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John Wilson

John Wilson in the surgery at Halley BayJohn Wilson, from Staffordshire, was the base doctor at Halley Bay 1965-66 but took the opportunity to join the summer field trip to the Tottanfjella and planned to stay a further year.

He was killed in a crevasse accident with Jeremy Bailey and Dai Wild  on 14 October1965 passing the Milorgknausane nunataks near Pyramid Rocks, Tottanfjella in Dronning Maud land - the Norwegian sector of the Antarctic.

Ten men travelled to Pyramid Rocks during September where they spit into four groups. One group, Dai Wild, Jeremy Bailey, John Wilson and Ian Ross, travelled westward with one tractor and one dog team in order to lay a depot near the Milorgknausane nunataks for use by later explorers of the Vestfjella. 

The journey gave an opportunity for Jeremy Bailey to use the newly developed ice-depth radar which he had developed to map the contours of the terrain far below.  They were travelling late in the evening on the second evening with low drifting snow when the tractor slipped backwards into a deep crevasse. Ian Ross who was not in the cab at the time was the only survivor.

The nunataks were renamed by the Norwegian Authorities as Mannefallknausane and Wilsonberga is a mountain named after John Wilson.

You can read Sir Vivien Fuchs' account of the accident in an extract from Of Ice and Men.

 


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