Drawing 285: Climber’s grave, Wasdale Head

Direction of view: NE

Notes: The best lighting is likely to be mid-afternoon in summer, but it will be rare to get full sunshine and no shadows on the gravestone, which is in the churchyard of St Olaf’s church.

Comments: I first took this picture on 4th August 1979 during a solo youth hostelling trip around the western Lake District: see Drawing 249.

I took the picture for the digital project on 11th September 2015 – see 134 for an account of that day.

The grave is that of Claud Deane Frankland, who died on Great Gable.  On the late afternoon of Sunday, 31st July 1927, a party of four were preparing to climb ‘Chantry Buttress’ on the Napes. The route was considered relatively easy; and was certainly not a passage to over-tax their capabilities. The party was a strong one, led by Frankland, reputed at that time to be one of the best climbers in the country; he had led the second ascent of Central Buttress on Scafell in August 1921. Frankland was leading one rope, with A. Wood-Johnson as his second, when he suddenly fell, sustaining serious injuries, from which he died without regaining consciousness.  It seems that his fall was caused by a handhold breaking off.

The inscription on the grave reads: “In loving memory of Claud Deane Frankland, who was killed on Great Gable on July 31st 1927. Here he lies where he loveth to be”.   This scene does not appear elsewhere in Wainwright’s published works.