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Spotlight On: Frederick J Hooper

Frederick J Hooper
1891-1955

From Southport to the South Pole, Frederick J Hooper makes Southport’s local history global. A 19-year-old boy from Southport made his name half way around the world.

Hooper was a member of the British Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913. The aim of the expedition was to study various scientific and geological topics. However, he was ultimately famous for being a member of the search party sent out to discover the grim fate of the members of the Terra Nova Expedition.

The aim of the Terra Nova Expedition was to carry out scientific and geological experiments as well as to join the race to be the first people to reach the geographic South Pole.

The Terra Nova team were unlucky on all accounts, not only was their mission ill-fated, but they also failed to be the first to reach the geographic South Pole, a Norwegian team got to the Pole first.

The team got into difficulty on their return journey. Battling the elements, disease and lack of provisions; the team finally succumbed in March 1912.

Hooper and the other members of the search party found the bodies of most of the Terra Nova team eight months later, some members of the team were never found.

Hooper is a fine example of Southport’s kind heart and spirit. Upon discovering the bodies, Hooper sacrificed his own skis to fashion a cross as a memorial to the fallen men.

The cross was placed atop a cairn of snow to mark their resting place.

Hooper returned to Southport with the skis of Captain Oates, a member of the team who is believed to have sacrificed himself for the survival of his fellow expeditioners.

These skis are held in The Atkinson, Southport in memory of both men.

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