same day as the BAS Club AGM.
"To celebrate the departure of SS Terra Nova for the Antarctic from
Cardiff at the beginning of June 1910 the British Antarctic
Monument Trust is holding a fund-raising Centenary lecture on the
legacy of Captain Robert Falcon Scott.
Entitled "Heroism, Discovery, Inspiration - Captain s Scott s
Legacy" we will be hearing from Dr David Wilson, an expert on the
history of Antarctic exploration and the great nephew of Edward
Wilson, the biologist and artist, who accompanied Scott and was
lost with him on his return from the South Pole along with Bowers,
Evans and Oates.
Dr Julian Paren will give us a glimpse of the contributions that
British scientists have made and are still making. Many of the
discoveries were foreshadowed by Scott s work.  They include
evidence of movement of continents, the ozone hole, how the climate
and environment has varied over the last million years, and the
global impact of the most recent changes to the ice.
Going to the South Pole is a huge adventure as Scott knew. It is
challenging, difficult but rewarding. Felicity Aston who has spent
a number of seasons in the Antarctic with the British Antarctic
Survey led eight women from the Commonwealth to the South Pole late
last year. She will tell us what inspired her.
This is an opportunity to support the work of the Trust and at the
same time spend an interesting afternoon. There will be time to
join the BAS Club boat trip in Cardiff Bay and in the evening
attend the BAS Club Annual Dinner in the very room that Scott held
his farewell dinner."

Saturday 12 June 2010, 2.30   4.30 pm, Reardon Smith Theatre,
National Museum Wales, Cathay Park, Cardiff.
Donations for Tickets 10, Concessions 8, Students 5 available
from: Brian Dorsett-Bailey, 34 Essex Road, Watford, WD17 4EP
E: briand_b@hotmail.co.uk, T: 01923447422

Antarctic Monument update
Memorial in St Paul's Cathedral
At meetings of the Fabric Committee and the Chapter at the
beginning of February the design for the plaque was approved in
principle. We are now making a detailed proposal which will include
samples of the materials to be used and the finishes.
Designed by the artist Graeme Wilson and the stone mason Fergus
Wessel, the plaque, 1100mm diameter, is to be made of riven Welsh
slate with a map of Antarctica inset in white Carrara marble.  The
position of South America and Southern Africa will be picked out of
the surface of the slate and the latitude and longitude lines will
be incised.  The inscription will be cut into the smoothed
periphery of the disk. Around the rim the title  British Antarctic
Territory  and its motto  Research and discovery  will be cut and
finished in platinum.  The same metal finish will be picked out on
the marble of the continent to show the area of the British
Antarctic Territory.
The site of the plaque is in a North transept of the crypt just off
the main aisle and half way between the tombs of Wellington and
Nelson.  It is across the aisle from the South Atlantic Campaign
Memorial and next to the memorial to the Arctic explorer Major
Frederick George Jackson, who whilst mapping Franz Joseph Land,
happened upon and rescued Nansen.
Importantly it is just outside the Education Centre: every child in
London visits St Paul's once in their school career. It is
anticipated that the dedication service will take place in the
Cathedral in the Spring of 2011.
For more details, see the Antarctic Monument Trust (link on Z-fids
home page).

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23 October 2010
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