Achievements

Tilman’s Achievements in Climbing & Sailing

Climbing Years:

  • 1898 Born Feb. 14 in Wallasey, Cheshire, England.
  • 1909 Attended Berkhamstead School.
  • 1915 Attended the Royal Miltary Academy, Woolwich. Commissioned July 28 into the Royal Field Artillery
  • 1916 Began active service on Western front. Was at the Battle of the Sommes. Wounded, then went back to front.
  • 1917 Wounded January. Awarded the Military Cross and evacuated to hospital in England. Returned to front in May. Awarded bar to MC and promoted to Lieutenant. Transferred to Royal Horse Artillery.
  • 1918 Took part in German spring offensive and Allied advance into Germany
  • 1919 Resigned commission after the War, and went to live in Kenya.
  • 1926 Bought more land in Kenya in partnership with his father.
  • 1930 Started climbing in East Africa with Eric Shipton climbing Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya
  • 1932 Holiday in Lake District, England. Serious accident and badly injured back. Went solo to Alps after being told he would never climb again, and climbed numerous peaks.
  • 1933 Went back to Kenya, prospecting for gold. Climbed Kilimanjaro alone. In a final feat, he crossed Africa by bicycle from Uganda to West Coast and then returned to England.
  • 1934 First visit to the Himalaya with Eric Shipton to Nanda Devi.
  • 1935 First trip to Mt. Everest on that year’s reconnaissance expedition.
  • 1936 Made the first ascent of Nanda Devi with Noel Odell.
  • 1937 Explored Karakoram region of the Himalaya with Eric Shipton
  • 1938 Lead the British expedition to Mt. Everest. Later crossed Zemu Gap in Sikkim.
  • 1939 Attempted Gori Chen in Assam. Fell seriously ill with Malaria.
  • 1940 Back in the army, fought in France. Evacuated from Dunkirk.
  • 1941 Briefly with army in India and Iraq.
  • 1942 With 8th Army in desert, with Montgomery.
  • 1943 Volunteered for parachute training and special service. Parachuted into Albania as British liaison officer with partisans.
  • 1944-45 Served with Italian partisans in Italy. Awarded DSO (Distinguished Service Order) and Freedom of the City of Belluno. Retired from the army.
  • 1946 Broke arm in climbing accident in Scotland. Short trip to the Swiss Alps.
  • 1947 With Swiss expedition to Rakaposhi. Then with Shipton in Kashgar. Attempted Mustagh Ata. Arrested in Afghanistan but was later released. Returned to live with sister Adeline at Bodowen, in Barmouth, North Wales.
  • 1948 Central Asian journey from China to Chitral. Attempted Bogdo Ola. Chakir Aghil.
  • 1950 Expedition to Annapurna IV. Was one of the first westerners to travel the Nepal route to Everest with Oscar Houston, Charles Houston and Betsy Cowles.
  • 1952 Appointed British Consul at Maymyo, Burma.
  • 1953 Returned home to Barmouth in Wales.

Sailing Years:

  • 1953 Started sailing in Barmouth estuary and learned rudiments of sailing.
  • 1954 Bought his first Pilot Cutter “Mischief” at Palma, Mallorca. Awarded honorary Lld. by University of St. Andrews.
  • 1955-56 Sailed “Mischief” to Chilean Patagonia via South America. Crossed Patagonian ice cap. Returned to England via Panama thereby completing an entire circumnavigation of South America.
  • 1957-58 Circumnavigated Africa in “Mischief”.
  • 1959-60 Sailed “Mischief” to Crozet Islands and Kerguelen Island in the Antarctic.
  • 1961 Sailed “Mischief” to West Greenland.
  • 1962 Sailed to West Greenland and east coast of Arctic in Canada in “Mischief”.
  • 1963 Went to Baffin Bay in “Mischief”, crossed Bylot Island on foot.
  • 1964 Sailed to East Greenland “Mischief”.
  • 1964-65 Navigated schooner Patanela to Heard island for Warwick Deacock. Later in ‘65, again sailed “Mischief” to East Greenland.
  • 1966-67 Sailed “Mischief” to South Shetlands, and South Georgia in the Antarctic.
  • 1968 Foundered off Jan Mayen Island near Greenland, losing “Mischief”. Went home and bought his second Pilot Cutter “Sea Breeze”.
  • 1969 Sailed “Sea Breeze” to Iceland, and the East Greenland coast.
  • 1970 Sailed “Sea Breeze” to West Greenland.
  • 1971 Sea Breeze to East Greenland.
  • 1972 Sailed to East Greenland, but was shipwrecked and lost “Sea Breeze”.
  • 1973 Awarded CBE. Bought his third and last Pilot Cutter “Baroque” and sailed her to West Greenland.
  • 1974 Circumnavigated Spitzbergen in “Baroque”.
  • 1975 Sailed to West Greenland in “Baroque”.
  • 1976 Sailed to East Greenland in “Baroque”. Ran aground causing damage. Left “Baroque” to spend the winter in Iceland and flew home to England.
  • 1977 Returned to iceland and brought “Baroque” home. Sold her. Set sail at nearly 80 years old in steel-hulled tug “En Avant” with former crew member Simon Richardson and others to Smith Island. They reached Rio de Janeiro without incident. On Nov. 1, 1977, they left Rio for the Falkland Islands to pick up two new Zealand climbers. They disappeared and nothing has ever been heard of them since.