Team Members

Lt Col Paul J Edwards MSc, MA, RLC

Born 02 May 1965 and commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1990, Lt Col Edwards has over 20 years of military service including operational tours of Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kuwait. He is a graduate of the Joint Services Command and Staff College and currently works as a Planning Officer in the Army’s Headquarters in Andover.

Lt Col Edwards has been an active mountaineer since the age of 11 and has climbed and skied in the Himalayas, the Arctic, Alaska and many times in the European Alps. Since joining the Army he has been passionate about improving the mountaineering opportunities for soldiers and has served on the committee of the Army Mountaineering Association since 1991, currently holding the role of Vice Chairman.

As Expedition Leader Lt Col Edwards will direct the expedition planning and then lead the expedition when it deploys South to Antarctica. He comments: "Being asked to lead this expedition is a huge privilege. Although there is much work to done, and the expedition itself has significant risks, I am proud of the enthusiasm and dedication shown by the squad. My hardest task, by far, will be selecting the final 24 to accompany me."

Watch video footage of Paul . . . here
Lt Cdr Paul Hart FRGS MPhil(Cantab) Royal Navy

Paul was born 10 August 1962 in Manchester. It was while reading for a degree in Oceanography, Meteorology and Geology at Plymouth Polytechnic that Paul developed a deep fascination for all activities connected with the great outdoors. He has been involved in and led adventurous training activities across the globe, from sea kayaking expeditions around the outside coastline of Alaska, to first ascents of previously unclimbed peaks in the Himalayas, to diving and sailing in some of the most remote places in the world.

Paul is currently serving at the Initial Naval Training sites of HMS RALEIGH and Britannia Royal Naval College, the latter of which holds many artefacts of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s initial naval training onboard HMS Britannia and Hindostan (which preceded the building of the Naval College at Dartmouth. As Deputy Leader of the expedition Paul is leading on the development of the science projects encompassed within the expedition and as such will lead the intended Traverse of Avery and Bruce Plateaus. Paul stated that he was, “humbled at being asked to be the deputy leader of an expedition which seeks to commemorate the life and achievements of such a heroic figure as Captain Robert Falcon Scott Royal Navy.

Watch video footage of Paul . . . here
Cpl Ali Allsopp QARANC

Ali was born in Yorkshire (Pontefract) in 1975 and started her career as an army medic in 1997, attached to 4 PARA, whilst studying at Liverpool University. Following various medical exercises and deployments in Kenya, Belize, Germany, Cyprus and Iraq Ali then gained sponsorship to undertake nurse training. She is currently serving in 16 Medical Regiment, Colchester as an adult nurse with trauma and emergency nursing experience.

Ali’s passion for mountaineering started by a chance encounter whilst backpacking when she got coerced into trekking to the Annapurna base camp; although she was completely ill prepared both physically and mentally, this opportunity sparked a yearning for more mountain and wilderness adventures.

For the past three years all Ali’s spare time has been spent travelling, exploring and climbing in the Alps, Scotland, Spain and the Himalaya. She have also been fortunate enough to participate in all the training meets and several foundation adventure training courses to develop skills and gain valuable logbook experience, which she hopes will lead on to instructor qualifications.

"My role within the expedition relates to providing medical cover and being part of the ski / research team, and I still can`t believe I`m actually going to be part of such an exciting adventure."

Watch video footage of Ali . . . here
Sgt Will 'Brains' Brant

“Brains” Brant is a member of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps; He is currently serving at the Joint Services Mountain Training Centre delivering Adventurous Training qualifications in many disciplines including Skiing, Rock-Climbing and Mountaineering.

He began his interest in the outdoors at secondary school and since joining the Army at sixteen he has been able to develop his passion in many aspects of outdoor adventurous sports. He has led and been a member of expeditions all over the world including Tibet, Peru, Canada and throughout Europe.

When he is not playing or working in the mountains he attempts to surf and not to fall off his mountain bike.

Watch video footage of Will . . . here
Cpl Samantha Butterworth
Kings Troop, Royal Horse Artillery

Samantha joined the Army in 1998 and was initially posted to the Royal Artillery in Larkhill before then moving to the King’s Troop RHA.  She was then involved in ceremonial duties including State Salutes and the Queen’s Lifeguards which the Regiment covers for one month of the year. She then took over the appointment of Gun Park NCO - with responsibility to run a team of six gunners who were in charge of turning out all the guns for the duties the Regiment performs.

