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TENGOAL | Exploration


A picturesque picnic spot


Measuring a giant leaf in the Ecuador jungle


JBS and the croc that tried to eat him


The Blue Nile Expedition braved treacherous rapids, murderous tribesmen with muzzle loaders, hungry crocodiles


and constant hunger (their last days were spent eating crocodile cooked in engine oil!)


Engineers, JBS became accomplished at avoiding any job that involved desks or paperwork and adept in inveigling himself into anything that promised adventure, thrill or something new. At the time the British Army was eager for inspiring role models to project the diverse extent of military life and JBS found himself quickly mentored by some highly decorated and well-respected World War Two generals. General Sir John Mogg, who as


Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst appointed JBS as Adventure Training Officer, gave him his first big break. JBS took Sandhurst cadets all over the world, including Ethiopia, in 1966, where Emperor Haile Selassie personally invited JBS to return and "explore my Blue Nile”! True to


his word, an Imperial


invitation soon landed on the desk of the then Commandant of the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham, Lieutenant General


Crookenden, his next mentor. JBS was supposedly studying the intricacies of military science. Crookenden


though 68


neatly waived the niceties of military study (later directing the academics to give him a pass even though he'd barely attended class) and ordered JBS to immerse himself in the now legendary 1968 Blue Nile Expedition - involving its first descent and exploration. The 60-strong


expedition braved


treacherous rapids, murderous tribesmen with muzzle loaders, hungry crocodiles and constant hunger (their last days were spent eating crocodile cooked in engine oil!) before emerging at the bottom. The men’s outfitters, Moss Bros, had given JBS a pith helmet which he wore throughout this adventure and on all subsequent


expeditions. Meanwhile,


as a thank-you gift to their host, JBS presented the Ethiopian Emperor with a Chihuahua! The die was now cast – and JBS has never looked back! Further expeditions followed thick


and fast. The Dahlak Islands in the Red Sea,


investigating the islanders' Sir Napier


blindness, was followed in 1971-72 by the first vehicular crossing of the Darien Gap in Panama and Colombia, thus linking the Pan-American Highway


from Alaska to Cape Horn. In 1974-75 JBS headed up the 160-man Zaire River Expedition that navigated almost its entire 2,700-mile length. Two royal equerries had been on


that Zaire trip and their tales reached an ear of influence. JBS received an invitation from HRH The Prince of Wales to think of something inspiring to bring together, nurture and grow the youth from around the world and he would be the organisation’s patron. This was the start of Operation Drake (1978–80) and Operation Raleigh (1984- 90) which became Raleigh International. By 1992 it had launched 10,000 young people from 50 nations into challenging and rewarding scientific, wildlife and community projects worldwide – which number amongst their illustrious and diverse alumni The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the astronaut Tim Peake. To this day Operations Drake


and Raleigh remain JBS's proudest achievements.


He has genuinely


influenced and enhanced the lives of remote and disadvantaged peoples the


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