Remembering our lost Antarctic adventurer: Soyland’s Eric Platt is honoured

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AN EXPLORER who lost his life on an Antarctic expedition is to be honoured by a new memorial.

Soyland geologist Eric Platt was working with a British survey team when he died of a heart attack in 1948, aged 22.

Mr Eric Platt who went to the antarctic

Mr Eric Platt who went to the antarctic

Now, a plaque has been installed in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, in memory of him and the other 28 Britons who never returned from the continent.

It was the idea of the British Antarctic Monument Trust, whose chairman Roderick Rhys Jones lost three colleagues in the Antarctic in the 1960s.

“Many people there died in very difficult and dangerous circumstances and their bodies weren’t recovered,” said the 69-year-old Londoner.

“The families have no resting places for their relatives, and the memorial in St Paul’s will give a central focus for grief.”

Mr Platt was buried near his team’s base in Admirality Bay, marked by a cairn of stones and a wooden cross. A stained glass window was put in St Mary’s Church, Cottonstones, in his honour in 1950.

The latest memorial will be dedicated on Tuesday in front of up to 300 relatives, colleagues and friends of the fallen.

Among them will be Alan Coley, who was at Sowerby Bridge Grammar School when Mr Platt was head boy there.

Mr Coley followed in Mr Platt’s footsteps and went to work as a meteorologist in Hope Bay in 1952. Both men were inspired by Triangle meteorologist Kenneth Pawson, who also attended their school.

Mr Coley, 81, one of the oldest surviving members of his team, said: “It will bring back memories and we had some great times as well as some very difficult times.”

The Trust has been unable to trace Mr Platt’s family, and are keen to hear from anyone who knows their whereabouts. Visit www.antarctic-monument.org