Samantha also instructed at the Army Training Regiment Pirbright for three years. Throughout her military career she has continued to climb after being inspired by her grandfather's passion for this pursuit. This resulted in a place on the "Everest 2006" development team where she was lucky enough to have some really inspirational guidance by some truly exceptional members of the Army Mountaineering Association. This then only strengthened her love of the outdoors and is lucky enough to be involved in this fantastic expedition.
Captain Phil Carrotte BEng AMIMechE REME

Having studied at Welbeck College, Phil completed a degree in Mechanical Engineering with Management before commissioning into Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) in August 2002. Phil has since served in Germany, the UK and on three operational tours of Iraq where, most recently, he was responsible for the training and mentoring of an Iraqi Army maintenance unit as part of the British hand over. Phil is currently the Adjutant for a Territorial Army unit, 102 Battalion REME(V), based in County Durham.

A keen mountaineer since joining the Scouts at age eleven Phil has climbed and walked around the UK and since university around Europe and the World. In 2004 he was lucky enough to join the High Altitude Development Team of a British Services expedition to Nepal where he climbed Mera Peak (6476m) and attempted Baruntse (7220m). As a military mountaineering instructor Phil has taught, encouraged and cajoled (with varying degrees of success!) soldiers in all his units to take on some of his passion for the mountains.

Phil is leading the logistic planning team for the expedition. He comments: “Despite the huge challenges of an expedition like this the opportunities for exploration and discovery make it all worth while.”

Watch video footage of Phil . . . here
Lt Col Pete Davis MRCGP FACEM Dip IMC Dip Mtn Med RAMC

Pete started climbing in Easter 1978 with some school friends, bumbling his way up a snowy gully somewhere near the summit of Snowdon! Since then he has climbed and skied throughout Europe and the Southern Alps of New Zealand, and participated in expeditions to the West Ridge of Everest, Denali in Alaska and to the mountains of the Cordillera Blanca of Peru. He is a consultant in emergency medicine by profession, currently serving in 16 Air Assault Brigade, and with prior operational service with both Commando and Airborne Forces in Northern Ireland, Kurdistan, Iraq and Afghanistan. His sub-specialty interests are in pre-hospital emergency care and wilderness medicine, but he hopes that his skills as a ski mountaineer rather than as a doctor will be tested during this expedition !

Watch video footage of Pete . . . here
Lt Cdr Martin Densham MA (Cantab) MSc RN

Martin was born 6 July 1972 in South Africa and commissioned in to the Royal Navy in 1997 as a Warfare Officer. He has served on operations in Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, the Caribbean, North and South Atlantic and is currently stationed at the UK’s Permanent Joint Headquarters.
He has taken part in mountaineering expeditions in Europe and North America and enjoys a wide range of outdoors activities including mountain biking, sailing, snowboarding and adventure racing. In 2005 he gained a MSc in Physical Oceanography from the US Naval Postgraduate School and is the lead on the scientific aspects of the expedition.

To conduct scientific research in Antarctica is a dream very few people get to fulfil and follows firmly in the footsteps of Captain Scott’s endeavours a century ago. The work we plan to undertake will not only improve our understanding of climate change in the region but also its effects on the local ecology.”

See a video of Martin . . . here . . . or here
Lieutenant Stuart Fletcher MA (Hons) Royal Navy

Stuart was born on 30th May, 1982 in Bolton, Lancashire and joined the Royal Navy at the age of 18. Following basic training and four years studying Politics at the University of Edinburgh he qualified as a Navigating Officer in 2006. He has served in at sea in the Mediterranean, the Baltic, off Africa, North and South America and has twice had the privilege of visiting the frozen Antarctic island of South Georgia; most recently during his current appointment as Navigating Officer of HMS GLOUCESTER.

While at university a long held love of the outdoors became a passion for the mountains and everything associated with them. He is a keen climber, skier, walker and mountain biker, has indulged his fancy for the hills all over the UK, in the European Alps and in Patagonia and will generally take pretty much any opportunity to go outside and have an adventure!

A firm advocate for Adventurous Training in the Royal Navy Stuart hopes that this expedition will encourage others in the Service to make their own forays into the unknown, be that to some far off corner of a frozen ice cap or just the local crag on a summer’s evening.

Watch video footage of Stuart . . . here
Surg Lt Simon Hornby

Born in Leicester on 25 Sept 1981, Simon now lives in Plymouth and works as a GP trainee at Derriford Hospital. He joined the Royal Navy as a medical cadet while studying at the University of Sheffield and has served as a doctor on HMS Cornwall, RFA Cardigan Bay and RFA Diligence. In 2009 Simon completed the All Arms Commando Course and moved to Commando Logistic Regiment in North Devon where he deployed to Norway and completed the Arctic Survival and Warfare courses. Simon's love for the outdoors was heightened in 2010 when he was the doctor for a services expedition to Makalu in the Himalayas. This increased his drive to be more involved in expeditionary and wilderness medicine and this will certainly be essential in Antarctica.

