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News > School News > Book presentation to the School Library

Book presentation to the School Library

Mr Mark Taylor presents 'Everest A Thousand Years of Exploration' by Michael Ward to Sue Blood, School Librarian
OR Felicity Ward (Ewbank, No. 4, 1946 - 51) has very kindly donated a copy of 'Everest: A Thousand Years of Exploration' by her late husband, Michael Ward, to the School Library.

The book was first published, to great acclaim, in 2003. This is the first comprehensive monograph to tell the Everest story as it has evolved over the centuries. Central to this history was the First Ascent in 1953. Michael Ward, a London surgeon and mountaineer, was directly involved in the pivotal events that led to success. In late 1950, while serving as a Medical Officer to the Brigade of Guards, he searched the neglected and uncatalogued archives of the Royal Geographical Society and discovered the forgotten Milne-Hinks maps, as well as a series of hitherto unknown photos taken on covert flights over Everest in the late 1940s. Together these provided clear evidence of a feasible route from the south. Michael was a Mountaineer and Doctor and a member and Medical Officer of both the 1951 and 1953 Everest expeditions. The book charts the earliest attempts to the final success in 1953, and shines a new light on the challenges and ultimate success on Everest.

Michael was the holder of an enviable record of wider climbing and mountain exploration, and an important pioneer in high altitude/wilderness medicine, as well. His busy professional life as a surgeon lasted until retirement from the UK's National Health Service (NHS) in 1993, after which he continued to work on high altitude medical problems and, additionally, devote a great deal time to research the history of Central Asian exploration. Of the numerous articles and books Ward wrote, 'Everest: A Thousand Years of Exploration' is perhaps his most distinctive work. It stands as testimony to one man's exceptional, multifaceted talents. It brings together the historical chronicle of Everest's mountaineering, geographical, and medical aspects into a definitive, coherent story.

Aside from his ongoing involvement in the Mount Everest Foundation, Ward was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to mountaineering and medical research, and awarded the Founder's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, in 1983. Toward the end of his surgical career, he became very active in London's Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, and upon retirement from the UK National Health Service in 1993, became Master of the Society.

We are very grateful to Felicity for this kind donation of a wonderful book to the School library which many generations of Roedean girls will enjoy.


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