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Theodore Mason

Theodore Mason was born in Yreka, California, and grew up in Klamath Falls, Oregon, where he worked part-time on the city newspaper while attending high school.  In 1965 he was graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. 

During five years in the US Navy, he was assigned as command journalist at the Naval Schools of Photography in Pensacola, Florida, and then as Armed Forces television station supervisor at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. 

He made the first of five trips to Antarctica as a journalist with the Navy's Antarctic Support Force and was based at McMurdo Station where he spent one Austral summer.  Later he was transferred to the "Operation Deep Freeze" advance headquarters in Christchurch, New Zealand. 

Following his discharge, he taught in high school and worked as a public relations executive in Australia where his first book on the Antarctic was published. 

Publisher's note:  We have undertaken a global search for the author of this fascinating book, sadly without success.  We are therefore holding any royalties from the sale of this title in escrow in the hope that the author or his heirs will contact us.  We are reissuing this book as part of our Antarctic Heritage Collection, the royalties for the other titles being donated to the Antarctic Heritage Trust to help preserve the huts, stables and equestrian artefacts which Theodore mason so movingly described and which are now in imminent danger.

Summer 2008:  Nick Smith reviews The South Pole Ponies for the Newsletter of The James Caird Society and for Geographical, the journal of the Royal Geographical Society.

The South Pole Ponies

Theodore Mason

ISBN 1590482514

The men of the expedition called them "devils" - those headstrong, mischievous, untrained ponies brought from the top of the world.  The little horses made the lives of their handlers miserable during the initial stages of two attempts on the South Pole, yet endeared themselves so much that the men shared their own precious rations with them.  Each handler could hardly bear it when his pony's turn came to be sacrificed for the good of all.

The names of the men of these expeditions are well-known - Scott, Shackleton, Mawson, Cherry-Garrard, Ponting, Wilson, Bowers, Oates - but few know the names of the ponies, or even that there ever were Manchurian and Siberian ponies in Antarctica.

Through meticulous research, the author brings Nobby, Snatcher, Snippets, Bones, Socks, Chinaman, poor Jimmy Pigg and the other ponies alive again while telling of the two trouble-plagued expeditions to the South Pole.

This edition is being produced in an effort to raise awareness of the need to preserve the four huts in Antarctica used by the British explorers, along with all of the remarkable memorabilia and ice-bound supplies preserved within their frozen walls.  Having endured nearly a century of harsh weather and official government neglect, the scientific headquarters still symbolise the nobler aspects of human nature which took these talented and brave men to Antarctica.  The tiny buildings are now listed as some of the most endangered sites in the world.

 

For more information, please go to Amazon.co.uk or Barnes & Noble

 

To read a touching poem about these little heroes by Professor George Kalamaras, please click here.

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