Simon has always excelled in sports and currently represents the Royal Navy at swimming most notably at the 2009 World Masters Games in Sydney Australia where he won 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze medal. He has completed 2 London marathons and the Olympic distance London triathlon.

To relax Simon enjoys mountain biking, socialising with friends and watching movies at the cinema. Simon stated: 'I am extremely privileged to be part of such an awe-inspiring expedition with such important goals. I am particularly interested in the scientific research and I will be aiming to conduct a psychological research project while away. Partnership with the International Scott Centenary Expedition will increase coverage among the public and hopefully inspire expedition leaders of the future.'

Watch video footage of Stuart . . . here
Major Stephen Marsh

Born 23 October 1964 and following a few years in the Intelligence Corps, Steve was commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1989. He has served throughout the world including operational tours in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland. Major Marsh is currently the Chief of Staff Warminster Garrison.

Maj Marsh is an active and experienced adventure training leader and instructor with qualifications that range at a high level across winter and summer mountaineering, kayaking, skiing, paragliding, parachuting and climbing. He has previously held the posts of Officer in Charge of the Joint Service Mountain Training Centre’s at Kingussie, Scotland and Tywyn in Wales. Throughout his 25 years of army service he has organised and led over 20 expeditions including 12 in the Himalayas which included the summit of numerous 6000 metre peaks and Cho Oyu at 8200 metres in 2009.

The opportunity to be part of a team that will venture into unknown Antarctic territory to climb mountains untouched by the human hand is very exciting indeed

Watch video footage of Stephen . . . here
Capt Sam Marshall, AAC

Sam joined the Army as a Craftsman in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in 1987. As an Aircraft Technician, Sam has served worldwide supporting Army helicopters, including operational tours of Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Working up through the ranks, he commissioned into the Army Air Corp in April 2010 and now works as the Plans Officer with 9 Regiment Army Air Corps.

An active mountaineer for almost 30 years Sam and has climbed in the Himalaya, New Zealand, Greenland, Africa, Norway, Thailand and the European Alp. He was a member of the 2004 British Services Makalu Expedition and the Junior Team Climbing Leader for the 2008 British Services Makalu Expedition; he is also the Training Officer for the Army Mountaineering Association.

Watch video footage of Sam . . . here
Maj Al Mason AGC(ETS) MSc BSc (Ed) Hons

Maj Al Mason is Devon born and bred, graduating from Exeter University before passing out from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1996. Maj Al Mason has spent his whole career in various forms of education and training, teaching everything from Maths, IT, Spanish and Military Studies. Following a Masters Degree at Edinburgh University, he is now working as an army training advisor.

He has participated in a number of military and civilian expeditions, climbing / mountaineering in the UK, Spain, the Alps, the Pyrenees, Canada, Nepal, Tibet, Norway and Ecuador. In addition to climbing he enjoys all types of kayaking, windsurfing, sailing and family life doing all of the above except more carefully.

Maj Al Mason is the lead for J3 and is responsible for the coordination of events leading up to the start of the expedition and then will ensure that updates are put onto the web and the expedition’s progress is communicated to the outside world. He comments: "This expedition is a chance in a lifetime and something very different from the norm. The major appeal for me is the exploratory nature of the expedition and the opportunity to climb in areas where very few people have ever visited. The key to the whole expedition will be detailed planning and teamwork; something which the Services excel at.”

Watch video footage of Al . . . here
Captain Ivar Milligan Scots Guards

Ivar joined the Army in 2008 after four years at the University of Edinburgh, including working in gold mines in central and SE Asia, making the best of what the University Officers’ Training Corps could offer with expeditions to Bavaria, the Alps and Ecuador. During the commissioning course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Ivar developed his mountaineering experience and helped lead a mountaineering expedition to the Jebel Akhdar in Oman. Shortly after commissioning he was selected into the squad for BSAE 2012 and after completing an operational tour as a platoon commander has now taken up the post as the Project Officer for the expedition, coordinating the planning full time from Headquarters Land Forces.

As a junior officer Ivar hopes to be able to take this incredible opportunity early in his career as a foundation from which to develop further expeditions for his Regiment and the Army as well as his own experience.

