10th July 2024 | News in your area

Everest hero George Mallory honoured with blue plaque

Everest hero George Mallory has been honoured with a blue heritage plaque at his family home in Surrey, as part of a series of events to celebrate the centenary of the Mobberley mountaineer’s disappearance whilst attempting to reach the summit on Mount Everest in June 1924.

George and his climbing partner Andrew ‘Sandy’ Irvine disappeared on the North East Ridge some 29 years before Sir Edmond Hillary made his successful return from the summit on May 29, 1953. the pair were last seen alive just 800 vertical feet from the summit. George was only 37 years of age, and it has long been debated whether one or both of them reached the peak before their deaths. The body of George was found in 1999.

George was a born in Mobberley, where his father Herbert served as rector at St Wilfred’s church. At the age of eight, George was caught during a Sunday service some 20 feet up, scaling the side of the church tower.  He later went on to study at Winchester College where he continued his passion for climbing and went on several school trips to advance his skills in the French Alps.

In 1914, he married Ruth Turner, daughter of a famous architect and settled in her home village of Godalming after Ruth’s father gifted the couple their first home at The Holt in 1914.

George became a schoolmaster at Charterhouse and in 1915 he left for the western front as a junior officer in the Royal Garrison of Artillery.  Following the war, George joined several expeditions, beginning in 1921 to map out the Everest region. In 1922 he began his summit attempts. In 1924, after a year of touring America, he was infamously quoted after giving the reason for his determination to summit the mountain: “Because it’s there.”

These three words inspired generations of explorers, including JFK’s space race speech in 1962.

George made one more attempt to conquer the summit which led to his unfortunate death after last being seen just 200 metres below the summit ‘going strong’.

Cheshire East Councillor, Captain Anthony Harrison is the founder and chairman of the George Mallory Foundation and led the event, working in collaboration with the Godalming Trust to bring together writers, mountaineers and family members.

Captain Anthony Harrison said: “George Mallory created a world where anything is possible, with freedom and liberation at the heart of his belief.  In a time of global uncertainty where our freedoms and liberty are constantly under treat, it is important to remember those that fought to protect our liberty, in multiple respects, value our dreams and pursue them.”

The plaque was unveiled by Deputy Lieutenant, Brigadier Roger Hood QVRM TD.  Captain Harrison will be unveiling two further Blue Heritage Plaques later this summer at Mallory’s two homes in Mobberley, Newton Hall on Newton Hall Lane and Hobcroft House on Hobcroft Lane before a national memorial is unveiled later in the year.

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