THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY (WITH IBG)
Captain John Baptist Lucius Noel
noel
(1890–1989)
John Noel joined the 1922 expedition as climber, photographer, and film maker. In 1924 he concentrated on cinematography, buying all photographic rights to the expedition from the Everest Committee for the then-huge sum of £8000.
Enterprising, enthusiastic, and eccentric, Noel had a long army career: In World War I he escaped from German captivity; subsequently he made his first film, about the caviar industry, while on horseback reconnaissance south of the Caspian Sea. In 1913 he made an illegal foray into Tibet within sight of Everest, bringing back intelligence that proved a vital trigger to the instigation of the 1921 Everest Reconnaissance. Noel’s remarkable 1922 and 1924 film footage, with accompanying music by Somervell, survives him.
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