Magga Dan at the ice edge Fuchs and Hillary at the South Pole Fuchs at Scott Base Sir Vivian Fuchs


Later life: legacies and leadership

Following Sir Vivian Fuchs' retirement from the British Antarctic Survey in 1973, two awards were established in recognition of his contribution to the Survey. One was the Fuchs Medal, to acknowledge outstanding service to the BAS. The other was the Fuchs Foundation, a charity to support educational and adventurous outdoor activities for young people, particularly from deprived backgrounds.

An active member of the Royal Geographical Society since 1958, Fuchs was President between 1982 and 84 and helped to develop the Expedition Advisory Centre in its role providing advice and training to scientific expeditions from schools and universities.

Fuchs made return visits to the Antarctic on several occasions and in 1977 he organised (with RM Laws) a Royal Society Discussion Meeting on Scientific research in Antarctica. In 1983 he flew to Kenya to visit the Royal Geographical Survey's expedition to the Kora River.

In 1982 Fuchs wrote Of ice and men: the story of the British Antarctic Survey and in 1990, published his autobiography, A time to Speak. Always a keen sportsman and happiest out of doors, Fuchs played squash well into his seventies and was a keen gardener. In 1985 he suffered a severe heart attack and for the first time had to adjust to a gentler pace of life. His wife, Joyce, was an enthusiastic supporter of his work and always hospitable towards FIDS and others in the geographical and polar worlds. In 1988 she collapsed with a heart attack while out walking, and two years later died in his arms, crossing a road in Oxford, the day before the marriage of their eldest grandson. They had been married for 57 years.

Fuchs married again, to Eleanor Honnywill in 1991. She had worked with him for nearly 50 years, ran the London Office of the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey during Fuchs's Trans-Antarctic Expedition, and was appointed his personal assistant as Director at the British Antarctic Survey.

In July 1996 Fuchs went into hospital for a serious abdominal operation, which led to a stroke four months later and left him partially paralysed - which he fought with characteristic determination. Sir Vivian Fuchs died on 11 November 1999, at the age of 91.

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