Penarth Antarctica expert awarded Polar Medal in New Year Honours List
4:10pm Thursday 3rd January 2013 in News
A PENARTH man has been awarded the Polar Medal in the New Year Honours List.
Tudor Morgan, 41, who grew up in Penarth, has been awarded the medal for ‘outstanding achievement and service to the United Kingdom in the field of Polar Research and Heritage’ - in recognition of his 18-year career in the Antarctic.
Tudor, who now lives in Usk and works as a Project Consultant for the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, said it was his boyhood dream to go to the Antarctic and that being awarded the Polar Medal is “a great honour and the icing on the cake”.
The medal, which is conferred upon those who have undergone the rigours and hazards imposed by the Polar environment and who have made conspicuous contributions to furthering knowledge of the regions, will be presented to Tudor at Buckingham Palace in the summer.
“I grew up with stories of Scott and Shackleton and always dreamt of going South,” said Tudor, who first went to Antarctica in 1994 as a Field Assistant with the British Antarctic Survey.
“I spent two and a half years at the Rothera Research station which included two winters, one of which was as Winter Base Commander.”
He guided scientists across crevasse-filled ice fields, co-ordinated complex logistical operations into the interior of the continent and led expedition parties into Antarctica’s mountainous terrain.
He returned to Antarctica as Field Operations Manager, running the logistics behind the scientific programme.
During that time he met his wife, Rachel Duncan. Rachel is now Director of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust and the couple run the charity from their home in Usk, safeguarding the few remaining historic buildings in Antarctica.
Subsequently, as Operations Manager for the Trust, he transformed the staff living conditions at Port Lockroy on the Antarctic Peninsula, the most visited site on the continent, by reconstructing an old wartime Nissen hut into modern accommodation.
Much of the Trust’s work is funded by a small shop at Port Lockroy which Tudor manages.
“My family owned the David Morgan Department Store in Cardiff for several generations," he added.
"I chose to make my career in the Antarctica rather than go into the business, but my father jokes that I now run the world’s most southerly shop instead!”
Closer to home, Tudor organised the service at St Paul’s Cathedral last year for the centenary of Captain Scott’s expedition to the South Pole, which was attended by HRH The Princess Royal and Foreign Secretary William Hague.