Commemorative plaque to Streatham polar explorer

Streatham Guardian: Lt Henry "Birdie" Bowers Lt Henry "Birdie" Bowers

A heroic Antarctic explorer who was part of the ill fated expedition to the South Pole led by Captain Scott has been honoured in Streatham exactly 100 years after his death.

Lt Henry ‘Birdie’ Bowers was raised in Streatham and was one of the four men to perish with Captain Scott on the return journey of their expedition to the South Pole in 1912.

In honour of his heroism, The Streatham Society and Lambeth Living paid tribute to this legendary Polar explorer with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque at 19a-23c Pathfield Road - the site of Lt Bowers’ boyhood home.

The plaque unveiling marks a centenary to the day his body, and those of his colleagues, were found by a search party in 1912.

The plaque is situated on a block of Lambeth Living flats in Pathfield Road, - the site of Lt Henry ‘Birdie’ Bowers’ former home which was destroyed by a V1 flying bomb that fell on 23 Pathfield Road on 18 June 1944 during the Second World War.

Lt Bowers distinctive beak-nose earned him the nickname ‘Birdie’, and he was greatly admired by Scott who in a final letter wrote of his “wonderful upright nature” and “dauntless spirit”.

Lambeth Living Chair, the Rt Hon. Keith Hill, said: “The expedition to the South Pole led by Captain Scott was an act of great British heroism but many local residents will be unaware that part of the story began here in Streatham.

“We are proud of Streatham’s connection with Lt Henry ‘Birdie’ Bowers, and I’m delighted that Lambeth Living working together with the Streatham Society has commemorated his memory in this way.”

Brian Bloice, Chairman of the Streatham Society said: “It is fitting that in this centenary year of the death of Lt Bowers and his colleagues, their endeavours should be remembered”.

Members of Lt. Bowers family, Jo and Graham Laurie attended the ceremony, together with author Ann Strathie who has recently written a book on Bower's life.

The plaque was unveiled by the Mayor of Lambeth, Councillor Clive Bennett, in front of a large gathering of local residents and children from Immanuel and St. Andrews Primary School.

Based on information supplied by JOHN W BROWN.

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