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TILMAN, Major Harold William (1898-1979)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0402 HWT
Held at: Royal Geographical Society
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Full title: TILMAN, Major Harold William (1898-1979)
Date(s): 1919-1979
Level of description: Collection level
Extent: 36 boxes
Name of creator(s): Tilman | Harold William | 1898-1979 | Major | explorer and mountaineer


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born, 1898, education Berkhamsted School, 1909, and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, 1915; Royal Field Artillery, 1915-1917; Royal Horse Artillery, 1917-1919; coffee planter, Kenya, 1919-1930; ascended the two peaks of Kilimanjaro (Kibo and Mawenzi) and Mount Kenya and the Ruwenzori range with Eric Shipton; returned to England, 1932; prospected for gold in Kenya and bicycled across Africa from Uganda to the west coast, 1933; reconnaissance of Nanda Devi, Himalayas with Eric Shipton, 1934; reconnaissance expedition to Mount Everest, 1935; climbed Nanda Devi, 1936; explored and mapped a little-known area of the Karakoram; 1937; leader of the 1938 Mount Everest expedition; rejoined the Royal Artillery, 1939; Special Operations Executive, 1943-1945; attempted Rakaposhi in the Karakoram and Muztagh Ata in the Chinese Pamirs, 1947; travelled across China to the Chitral with Eric Shipton; 1948; explored in Nepal, 1949; expedition to Annapurna IV in Nepal and accompanied Charles Houston on the first ever approach to Everest from the south up the Khumbu glacier, 1950; British consul at Maymyo in Burma, 1952; returned to Britain and took up sailing: voyage to Patagonia, crossing the Patagonian ice-cap and circumnavigating South America, 1955-1956; circumnavigated Africa, 1957-1958; sailed to the Crozet Islands and Kerguelen Island in the southern Indian Ocean, 1959-1960; series of voyages to east Greenland, 1961-1974; expedition led by Simon Richardson to Smith Island in the South Shetlands, 1977-1979, on which he died, 1979. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), 1935-1977; awarded the RGS Founder's Medal, 1952.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Maj Harold William Tilman, 1919-1979, including logs, notebooks, journals, photographs, slides and correspondence relating to his travels by boat, and material relating to his wartime service.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Awaiting arrangement

Conditions governing access:

Accessible via The Foyle Reading Room. Free of charge for Fellows, Members and those with valid academic identification. All other users pay a charge and must bring identification in order to register on arrival.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying at the discretion of the Archivist and subject to completion of 'application for copies' form. No reproduction or publication without the permission of the RGS-IBG Archivist.

Finding aids:

Collection level description available in the Foyle Reading Room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

24 boxes deposited by Tilman. 14 boxes deposited on permanent loan by creator's niece, 1993 and additional items in 1994.

Allied Materials

Related material:

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Prepared by Archives Volunteer using existing finding aids. Revised by Sarah Drewery.
Sources: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; The Geographical Journal, Vol 145, No. 2 (Jul., 1979), pp 376-377.

Rules or conventions:
ISAD)G) ed. 2, name authority NRA.

Date(s) of descriptions:
31st January, 2001. May 2008.

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