Jan 262016

Henry Worsley


4th October 1960 – 24th January 2016


Lieutenant Colonel Alastair Edward Henry Worsley MBE (4th October 1960 – 24th January 2016) was a British explorer and British Army officer. He was part of the successful 2009 expedition that retraced Ernest Shackleton’s footsteps in the Antarctic.

He died in the January of 2016 while attempting to complete the first solo and unaided crossing of the Antarctic.

Early life

Henry Worsley was born on 4th October 1960 at the Garrett Anderson Maternity Home, 40 Belsize Grove, London, England. He was the only son of General Sir Richard Worsley GCB OBE (1923–2013) and his first wife, Sarah Anne “Sally”, eldest daughter of Brigadier J. A. H. Mitchell, of the British Embassy, Paris. He was distantly related to Frank Worsley, the captain of explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, and from childhood had a strong interest in the Antarctic explorers of the early twentieth century.


Worsley was educated at Selwyn House, an independent prep school, and at Stowe School, then an all-boys independent senior school in Stowe, Buckinghamshire. A keen sportsman, he captained the school cricket team while at Stowe. He did not attend university, and entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst after completing school to train as an army officer.

Military career

Worsley was a soldier in the British Army for 36 years. He served with The Royal Green Jackets and later The Rifles. In 1988, he passed the Special Air Service (SAS) selection course and served in 22 SAS Regiment.

He was Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion Royal Green Jackets from 2000 to 2002, and commanded the 2001 British military operation in Afghanistan, known as “Operation Veritas”. He also served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo. His final tour before retirement was as a Special Operations Officer based in the The Pentagon, liaising on behalf of the British Army with United States special operations forces.

On 12th April 1980, Worsley was commissioned in The Royal Green Jackets, British Army, as a second lieutenant. He was granted the service number 509600. He was promoted to lieutenant on 12th April 1982, to captain on 12th October 1986, to major on 30th September 1992 (having attended Staff College), and to lieutenant colonel on 30th June 2000. He retired from the army on 4th October 2015.

On 12th October 1993, Worsley was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) “in recognition of distinguished service in Northern Ireland”. On 19th April 2002, he was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service “in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the former Yugoslavia during the period 1st April 2001 to 30th September 2001”.

Antarctic expeditions

In 2008, he led an expedition to pioneer a route through the Transantarctic Mountains, reaching a point 97 miles (156 km) from the South Pole. The expedition commemorated the centenary of Shackleton’s Nimrod Expedition. He returned to the Antarctic in 2011, leading a team of six in retracing Roald Amundsen’s successful 900 miles (1,400 km) journey in 1912 to the South Pole, marking its centenary. In completing the route, he became the first person to have successfully undertaken all three of the routes taken by Shackleton, Amundsen, and Robert Falcon Scott.

Final expedition


Henry Worsley’s intention was to follow in the spirit of his hero, Shackleton, and before starting the trip raised over £100,000 for the Endeavour Fund, set up to assist injured servicemen and women. The patron of the expedition was Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.
In contrast to the 1997 solo crossing by Børge Ousland, Worsley travelled without a kite to help pull his 150 kilogram sledge.

Worsley arrived at his starting point, Berkner Island, on 13th November 2015 with the aim of completing his journey in 80 days. He covered 913 miles (1,469 km) in 69 days, and had only 30 miles (48 km) to go. However, he had to spend day 70 and 71 in his tent suffering from exhaustion and severe dehydration. Eventually he radioed for help and was airlifted to Punta Arenas, Chile. He was diagnosed with bacterial peritonitis. On 24th January 2016, he died of organ failure following surgery at the Clinica Magallanes in Punta Arenas. He was 55 years old.


Worsley lived in Fulham, London. On 20th February 1993, he married Joanna, the daughter of Andrew Stainton, at St. Mary’s Church, Chilham, Canterbury, Kent. Together, they had two children; a son, Max, and daughter, Alicia.


Tina Jackson, meeting Worsley and other members of the 2009 expedition that went to the Antarctic “In Shackleton’s Footsteps”, notes in The Guardian that Worsley called the task of forming the team “gene-pool selection”, the other members also being descendants of members of the earlier expedition.

