| Antarctica Cruise
| Books |
| Forum |
Site Map |
FIDS / OAE's
Antarctic Sledge Dog Memorial
What follows is the story of the inception of the statue from the initial idea through the fund raising and modeling.
Antarctic Sledge Dog Memorial Fund, launch - Hwfa Jones - October 2006
From a recent
article in the Telegraph saluting Wally Herbert as the first
to the North Pole it is evident that the public has almost completely
forgotten that the true 'first to the Poles' were not those
now listed in the history books but the sledge dogs that dragged
the loads and our heroes to glory. To the South, neither Amundsen
nor Scott (who used dogs to lay so many of his depots) would
have reached the South Pole without them.
At the recent
'Z Fids' Reunion I was touched by the stories so many Fids told
me of their experiences with their dogs and many had felt guilty
of being harsh with them, perhaps not relating this to the great
stress they were under in sometimes 'life threatening' situations.
Certainly there was to my knowledge never a case of any Fid
refusing to travel and yet the danger of crevasses / sea ice/
blizzards / exposure was very real and in many cases initially
an absolute shock to many young men who had never seen even
a glacier before. Others were adamant that the mass shootings
in 1973 (over 100 dogs and pups) at Stonington (and sometimes
even to dogs in the field by their drivers at the end of long
field trips) was a disgrace that had long been 'kept quiet'
Drawings / model should be approved as suitable before manufacture by a representative group of Fids.
Type of memorial:
Bronze Plaque - (All the
dogs and teams listed?)
Getting it there:
Update November 2007
It's just about a year now since a few FIDS got together and decided to do something to record the contribution of British Sledge Dogs to the British Antarctic Survey.
With a minimum of fuss a small team got together. Graham Wright would act as Treasurer; Hwfa Jones would do the secretarial work. Richard Harbour kindly offered to liaise with the BAS Club.
Publicity was freely given by Andy Smith of Z FIDS, Paul Ward of 'Cool Antarctica' and Sue Hamilton of 'The Fan Hitch'. Brigid Wainwright & Keith Holmes provided information & research, plus many others too numerous to name who contacted us with information and help.
We had in fact an ad hoc committee of hundreds of FIDS and friends. The Treasurer Graham Wright has informed me that:
The Fund now stands at over £3000
The growth of the fund to the target of £6,000 and the casting of a full size dog is now certain. We expect to commission the bronze sculpture of a typical British Antarctic Husky early in the New Year 2008 together with a plaque naming all the British Antarctic Dog Teams.
We are currently looking at locations in Antarctica to site the memorial and were delighted to accept Chris Rapley's offer kind offer of transportation south when the time comes.
As I write this two sculptors are making final adjustments to their drawings and models to take account of the comments from all the FIDS who have made suggestions to improve the early sketches. The sculptors have in addition looked at hundreds of photographs of dogs to make the bronze as typical as we can remember. It is likely that one of the sculptors will cast the dog and the other the memorial plaque
For Sale - "Sledging on Sea Ice" - fine art print
For Sale - "The Doggy Men" - book
Provisional List of Dog Teams, BAT,
Update April 2009
At a February meeting at the British Antarctic Survey Headquarters in Cambridge it was agreed that the Bronze will be set at the entrance to the BAS Building.
The full size statue is being cast from an enlargement of the model (below) and will be in position for the opening of the Memorial Garden at the BAS Club AGM on Saturday 4th July 2009. It is planned that there will be an 'Official Opening' at a later date. We expect to be able to provide much more information next month as the final casting is completed, but at this stage all looks to be progressing smoothly. Thanks to the contributions of FIDs and friends from all over the world the project will be completed in less than 3 years; an amazing achievement.
On 15th December 2008 Graham Wright and Hwfa Jones drove north to the Lake District where the sculptors (David Cemmic and Sebastian Wylder) displayed the small (6 inch high) wax model.
The sculpture is representative of all the British Antarctic huskies so the facial expression will never exactly match any one dog and deliberately so.
| Site Map |
Stock Photos |
History | Antarctica
Antarctic Clothing |