Watch video footage of Ivar . . . here
Julian Mitchell RE

Julian “Mitch” Mitchell was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 2002. With his first posting in Germany he exercised in Canada and deployed to Iraq. After a stint training recruits he decided to return to academia and gained a MSc in Defence Geographic Information. This allowed him specialise in mapping and imagery, where he deployed to Afghanistan, working in 16 Ari Assault Brigade Headquarters.

With university allowing the introduction to climbing, Mitch learnt most of his skills through experience as opposed to tuition. After initially setting his sights on UK traditional climbing, he quickly turned to developing his skills in the Alps and Greater Ranges. Joining the Army allowed him to consolidate this experience with a number of mountaineering and skiing qualifications, as well as leading expeditions. Probably his most memorable moments have been multiday ski tours in Canada, mountaineering in Kyrgyzstan (including first ascents) and climbing the Northwest Face on Halfdome.

Mitch has always dreamt of visiting Antarctica ever since reading about Scott and Shackleton as a child. So BSAE 2012 was an opportunity that he could not let pass by. Mitch says “he is thrilled to be selected for the expedition and can’t wait to be working as a team to explore such remote areas, although is far more apprehensive about the sailing!

Watch video footage of Julian . . . here
Flight Lieutenant Stu Quinn MEng MA BEng(hons) RAF Regt

Stu was born on 7 Sep 1975 in Northern Ireland. He read for a MEng in Electronic Systems Engineering at the University of Ulster and Augburgs Fachhochschule graduating in 1999 before then taking up his commission in the Royal Air Force.

He has since completed numerous tours of duty in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Falkland Islands and Northern Ireland and a plethora of exercises through the world. He is now a Forward Air Controller with 5 Force Protection Wing at RAF Lossiemouth.

Stuart has been mountaineering since taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme at school and has since taken part in expeditions to Bavaria, Norway, Peru and Costa Rica to name but a few. He now utilises his qualifications as a Mountain and Rock Climbing Leader to encourage others in the forces to develop their skill sets under the auspices of Adventure Training.

Stuart has taken over the roll of media officer for the expedition and as such will be responsible for all aspects of media coverage for the entire event. He comments “The Antarctic, what an adventure! I will be only the second man from my home town of Banbridge to go to the Antarctic, the first being Capt Francis Crozier in 1848. This is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity and we have a fantastic team to do it with, per adua.”

Watch video footage of Stu . . . here . . . and here
Jules Ratcliff

Jules joined the army in 1999 and has since served in Northern Ireland, Macedonia, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is a keen mountaineer and has taken part in several remote expeditions, including Alaska in 2003, the Himalaya’s with the Everest West Ridge (EWR) army development team in 2006, and a New Zealand, Mount Cook Regimental expedition in 2008. The aim of the EWR Development team was to prepare Army mountaineers with high altitude experience for future military expeditions.

He comments that "Whilst actively enjoying my soldiering career within my unit, being involved with mountaineering has also led to, at times, extremely hard and demanding situations, and has required time and effort, but the rewards have been tenfold and will stay with me a lifetime.”
Flight Lieutenant Steve Riley MA, FIfL, RAF.

Flt Lt Riley graduated from the RAF School of Physical Training in 1997 as a PTI and further qualified as an Adventurous Training Instructor in 1999. He has completed tours at RAF Valley, RAF Halton, RAF Shawbury, FDTC Fairbourne, JFC Naples, JSMTC Indefatigable, Turkey and Kosovo. After 8 years he commissioned as a Physical Education Officer and is currently serving at RAF Kinloss in Moray. He has led and participated in expeditions all of the world and in a range of activities from scuba diving in Belize, mountaineering in Nepal, high altitude climbing in South America, ski touring in the arctic circle and kayaking throughout Europe.

In order to ensure the final 24 selected personnel are at the best possible level of competence to operate in Antarctica, a thorough and intense 2 year training programme is being delivered and monitored by Flt Lt Riley and the J7 team.

Watch video footage of Steve . . . here
Richard Simpson RCS

Richard was born on 27th April 1973. After a period of working in civilian jobs he joined the Royal Corp of Signals in 1994. With the Army he has served in Northern Ireland, Balkans and the Middle East as well as travelling extensively on many military exercises around the world taking in Arctic, Jungle and Desert environments.  With a passion for the great outdoors Richard enjoys mountaineering, skiing, climbing, cross country running and mountain biking. He also regularly instructs and leads military adventurous training expeditions, more recently trekking in Iceland and ski-mountaineering in the French and Swiss Alps.

He provided lifesaving communications for the AMA’s 50th anniversary flagship expedition to Shishapangma in the Himalaya. His communications were so good that the team had better communications system out there than that of the town he currently lives in.

