1924: George Mallory, the English mountaineer, dies on Everest

For Mallory was not just a keen climber he was a charismatic figure who was known as 'the Rupert Brooke of the peaks'.

Did George Mallory, who set out to scale the world's highest peak in 1924 with his younger companion Andrew Irvine, actually set foot on the summit, thus putting Sir Edmund Hillary, who accomplished the feat in 1956, in second place?

George Mallory, the English mountaineer who took part in the first three British expeditions to Mount Everest in the early 1920s, died on this day in 1924.

During the 1924 British Mount Everest expedition, Mallory and his climbing partner, Andrew “Sandy” Irvine, disappeared on the north-east ridge during their attempt to make the first ascent of the world’s highest mountain.

The pair were last seen when they were about 800 vertical feet from the summit.

Mallory’s ultimate fate was unknown for 75 years, until his body was discovered in 1999 by an expedition that had set out to search for the climbers’ remains.

However, it remains unknown if Mallory, with his younger companion, actually set foot on the summit, thus putting Sir Edmund Hillary, who accomplished the feat in 1956, in second place.

Whether they had reached the summit before they died remains a subject of speculation and continuing research.

The 1999 expedition hunted for Irvine’s camera in the hope it might show whether they reached the top, but never found it.