Explorers pay tribute to Sir Wally Herbert and his 'polar first'

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Britain's most distinguished explorers are to argue the case tomorrow for Sir Wally Herbert, the Yorkshire-born polar pioneer, to be recognised as the first man to reach the North Pole by muscle power alone.

They say Sir Wally's achievements have been hugely underestimated.

Record books currently show that Robert Peary, an American, was the first to reach 90 degrees North on April 6, 1909, but at a testimonial gala in honour of Sir Wally, 71, the explorers Pen Hadow and Robin Hanbury Tenison will argue that Peary missed his mark.

Many historians now agree that Peary may have only got within 100 miles of the Geographic North Pole, the point at which all the lines of longitude on the planet meet.

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