THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY (WITH IBG)
Francis Sydney Smythe
smythe
(1900–1949)
Frank Smythe joined the 1933, 1936, and 1938 expeditions on the strength of his having been the successful leader of the first ascent of Kamet (25,446 feet/ 7756 m) in 1931, accompanied by Shipton, Birnie, and Greene. In 1933 Smythe equaled Norton’s 1924 Everest record of 28,126 feet (8573 m).
Like Greene and Tilman, Smythe was educated at Berkhamsted School, where a heart murmur kept him off the football pitch. When sent to Switzerland for his health, however, he discovered the Alps and went on to become a very distinguished climber, as well as an author, photographer, and botanist, constantly striving to compensate for an apparent inferiority complex. Smythe was invalided out of the RAF in 1927, but went on to join Professor Dyhrenfurth’s international expedition to Kangchenjunga in 1930. He died at the age of 48 after being taken ill while on a trip to India.
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