Mallory and Irvine Memorials

Noel Odell reported:

“At 12.50, just after I had emerged from a state of jubilation at finding the first definite fossils on Everest, there was a sudden clearing of the atmosphere, and the entire summit ridge and final peak of Everest were unveiled. My eyes became fixed on one tiny black spot silhouetted on a small snow-crest beneath a rock-step in the ridge; the black spot moved. Another black spot became apparent and moved up the snow to join the other on the crest. The first then approached the great rock-step and shortly emerged at the top; the second did likewise. Then the whole fascinating vision vanished, enveloped in cloud once more.”

On June 21, 1924, the London Times published the headline: “Mallory and Irvine Killed on Last Attempt.”

The news of George Mallory’s and his summit climbing partner Andrew Irvine’s disappearance was widely mourned in Britain, to the extent that the two were hailed as national heroes. A memorial service was held at St Paul’s Cathedral, London on 17th October and was attended by a great assembly of family, friends, and dignitaries including Prime Minister Ramsay Macdonald, the entire British Cabinet, and members of the Royal Family, headed by King George V.

Today in 2016 we are still eager to find out exactly what happened on that fateful day in 1924, 92 years ago. What we do know is that the legacy of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine is still as strong as ever.

There are many memorials that have been set up over the years to remind us of our national heroes.

Mount Everest

At Mount Everest Base Camp (North side) you will find two memorials stones, one a lot older than the other. These stones are placed with the view of the North Face of Mount Everest in the background.

Mount Everest Mallory and Irvine Memorial
Photo © Jake Norton / MountainWorld Productions. All Rights Reserved

Magdalene College

George Mallory entered Magdalene College, Cambridge in 1905. Here you will find ‘Mallory Court’ which comprises of student rooms, some new and some converted from existing buildings which
include a defunct brewery. Also, above a doorway coming off Mallory Court you will find a Memorial Stone.

Mallory Court at Magdalene CollegeMallory Memorial Stone at Magdalene College
© Colin Wallace (with thanks to Stephen Hall)                  © Colin Wallace (with thanks to Stephen Hall)

It reads:

In Memory of George Herbert Leigh Mallory
Member of this College 1905 – 1909
Everest 1924
The Gift of ACB

Merton College

In 1919, Irvine enrolled to Merton College, Oxford. Here you will see the Irvine Memorial. It was designed by Eric Gill and commemorates Mertonian Andrew (Sandy) Irvine.

It reads:

Andrew Comyn Irvine
1902 – 1924
Prerished near Summit of Mount Everest
June 1924

Irvine Memorial at Merton College
© Kaihsu Tai Wikimedia Commons

Birkenhead School

A painting of Andrew Irvine hangs in the main assembly hall at Birkenhead School where he was first educated.
Irvine Painting at Birkenhead School
© Icepicks and Violets care of Birkenhead School

Mobberley Church

Mobberley Church in Cheshire was the Mallory families local church. Here there is a large stained glass window commemorating Mallory, it shows the three mythical figures of King Arthur, St. George and Sir Galahad.

Mallory Stained Glass Window at Mobberley ChurchMallory Stained Glass Window at Mobberley Church
© Craig Thornber www.thornber.net                                         © Craig Thornber www.thornber.net

The panel in the lower right of the window reads:

“In Memory of George Herbert Leigh Leigh-Mallory, born at Mobberley, June 1886, died June 1924, son of Canon Herbert Leigh Leigh-Mallory, Rector, 1885-1904. The window was put in by his family and friends at Mobberley”

Chester Cathedral

Among the stained glass windows in Chester Cathedral is this one, commemorating the Mallory and Irvine deaths on Mount Everest.

Mallory and Irvine Memorial at Chester Cathedral
© Sue Foy

Shrewsbury School

After going to Birkenhead School Andrew Irvine went on to Shrewsbury School. Here they have a stone memorial dedicated to him.

Irvine Memorial Stone at Shrewsbury School
© Unknown – If this is your photo let me know

Trinity Presbyterian Church

The Trinity Presbyterian Church in Birkenhead was the Irvine families local church. Here they have a wooden plaque on the wall.

Irvine Memorial Plaque at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Birkenhead
© Trinity Presbyterian Church

Street Names

Two streets were named after Mallory and Irvine in Birkenhead where Andrew Irvine was born. They are Mallory Road and Irvine Road.

Irvine Road in BirkenheadMallory Road in Birkenhead

(C) Janet Holmes Ice Picks and Violets                        (C) Janet Holmes Ice Picks and Violets

Mountains

Two peaks standing at 13,851 ft and 13,786 ft in the Sierra Nevada of California were named after Mallory and Irvine respectively. Mount Mallory is located south east of Mount Whitney, and is flanked to the north by Mount Irvine. Their names were suggested by Norman Clyde following their loss on Mount Everest.

Mount Mallory and Mount Irvine in the Sierra Nevada of California
© summitpost.org/users/mishalogvinov

There are probably many more memorials that are dedicated to George Mallory and Andrew Irvine but I believe these are the more well known ones.