The British Antarctic Sledge Dog Memorial

Update - February 2007

Two eminently competent sculptors have responded with initial drawings, Denise Koch and David Cemmick. Clearly both sets of drawings are magnificent for such short notice and help us remember that there were really many different characters amongst our dogs and they matured from the young dog drawn by David to the older wiser and slightly aloof dog drawn by Denise.

Initial drawing by David Cemmick
Initial drawing by Denise Koch

Both sculptors have given more than just their artistic skills. They have understood the loss of this unique 'race' of animals as David Cemmick described it and Denise chose to include a harness:-

"To represent the work these dogs did. The harness is lying at his feet to symbolize the fact that his work here is finished. He is happy and welcoming, standing proud of his history and his efforts here. His fur is thick and ruffled; his gaze is distant as he looks across the land where his kind will not travel again. He embodies the triumphs, courage and friendships that were found here and he joyfully stands in honour of those who are now a part of history".

We are after all looking here, in the words of Alfred Dobree, "for more than art can impart"

The task of choosing a sculptor will be difficult and as many comments or votes as possible are requested to get this right and to allow the sculptors to produce a final drawing based on comments.

I must admit I'd like to have two dogs or even a full dog team displayed with a loaded Nansen sledge, each bronze produced by a different sculptor - a magnificent memorial but the expense is at the moment prohibitive - perhaps dogs can be added over the years!

So for the moment; a single dog.

From the drawings a life size bronze can be hot cast and displayed with a plaque listing all the British Antarctic Sledge Dog teams.

So far the fund has reached 1200 (20% of the target reached in 4 months!) from sale of the 'Doggy Men' book and donations from FIDS and friends around the world. It is anticipated that the target of 6000 will be attained within the next 12 months as the project is publicised, especially now there are such tangible drawings to show progress.

Details of the fund are listed below:-

The Antarctic Sledge Dog Memorial Fund
Lots of 'Fids' have expressed the desire to see some form of permanent memorial to mark the contribution of our huskies to the exploration of British Antarctic Territory. Many countries have already done this and perhaps we should too.

A working party has been set up to:-

  1. Decide on the form of the memorial - most likely now is a full size bronze of a typical British Antarctic Husky, with the dog teams engraved on a plaque below.
  2. Collect donations to the fund and order get castings (a full size dog would be in the region of 3,500 so at least 6,000 should be the target). Record all donors.
  3. Search out a suitable location for the memorial. (Chris Rapley, Director of BAS has been of great assistance here in offering a working BAS Base. Cambridge, The Falklands and Port Lockroy have also suggested but the latter may be difficult.)
  4. Publish development and progress on Z Fids, Cool Antarctica, The Fan Hitch; Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog International, BAS Club and elsewhere.
If you wish to make a donation, join the working party or help in any way please contact either me for general details or Graham Wright who has set up a bank account (Cheques to the Sledge Dog Memorial Fund). Graham collects the funds and records donations for the memorial.

[Hwfa - 27 February 2007]

Hwfa Jones 0151 201 0249
47 Penkett Road. Wallasey Wirral Merseyside CH45 7QG
Graham Wright 01686 624077 (wk.01686 611206) 39 Bryn Meadows. Newtown Powys SY16 2DS

6 March 2007
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