Richard is currently posted at 14 Signal Regiment in Pembrokeshire and is married with a young son and daughter who share his passion for the outdoors and are very proud that their Dad may be going to Antarctica.  Richard enjoys relaxing with a cup of tea and a plentiful supply of biscuits, playing the guitar and harmonica and listening to blues and rock music.  Richard stated that “He is chuffed to bits to be asked to be the J6 leader, and that going to Antarctica would fulfil a lifetime’s ambition and a huge challenge that I am ready to take on”.

Watch video footage of Richard . . . here
Flt Lt Toby Stedham MEng RAF

Born on the 7th of December 1983, Toby grew up near Reading and studied Aerospace Engineering at the University of Southampton. Following graduation he joined the RAF Engineer Branch, commissioning in 2009. Following a tour of the Falkland Islands Toby is now a Bomb Disposal Officer, commanding Operations Flight at 5131(Bomb Disposal) Squadron.

Toby has always had a passion for the mountains, and spent three seasons teaching skiing in Canada and New Zealand, which he would probably still be doing now if he wasn’t in the RAF. Whilst at university he learned to climb and has been falling in crevasses, getting stranded in snow caves and being hit by falling rock ever since. Recent trips have included climbing Mt Kilimajaro in Tanzania and ski touring in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

Watch video footage of Toby . . . here . . . or here
Major Justin “Jez” Stemp Royal Marines

Maj Jez Stemp RM was born 20 March 1973 in Warwickshire and joined the Royal Marines in September 1996. Over the last 15 years he has built a diverse portfolio of professional expertise across the globe. This has included Operational Tours of Iraq as part of 3 Commando Brigade and as a Company Commander in Afghanistan; as well as more strategic operational roles in Russia and with the United States Central Command. As a Marine, he is a Cold Weather & Mountain Warfare specialist, a Jungle Warfare Instructor and has spent numerous years in hot desert environments as well as time afloat with the Royal Navy.

Jez developed his passion for the great outdoors at the aged of 12, whilst climbing in the Staffordshire Roaches. Since then, he spends much of his free time in the British mountains, northern Norway, or the French Alps and has attended the Royal Marines Mountain Leader course, numerous Arctic deployments and several civilian mountaineering courses. His skills include Nordic skiing & conventional ski touring, multi-pitch climbing and winter mountaineering. Jez is happiest and most at ease amongst the mountains and has a natural ability to lead and stay focussed in the most adverse conditions. As well being comfortable high on a small rainy ledge, Jez also loves sailing, good company and relaxing with a good bottle of red wine.

Jez believes the combined goal of scientific research and military exploration is very much in keeping with the Spirit of Scott and feels privileged to be part of the team

Able Seaman Carl Stubbs RN

Carl was born on 5 November 1988 in Wigan. Since joining the RN as an aircraft technician 6 years ago, Carl has served all his time with the Commando Helicopter Force at RNAS Yeovilton and has supported them on operations in Afghanistan and on arctic training in Norway.

Carl was first introduced to mountaineering when he joined scouts over a decade ago. Since then he has become a keen mountaineer and his obsession with the mountains has continued to grow. He has climbed extensively through out the UK, and has been privileged enough to climb in venues across the European alps, the Canadian Rockies and the Peruvian Andes.

Watch video footage of Carl . . . here
Senior Aircraftman (Technician) Alex Thorpe RAF

Born on 27 June 1980, SAC Tech Alex Thorpe joined the Royal Air Force in September 2004. He is currently an aircraft technician serving on 33 Squadron, RAF Benson. Alex has seen active service in Iraq and Norway.

Alex has been a keen mountaineer and skier for over 12 years; having trained as a high altitude mountaineer in India and a military ski instructor in Norway, Alex has been on a number of climbing expeditions in India, the Alps, Dolomites, Kenya and within the UK.

This expedition is a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore a remote part of the world. Being asked to join and support the expedition is a dream come true.”

Watch video footage of Alex . . . here
Lt Rob Tristram RN

Rob was born on 27 December 1982 in Hong Kong. Following several years working in the City Rob joined the Royal Navy in 2008 and specialised as a Warfare Officer. During his time in the Royal Navy Rob has been fortunate to be part of two global deployments which have seen him serve in the North and South Atlantic, West Africa, the Baltic and many places in between.

A keen sportsman and outdoor enthusiast Rob has enjoyed mountaineering and skiing for many years. His time in the Service have offered some great opportunities including climbing Mont Blanc in his first Naval expedition in 2009. Rob is a keen supporter of Adventurous Training within the Armed Forces and hopes experience gained on the Antarctic expedition will spread the word

Watch video footage of Rob . . . here

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