v 7.00.00
23 Jan 2024
updated 23 Jan 2024

What The Papers Said

There was evidently keen public interest in the forthcoming expedition, and many newspapers and popular magazines ran features about the extreme conditions and severe hardships that would have to be endured.

The Evening Standard (and perhaps other papers too!) made arrangements to publish dispatches as and when they were received – though how such dispatches could be sent from such lonely terrain in the first place is unclear: would the expedition be equipped with a wind-up radio-transmitter, perhaps?

But in the public eye, Captain Frank Kingdon-Ward was the star of the show – understandably, as he was already a well-established and highly-acclaimed Himalayan explorer cum botanist. And Kingdon-Ward wasn't inclined to relinquish the spotlight, as we can see from the first despatch (dated Wednesday 6 Feb 1933), in which his new companion receives only cursory mention.

This attitude is continued in the next cutting, probably from The Times, but in the cutting beside it (obviously from a far less august and lofty source than The Times) there is a clearly considerable interest in Ron's antecedents and potential.

Scan of newspaper cutting
Scan of newspaper cutting

And in the next item, shown beneath, The Queen's columnist Titania can hardly restrain herself, reporting breathlessly on "the tall Ronald, with that chiselled arresting beauty of his, and the ready disarming smile".

But just to establish that he wasn't always a ray of sunshine, the final cutting (dated March 1934, after he had returned from Tibet) is a photograph of Ron on the morning following his lecture to the Royal Central Asian Society about Zayyul and the South-Eastern Tibet border country.

Scan of newspaper cutting
Scan of newspaper cutting