One such event was the tragedy of 21 September 1903 when four ground breaking climbers, R. W. Broadrick, H. L. Jupp, A. E. W. Garrett and S. Ridsdale, set out to climb the rock faces of Scafell which tragically ended in the death of all four climbers. It is not my intention to enter into any great detail the reasons why this came about, many other sites go into this and I am a walker not a climber.
The brief circumstances are they met another party of climbers near Lord's Rake and departed from them at around 2.30pm, each party doing separate climbs. The other party returned back along the rake at around 5.40pm and found all four climbers roped together at the foot of the rock-face, Broadrick, Jupp and Garrett were already dead. Ridsdale, although seriously injured was imploring the others to look after his colleagues, unaware they were dead. One of the other parties raced for help and on returning at around 8.30pm they managed to get Ridsdale down to the valley by 03.30am. They reached the valley floor and Ridsdale was still alive, yet by the time they got to the Wasdale Hotel he had passed away. That is a time span of nearly 10 hours between knowledge of the incident to recovery of the injured party and that is only to the valley floor.
From my experience, in today's modern age, from discovery a winch helicopter would be on the scene within 45 minutes and the injured would be at Hensingham Hospital (Whitehaven) within 10 minutes of scene evacuation, or 15 minutes to Carlisle, or 40 minutes to Newcastle for more specialist accident treatment. How times change
The other bodies were recovered the following day and the inquest held on 23 September (a modern inquest would be at least one year, if not approaching two).
|The rock face before the Lord's Rake ascent going to the right (difficult to make out but the cross is at the end of my dogs tail|
|The cross inscribed into the rock face|
|The carved initials to the right of the cross|
Lord's Rake route is an inevitable and famous route onto this second highest fell in England. Many of those walkers are aware of the tragedy from literature on the internet or guide books bought on Lakeland walking routes. Those that are inevitably look for the cross at the base of the rake, carved into the rock face in tribute to the four fallen climbers who lost their lives on that fateful day.
|St Mary's church, Windermere.|
|Richard W. Broadrick's Grave|
|The grave inscription|
|The Broadrick family graves, R. W. Broadrick is the second right.|
It seemed an appropriate tribute to have at least one site on the internet where all four climbers can be commemorated next to each other, albeit in photographs on an internet page. They died together, let them at least (albeit visually) Rest In Peace together, finally.