Ken Blaiklock O.B.E had an Island, a glacier and a World Heritage Site named after him. He had lived in Tarvin since 2003 and died aged 92 from the complications of a broken hip.
He was the first man after Amundsen in 1911 to have driven a dog team to the South Pole. Ken held the world record for the longest amount of time any man had cumulatively spent in Antarctica, some fourteen years in total. Given the era in which he did this – before satellite communications, without rescue equipment and with little of today's technology, this was an extraordinary feat of fortitude and endurance.
The highlight of his career was the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition ( CTAE ) of1955-1958 led by Sir Vivian Fuchs. 'Bunny' Fuchs, as he was known, Edmund Hilary and George Lowe of Everest fame, became good friends of Ken's. Ken led the advance party.
Ken spent most of his working life on expeditions in Antarctica for periods of between six months and three years working on British, Belgium, and the New Zealander expeditions. For these, he received numerous awards, including the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E), the Polar Medal with a rare three bars, the Cuthbert Peek award in 1957 by the Royal Geographical Society, the Chevalier de la Couronne medal in 1961 by the Belgian government and the W.S. Bruce Medal in 1962 by the Scottish Geographical Society.
Ken Blaiklock leaves behind two children, John and Catherine, and two grandchildren.
Ed: Click here if you wish to read a fuller account of Ken Blaiklock's life , written by his daughter.