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Wiltshire adventurer awarded a Knighthood by the Queen

Posted on 09th January 2017

Wiltshire adventurer David Hempleman-Adams has recently been endowed with national prestige after he was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List. Having been made a Night Commander of the Victorian Order, Sir David was recognised by the Queen for his services to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, which he has been a trustee of for 10 years.

David Hempleman Adams

Image Credit: Stuart V Conway(BBC)

Born in Moredon, Swindon, Hempleman-Adams forged his adventurous career at just 14 years old, completing the bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Since, he has summited Mount Everest twice, led over 30 expeditions to the Arctic and completed a historic solo balloon flight to the North Pole.

Although he has achieved so much in his 60 years, local figure Sir David cites his initial trip to the Brecon Beacons with the Duke of Edinburgh award as being his “lightbulb moment”. It was this experience that fostered his passion for exploration that would lead him to this position. Not only has Sir David travelled to some of the most challenging environments in the world, he also became the first person to complete the “adventurer’s grand slam” of climbing every continent’s highest mountain, a feat reserved for only the finest expeditioners.

Currently residing in Box, Wiltshire, Sir David told reporters that he was “astonished” to have been given a knighthood, and suggests that igniting the interest in discovering the world is a feat achieved by the local groups involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Award. He said:

“When I climbed Everest I was skilled and experienced, and the same with the Poles – it was just another day in the office – whereas that first time I went down across the Brecon Beacons I was very scared.”

“It is an extraordinary scheme and I owe my life to it, really.”

Hempelman-Adams has long been a person of note in the Wiltshire areas, having maintained close ties to the county throughout his career. In fact, during his 1993 ascent of Everest, Sir David wrote, “I would kill for fish and chips and a pint of (local ale) Arkell’s”. It is quite extraordinary that his incredible journey began in Wiltshire, and that it holds such fondness in the life of someone who has experienced some of the most fascinating countries in the world. So, next time you’re relaxing on a Wiltshire cottage holiday, remember to get outside and experience the fantastic local landscapes that led Sir David to where he is now.