Shrewsbury School

Obituary: Miles Clark (S 1974-78)

Thursday 8 July 1993

The following obituary was printed in the May 1993 Newsletter.

Miles Clark (S 1974-78) died tragically in April 1993.

A Praepostor and a member of the 1st VIII at Shrewsbury, he was selected, at the age of 17, to join Operation Drake in the Panamanian rain-forest. There he became dangerously ill from heat exhaustion and had to be evacuated from the dense jungle by helicopter. He read Geography at Downing College, Cambridge, won his rowing blue, became president of the University Travellers' and Explorers Club and led a small college expedition to climb the volcanoes on Atka, a remote island in the Aleutian archipelago. For this he was awarded the Scientific Exploration Society's medal for the Young Explorer of the Year. Leaving Cambridge in 1982, he joined the army, but was subsequently to abandon his proposed military career in favour of travel journalism. In 1983, with the explorer Tim Severin, Miles retraced the Golden Fleece voyage of Jason and the Argonauts, an adventure which became the subject of a television series on BBC 1. As features editor of Yachting Monthly he was able to contribute articles to this and a number of other journals, newspapers and magazines. In 1991 he and his father jointly reconstructed a sixteenth century war galley and sailed it from Ireland to Scotland, through the Hebrides in a "Lord of the Isles" expedition. His last enterprise made him the first westerner since the Vikings to make the voyage from the Arctic to the Black Sea through Russia. In the family's sailing boat, the Wild Goose, he completed the journey via the White Sea Canal, the strategic waterway built by slave labour under Stalin. His achievement was recognized by the annual award of the Ocean Cruising Club. In 1991 he had published High Endeavours: The Extraordinary Life and Adventures of Miles and Beryl Smeeton. Brigadier Miles Smeeton, also a distinguished explorer, was Miles Clark's godfather and one of the inspirations of his life.

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