The news of the conquest of Everest reached London on
the eve of June 1, 1953, just in time for the announcement to precede
the great event of the Coronation of the following day.
Mount Everest, which lies in the Himalayan Range on the border between
Nepal and Tibet, is the highest mountain in the world, rising to a height
of more than 8,800 metres. Many attempts had been made to climb it, and
although some mountaineers had come very close to the summit, none had
actually reached it. In 1953 the Geographical Society of London and the
Alpine Club sponsored a new expedition led by Colonel John Hunt. Elaborate
preparations were made before the climb began, and the expedition followed
a route which had not been tried before. By May 28 the mountaineers had
reached a height of nearly 8,500 metres and on May 29 a New Zealand member
of the expedition, Edmund Hilary, and a Sherpa guide, Tenzing, reached
It was the words of ‘The Times’ that summed up the nation’s
feelings: “Seldom since Francis Drake brought the ‘Golden
Hind’ to anchor in Plymouth Sound has a British explorer offered
to his sovereign such a tribute of glory as Colonel John Hunt and his
men were able to lay at the feet of Queen Elizabeth for her coronation.”
These words of course, suggested the design for the cover of the Naval
Review Number’ of June 20.
On June 27, 1953, the ILN published 'The
Conquest of Everest’ number
(Appendix List No. 153). The magazine shows the members
of the expedition, the preparations made for the ascent, the equipment
used, the stages of the ascent and the reaching of the summit. Other pages
show photographs taken from the summit, the triumphant return from the
peak and the congratulations bestowed on the man. A final section shows
Tenzing at home in Darjeeling, Edmund Hilary at home in New Zealand and
Colonel John Hunt at Katmandu, capital of Nepal.
The cover of this issue is the normal advertising wrapper with the words
indicating the special nature of the magazine in the upper half.
This is issue number 5958, vol. 222, pages 1065-1108, measuring 37 x 26
cm and priced at two shillings.
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