In the Steps of Stanley : John Blashford - Snell, Leader of the Zaire River Expedition
Colonel John Nicholas Blashford - Snell C.B.E. ( October 22nd, 1936 ) was born in Hereford ( Herefordshire, England ). He grew up in Herefordshire and Jersey, and was educated at St Michael's College ( Tenbury, Worcestershire, England ), and later at Victoria College ( Saint Helier, Jersey ) from 1950.
John Blashford - Snell joined the British Army and attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst ( Berkshire, England ) as an officer cadet after which he was commissioned into the Royal Engineers on August 2nd, 1957. He served his initial two years of his commission as a Second Lieutenant.
In 1969, Major John Blashford - Snell founded the Scientific Exploration Society. Amongst his expeditions were the first descent of the Blue Nile, during which he invented white - water rafting " by accident " ( in 1968 ) ; crossing of the Darién Gap ( between Colombia and Panama, 1971 to 1972 ) and overseeing the first north - south vehicular journey from Alaska to Cape Horn ; and a complete navigation of the Congo River ( in 1974 to 1975 ). He was awarded the Segrave Trophy in 1974 and the Livingstone Medal by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in recognition of his leadership of the expeditions.
After 37 years of service, Colonel John Blashford - Snell retired from the British Army on December 30th, 1991.
As a writer, his works include several titles, such as Where the Trails Run Out ( 1974 ), In the wake of Drake ( with Michael Cable, 1980 ), Operation Raleigh : the start of an adventure ( 1987 ), Mammoth hunt : in search of the giant elephants of Nepal ( with Rula Lenska, 1996 ), East to the Amazon : in search of Great Paititi and the trade routes of the ancients ( with Richard Snailham, 2002 ).
( source : Wikipedia )