Sourced from Wikipedia

‘My journey is at an end. I’ve run out of time and endurance’: The last poignant diary entry and selfie of British explorer who died 30 miles short of becoming the first man to cross Antarctica alone.

Sourced from You-Tube

Posted on the RGJRA SITE

Taken from Facebook

Henry Worsley
Lt Col Henry Worsley has died after suffering exhaustion and dehydration during a solo attempt to cross Antarctica.
Henry, 55, was 71 days into his effort to become the first person to cross the Antarctic unaided.

He commanded 2 RGJ and completed several tours with 22 SAS. He left the Army in October 2015.
His wife Joanna announced the news, saying she felt “heartbroken sadness”. Henry died of “complete organ failure”, her statement added.

Henry was raising funds for the Endeavour Fund for wounded servicemen. A detailed statement is on their website.

Jamie Balfour, President of the RGJ Association, said
It is with huge sadness that I heard the news of the tragic death of Henry Worsley. A Green Jacket of many talented parts, an inspiring and thoughtful leader, an Antarctic legend and hero, a caring and compassionate soul, and a real friend.

His enduring story in this modern age is one of commitment to his dream, of unique physical and mental individual endeavour, of bravery and challenge against all the odds, and his intense love of his family.
We will remember him, and may his example be forever an inspiration to us all.


Memorial at Peninsula think we should name the new polar ship after the polar explorer who died in his solo attempt to cross Antarctica. His hero was Ernest Shackleton (the name of one of our ships). Also rather interestingly, he was a distant relative of Frank Worsley who was the captain of the ship Endurance which was used on the failed mission just over a century ago. It was also Frank Worsley who successfully helped steer the modified lifeboat James Caird to South Georgia to get help and rescue the others left behind on Elephant Island. Henry Worsley was trying to raise funds for the Endeavour Fund which helps wounded, injured or sick ex-service men achieve their ambitions in the field of sport or adventurous challenges. In my mind, Henry Worsley showed British pioneering spirit, grit and determination.

19th April 2017

His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge, awarded the Polar Medal to Joanna Worsley – the wife of the late Antarctica explorer Lieutenant Colonel Henry Worsley. 
Henry raised over £100,000 for the Endeavour Fund but died on a solo Antarctic crossing in 2016. 

The Endeavour Fund was founded in 2012, as part of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry’s Royal Foundation. The fund supports recovery of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women. 

Joanna Worsley….. 

“When Henry died, he was raising money for The Endeavour Fund. His ‘fund’ now stands at about £600,000. After his death, the Endeavour Fund said they wanted to have an Award evening annually giving away 3 awards for bravery in the face of both mental and / or physical injuries. The 3rd of those awards is called the Henry Worsley award and is given to ‘the individual who has best inspired others through the demonstration of determination in the face of adversity whilst endeavouring to support others with their recovery through success in sport or adventurous challenge’.
Last year it was won by Neil Heritage, a bomb disposal expert. This year by Sean Gane, ex RGJ / Rifles. It is an inspirational charity.

Mark Wood Explorer….. 

It’s been a year for talented and inspirational people passing away. I have been shocked just as much as the next person – but in my own world it was the loss of a friend and extremely influential explorer Henry Worsley who lost his life in South America after crossing Antarctica solo and unsupported.

I met Henry at the South Pole in 2012 – I didn’t have a bond like his colleagues did in the military or from past expeditions but we connected quickly and he has influenced me in many ways since.

A professional who understood how to survive on long range polar expeditions – an incredible strategist – a formidable leader – a man of humour and in balance a man who understood the importance of family.

In the polar world we lost one of the modern greats – as I write this his good friend Lou Rudd is leading a team across the South Pole and has already cross the pole heading towards the final 400 Miles.

Lou and the SPEAR 17 are doing the expedition in the name of Henry Worsley – please take time to look at their blog and my thoughts are with any body who feels that sense of of loss this year.




Memorial At Peninsula have purchased one of Henry `s limited prints and in doing so has helped the endeavour fund.


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