THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY (WITH IBG)
Harold William Tilman, DSO, MC
tilman
(1898–1978)
Bill Tilman failed to acclimatize well on the 1935 Everest Reconnaissance, but went on to lead the “lightweight” 1938 expedition. In 1950, he made a visit to Nepal to assess the prospects for climbing the south side of Everest.
After serving with the Royal Artillery in World War I, he emigrated in 1919 to Kenya, where he lived until 1933. Although still a mountaineering novice when he met Shipton, Tilman proved his mettle on their joint first traverse of Mount Kenya’s twin peaks in 1930. Many other expeditions together followed, including the Nanda Devi Sanctuary (1934). Taciturn and spartan by nature, Tilman traveled, wrote, and lectured for the rest of his life. In 1954 he bought Mischief, his first boat, and embarked on a series of voyages to remote corners of the world. He was lost at sea somewhere between Rio de Janeiro and the Falklands Islands.
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