It is 100 years since my father, Captain John Noel, made his last clandestine foray into Tibet to find a route to Mount Everest. He was a serving Army Officer at the time, in his fifth year based in India. He overstayed his annual leave, and ventured into the forbidden country of Tibet, an infringement of Army protocol which would be dealt with by Court Martial; however, his Commanding Officer was sympathetic to the young, adventurous man, and agreed that the offence would be dealt with when Noel returned from his year-long Leave in England. So Noel set sail for England, the war intervened, and he did not return to India until he took his place on the second Mount Everest expedition in 1922 as official Photographer.
I have been invited to tell this story at a Monday evening lecture at the Royal Geographical Society 16 December 2013, when I will be sharing the platform with Harriet Tuckey, daughter of Dr Griffith Pugh, the physiologist on the 1953 expedition.