Last night, SPEAR17’s outstanding achievements were recognised at The Sun Military Awards, the ‘Millies’, where they received their award for ‘Inspiring Others’. Presented to them by Lorraine Kelly, they dedicated their award to Lieutenant Colonel Henry Worsley, a friend of expedition leader, Captain Lou Rudd, who sadly passed away attempting his own Antarctic expedition.

In 2016, the team of Army Reservists, undertook an incredible unsupported expedition to the South Pole, before completing a full traverse of the Antarctic continent, a feat achieved by only six people before them. The team also consisted Jamie Facer-Childs, Ollie Stoten, Alex Brazier, Alun George and Chris Brooke.

The SPEAR17 team outside Number 10 Downing Street before the Millies
The SPEAR17 team outside Number 10 Downing Street before the Millies

Weighing around 120kg, their sledges, or ‘pulks’, carried all of their equipment and supplies for the journey. They hauled these behind them, completely unsupported by dogs or engines, as they skied across the most desolate and inhospitable environment on Earth.

Their journey began at Hercules Inlet on the coastline of Antarctica. From here they skied over 700 miles towards the Geographic South Pole. They arrived on Christmas Day, 39 days later.

Unfortunately, following medical assessments, Alun George was found to be unable to continue the expedition, but after refuelling and resupplying, the rest of the team set off a few days later to complete the 400-mile second leg of their journey.

Throughout their journey, the team faced many challenges including the harsh polar weather, crevasses, whiteout conditions, isolation from the outside world, and an overall climb from sea level to 10,000ft. All of this, on top of the physical and mental exertion necessary to haul their pulks across the ice, makes for one of the most brutal expeditions possible on Earth today.

The SPEAR17 team completed this expedition in aid of our charity, and have raised over £50,000 to date. We would like to thank them all for their incredible efforts, and congratulate them on their extremely well-earned award.

The SPEAR17 Team with their 'Inspiring Others' award and television star Penny Lancaster.
The SPEAR17 Team with their ‘Inspiring Others’ award and television star Penny Lancaster. Photo credit to NEWS GROUP NEWSPAPERS LTD.

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