Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes OBE
Hon. Patron of The WASC
On 17 September 2005 Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes OBE officially became Honorary Patron of The Warminster Adventure Sports Club. His message to WASCals everywhere:
"The WASC is a superb club. May your activities flourish wherever you wander."
Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, described by the Guiness Book of Records as "the world's greatest living explorer", can trace his family's ancestry back a thousand years to Charlemagne.
Fiennes was born in England, spending part of his childhood in South Africa. The family returned to England when he was 12 years old, and he was educated at Eton.
Like his father, Fiennes joined the Royal Scots Greys before switching to the elite SAS regiment. There, he became the youngest captain in the British Army, where he spent eight years.
He was dismissed from service following a practical joke, in which the set of the movie 'Doctor Doolittle' was blown up. Following this, he moved to the Middle East to join the Sultan of Oman's forces.
In 1970, Fiennes married Virginia Pepper, whom he had known since childhood. It was at this point he began leading major expeditions, travelling up the White Nile in 1969, and journeying into the Jostedalsbre Glacier in 1970.
Amongst his greatest adventures was the 52,000 mile Transglobe Expedition between 1979 and 1982, the first surface journey around the world's polar axis. It had taken 7 years to plan and 3 years to complete â€“ he and his partner, Charles Burton, were the first men to reach both poles. Fiennes also undertook the PUNS Expeditions, gaining the record for Furthest North Unsupported in 1986, and again in 1990.
Awarded an honorary doctorate of science by Loughborough University in 1983, he also received the recognition of the Explorer's Club of New York. The following year he was awarded the Founder's Medal by the Royal Geographical Society and the Polar Medal with Bar from the Queen.
Fiennes discovered the Lost City of Ubar in Oman in 1992, and, in 1993, with Mike Stroud, completed the first unassisted trans-Arctic journey, the longest in history at 97 days.
He was awarded the OBE in 1993, developing a career as an author and motivational speaker.
He suffered a heart attack, Britain's biggest killer, on 7th June 2003. Shortly after recovering, he ran seven marathons in seven days on seven continents.
In 2005 he was appointed Honorary Patron of The Warminster Adventure Sports Club