This winter witnessed the successful completion of the Scott-Amundsen Centenary Expedition to the South Pole comprising two teams, each team including three serving members of HM Forces.
One such serving member of the British Army was Warrant Officer Kevin Johnson. His team retraced the longer 900 mile plus route undertaken by Captain Robert Falcon Scott from Cape Evans.
Like the intrepid Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton before him, Kevin Johnson is a Freemason. He is a relatively new Master Mason of Cantilupe Lodge No.4083. On successfully completing the Antarctic expedition, Bro Kevin Johnson proudly unfurled the blue and gold Masonic Flag, given to him by the Brethren of his Lodge, at the Geographic South Pole – a true celebration of past heroic achievements. Bro Kevin is, at 43, the same age as Captain Scott in 1911.
All members of the Expedition attended a royal reception at Goldsmiths’ Hall, Foster Lane, London Friday 26th April. In attendance were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Prince William is patron of both the Expedition and the Royal British Legion – the expedition has raised vital funds for the Royal British Legion’s £30 million commitment to the Battle Back Centre in Lilleshall to help wounded, injured and sick Service personnel on their journey of recovery.
Race for posterity to the south pole
This November witnesses the Scott-Amundsen Centenary Race to the south pole. Two teams, each with three serving members of HM Forces, will retrace the legendary steps of Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen
Master Mason Kevin Johnson of Cantilupe Lodge, No. 4083, will follow Scott’s route from Cape Evans in Antarctica. Scott, Amundsen and Ernest Shackleton were all Freemasons.
A square-and-compasses flag will be placed at the South Pole on the expedition’s completion. To date, Herefordshire lodges, Cantilupe and Arrow, together with Pegasus Forces Lodge, Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, have donated £2,000 towards the race. The teams are supporting the Royal British Legion on its 90th anniversary. Each member will haul 140kg of supplies/equipment in a sled – against a wind chill of minus 50ºC.
The race is estimated to take 60 to 65 days with an average weight loss of two stone. Follow Johnson’s journey at http://scottamundsenrace.org where you can also make donations.