George. H. L. Mallory 1886 – 1924

George. H. L. Mallory, was born in Mobberley in 1886 to the local clergyman, Herbert Leigh Mallory of Saint Wilfred’s Parish Church, Mobberley. In his early years, Mallory’s family bought their first family home at Hobcroft House on Hobrcoft Lane, where he self-taught the art of climbing, utilising the homes tall chimneys and the church tower where his father preached. He later went on to read History at Cambridge University in 1905 and in December 1915 he commissioned into the Royal Artillery whom he served with throughout the First World War and fought with in the Battle of the Somme.

After the war, Mallory resigned his commission in 1920 and unable to resettle back into ‘normal’ life he signed up to The Geographical Societies 1921 British Expedition to Everest, this would be his first of three. On Mallory’s third expedition, Mallory and his fellow climbing partner, Chester’s own Andrew “Sandy” Irvine decided to make their move for the summit on June 6th before the wintery monsoon season was forecast to hit. Mallory and Irvine were last seen by a fellow expedition member, Noel Odell whom reportedly saw the pair heading towards the “Third Step” and were “going strongly for the top”. Mallory and Irvine then disappeared into the clouds never to be seen again until Mallory’s body was found in 1999 just 200m from their summit camp (Camp VI) and appeared to have been on the descent. George Mallory’s body and possessions remained in very good condition within the ‘Death Zone’ but his pocket camera and picture of his wife Ruth, which he promised to place at the summit, remain missing.

Mallory is believed by many today to have summited the top of Everest on June 8th, 1924. Over the years he inspired, was honoured by Kings and quoted by Presidents (President John F Kennedy when he launched the US space program in 1961) and explorers alike for his infamous answer when asked ‘why’ he wanted to reach the top of the world, he responded; “Because it’s there!”.

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