Wirral remembers intrepid and ill-fated Everest duo

As part of Wirral Borough of Culture 2024 a series of events in June will remember George Mallory and Andrew ‘Sandy’ Irvine who lost their lives trying to conquer Everest. Tony McDonough reports

Mount Everest
Did Mallory and Irvine ever each the summit of Mount Everest?


In 1924 the British Mount Everest expedition set off on its mission to conquer the world’s highest mountain – but it would end in tragedy.

Two intrepid explorers with strong links to Wirral, George Mallory and Andrew ‘Sandy’ Irvine, both lost their lives on Everest. There is still debate as to whether the pair reached the summit before they perished.

In June, as part of Wirral Borough of Culture 2024, there will be a series of events to mark the centenary of the 1924 expedition.

While Sandy Irvine was local to Birkenhead, having grown up in one of the original villas surrounding the historic Birkenhead Park, George Mallory spent time in his childhood in Birkenhead, where his parents lived at St Johns’ Vicarage, on Slatey Road.

To commemorate their efforts there will be a number of events:

  • A photography exhibition titled Sandy Irvine, from Birkenhead to Everest, which will be held at the Birkenhead Park visitor centre, will run from Saturday, June 1, until Sunday, August 18.
  • The Williamson Art Gallery will showcase a talk by Sandy Irvine’s great niece, the historian Julie Summers. This will take place on Thursday, June 6,  at 6pm. It is the same date that Sandy Irvine and George Mallory left camp to head to Mount Everest’s summit.
  • An installation of two blue plaques for both family houses as a reminder of Andrew Irvine and George Mallory lastly seen ‘going strong for the top’ of Mount Everest on June 8, 1924 – as testified by their fellow mountaineer, Noel Odell.

Jason Gooding, director of Neighbourhood Services, said: “100 years ago George Mallory and Sandy Irvine became pioneers in their attempt to climb Mt Everest.

READ MORE: ‘My epic journey to the roof of the world’

“Sadly both disappeared and much debate continues to this day as to whether they made the summit or not before they perished. We’re really proud to recognise their achievements as part of Wirral’s year as Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture.”

For more information about the Borough of Culture programme click here.

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