Edward F. Norton

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Edward F. Norton

Norton in 1952
Birth nameEdward Felix Norton
Born(1884-02-21)21 February 1884
San Isidro, Argentina
Died3 November 1954(1954-11-03) (aged 70)
Winchester, Hampshire, UK
Allegiance United Kingdom
BranchRoyal Artillery
Service years1903–1942
Service number6306

Lieutenant General Edward Felix Norton DSO MC (21 February 1884 – 3 November 1954) was a British army officer and mountaineer.

Early life[edit]

He attended Charterhouse School and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and then joined artillery units in India and served in World War I. He had been introduced to mountain climbing at the home in the Alps of his grandfather, Alfred Wills.



His experience led to his taking part in the British 1922 Everest and 1924 Everest expeditions, reaching high elevations both years. His height of 8,570 metres (28,120 ft)—reached without using oxygen on the Great Couloir route—was a world altitude record which stood for nearly 30 years, only being surpassed during the unsuccessful Swiss expedition of 1952.[citation needed]

In 1924, he took over leadership of the expedition when General Charles Granville Bruce fell ill, and Norton was praised for handling affairs in the aftermath of the disappearance of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine.

Military career[edit]

He served at Staff Colleges in India and England, and commanded the Royal Artillery and later the Madras District in the 1930s. From 1940 to 1941, he was acting governor and then Commander-in-Chief of Hong Kong.

He retired in 1942, after a near fatal riding accident.[1]

Later years[edit]

From 1952 until 1953, he advised John Hunt that previous Everest assault camps had been too low, and in 1953 it should be on or very close under the Southern Summit.[2]



  1. ^ Singh, Lt Gen Baljit (12 November 2014). "Lt Gen E F Norton: A Distinguished Soldier". Indian Defence Review. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  2. ^ Hunt 1953, p. 35.

Major Work[edit]


  • The Fight for Everest 1924 (1925) Published by Longmans, Green (1925)


  • Hunt, J. (1953). The ascent of Everest. Seattle: Mountaineers' Books. ISBN 9780898863611.