Sharlston explorer of Antartic honoured with blue plaque

Blue plaque unveiled to Trevor Hatherton in New Sharlston by Kevin Trickett (Chairman of the Wakefield Civic Society) and members of Trevor's family.
Blue plaque unveiled to Trevor Hatherton in New Sharlston by Kevin Trickett (Chairman of the Wakefield Civic Society) and members of Trevor's family.

AN explorer who conquered the Antarctic by foot and became renowned for his contribution to science on the other side of the world has finally been recognised in his home village.

Trevor Hatherton was born in Sharlston in 1924 and attended Lee Brigg Primary School and Normanton Grammar School.

His passion for discovery led him to emigrate to New Zealand, where he was awarded the first National Research Scholarship for an oversees scientist.

He also received an OBE and the Polar Medal for his contribution to Antarctic science and even had a glacier named after him before he died in 1992.

But up until now, his name had been fairly unknown in Wakefield.

Last year his cousin Richard Burrough discovered his ancestor when tracing his family tree and called for him to be recognised in the area he grew up.

And this week the Wakefield Civic Society revealed a blue plaque, which will go up on Long Row in New Sharlston - the street where he lived with his parents before moving to Station Road in Altofts.

Mr Hatherton’s family were in the city this week to honour him, including his daughter Kate Carnaby from New Zealand.

She said: “My father was a Yorkshireman at heart and kept that dry wit.

“He would have been really humbled to be remembered in this way and for people to know what he had done.

“His father and grandfather were miners, but he was fascinated by the Antarctic and wanted to be closer to it and I think that is why he moved to New Zealand.”

Mrs Carnaby was joined by her husband Garth, who is president of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Mr Hatherton was president of the society from 1985 to 1989 and is still highly regarded.

The plaque was the civic society’s 33rd to be unveiled as it hopes to reach 50 plaques by its 50th anniversary in 2014.

Mr Burrough’s grandfather Charles Burrough and Mr Hatherton’s mum Evelyn Burrough were siblings and grew up in Sharlston.

He said: “I am extremely pleased that Trevor has now received recognition for his roll in world science and his exploration of Antarctica.

“The work of the Wakefield Express allowed me to heighten Trevor’s profile and I am sure it played a major part in gaining the fitting award of the first blue plaque in Sharlston.”

Mr Hatherton first went to Antarctica in 1955 by walking over the sea ice of McMurdo Sound to select a site for New Zealand’s Scott Base, named after the famed explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott.

As chief scientist he headed a team which worked with other countries to find out more about the frozen landscape.

In 1989 a refurbished physical laboratory at Scott Base was renamed the Hatherton Geomagnetic Laboratory in his honour.