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“His legacy will surely live on.” - Cromer explorer pays tribute to fellow explorer Henry Worsley who died this week

PUBLISHED: 16:00 30 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:18 31 January 2016

File photo dated 19/10/15 of the Duke of Cambridge (left) with former Army officer Henry Worsley, 55, from Fulham, London, who has died in an Argentinian hospital after suffering from exhaustion and dehydration 30 miles short of crossing the Antarctic unsupported. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire

File photo dated 19/10/15 of the Duke of Cambridge (left) with former Army officer Henry Worsley, 55, from Fulham, London, who has died in an Argentinian hospital after suffering from exhaustion and dehydration 30 miles short of crossing the Antarctic unsupported. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire

A polar historian from north Norfolk has paid tribute to British explorer Henry Worsley who died attempting to be the first person to cross the Antarctic unaided.

File photo dated 18/04/08 of former Army officer Henry Worsley, 55, from Fulham, London, who has died in an Argentinian hospital after suffering from exhaustion and dehydration 30 miles short of crossing the Antarctic unsupported. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire File photo dated 18/04/08 of former Army officer Henry Worsley, 55, from Fulham, London, who has died in an Argentinian hospital after suffering from exhaustion and dehydration 30 miles short of crossing the Antarctic unsupported. Photo: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Henry Worsley, 55, died this week after being airlifted to a hospital in Punta Arenas, Chile, suffering severe exhaustion and dehydration - just 30 miles short of his goal. He was found to have bacterial peritonitis (a bacterial infection in the abdomen), after having trekked around 913 miles unaided across the South Pole.

The 55-year-old former British Army officer was 71 days into his record-breaking solo mission to complete the legendary British explorer Ernest Shackleton’s unsuccessful crossing of Antarctica in the early 1900s.

Stephen Scott-Fawcett, 61, from Overstrand Road, Cromer, knew Mr Worsley for 12 years after meeting at a polar dinner in London. He offered support to Henry and his team, Will Gow and Henry James, who followed in his footsteps and went on to reach the Pole to celebrate the centenary of Shackleton’s ‘Nimrod’ expedition.

Mr Scott-Fawcett said: “The news about Henry is tragic. I send my heartfelt condolences to Jo, his wife, and the whole family. He was a very capable individual - strong, focused, erudite and willing to talk to all who wanted to know him. He was a generous individual who never sought personal aggrandisement and was a devoted family man, too.”

Stephen Scott-Fawcett during a trek in the Himlayas. Stephen Scott-Fawcett during a trek in the Himlayas.

Mr Worsley’s wife Joanna said she felt “heartbroken sadness” after he died.

Mr Scott-Fawcett said: “My standout memory of Henry is when I chatted to him over dinner once. We discussed polar expeditions and I asked him what he wanted to achieve in Antarctica. He said: ‘I want to make my mark on polar exploration and to honour the legacy of Shackleton’. This he most certainly has now achieved.

“His death from bacterial peritonitis on the ice is a very sad loss indeed. However, his legacy will surely live on. His efforts in Antarctica have raised over £100,000 for the ‘Endeavour Fund’ - in support of the rehabilitation of wounded Forces personnel. I have no doubt the fund will now grow rapidly as people honour Henry’s sacrifice.”

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