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25 October: Plaque honouring South Pole explorer to be unveiled

A heroic British explorer who was part of the ill fated expedition to the South Pole led by Captain Scott is to be honoured exactly 100 years after his death.

Lt Henry ‘Birdie’ Bowers was raised in Streatham and was one of the four men to perish with Captain Scott on the return journey of their expedition to the South Pole in 1912.

In honour of his heroism, Lambeth London Living and the Streatham Society will pay tribute to a legendary Antarctic explorer with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque. The ceremony will take place on 12 November at 19a-23c Pathfield Road – the site of Lt Bowers’ boyhood home.

The plaque unveiling marks the centenary of the day his body, and those of his colleagues, was found by a search party in 1912.

It will be placed on a block of Lambeth London Living flats in Pathfield Road, Streatham - the site of Lt Henry ‘Birdie’ Bowers’ former home. It was destroyed by a V1 flying bomb that fell on 23 Pathfield Road on 18 June 1944.

Lt Bowers distinctive beak-nose earned him the nickname ‘Birdie’, and he was greatly admired by Scott who in a final letter wrote of his “wonderful upright nature” and “dauntless spirit”.

Lambeth London Living Chair, the Rt Hon. Keith Hill, said: “The expedition to the South Pole led by Captain Scott was an act of great British heroism but many local residents will be unaware that part of the story began here in Streatham. 

“We are proud of Streatham’s connection with Lt Henry ‘Birdie’ Bowers, and I’m delighted that Lambeth London Living working together with the Streatham Society will be commemorating his memory in this way.”

Brian Bloice, Chairman of the Streatham Society said: “It is fitting that in this centenary year of the death of Lt Bowers and his colleagues, their endeavours should be remembered”.

The plaque will be unveiled by the Mayor of Lambeth, Councillor Clive Bennett at 12 noon on Monday 12 November 2012. Local residents have been invited to be part of the ceremony.