© Yorkshire Ramblers' Club. Reproduction of this article is not permitted.
However, short extracts from it may be used, for non-commercial purposes, provided their source is fully cited, acknowledged and referenced as:
Barran, J.N. (1903) In Memoriam. Yorkshire Ramblers' Club Journal Volume 2 Number 5: pp73-74. Leeds: YRC

In Memoriam: R. Wilfred Broadrick.

By J. N. Barran.

The duty of recording the first death in the ranks of the Yorkshire Ramblers is in any case a mournful one: and is to me made doubly so by ties of long association and friendship.

Although Wilfred Broadrick was among the more recent members of the Club, he had certainly, before his entry, established notable claims to distinction in those varied branches of athletic prowess - as distinct from mere climbing skill - which are so greatly prized in our Club.

Born in 1872 of an old Yorkshire family, though his home was at Windermere, he spent his school days at Haileybury College, and from there went in 1891 to Trinity College, Cambridge. His tall and sinewy frame, straight as a lath and capable of immense endurance, fitted him admirably for both the oar and the mountain side, and he rowed in the First Trinity boat at Cambridge and Henley, while building at the same time a sound reputation as an expert fellsman and mountaineer. Graduating in 1894 in the 2nd class of the Moral Science Tripos, he studied modern language abroad for a while, and then adopted the profession of a school master, first at Bedford and in 1899 at Fettes College, Edinburgh.

Through all these years walking and climbing were the chief delight of his holidays; and his home at Highfield, from which the Lakeland ranges could be seen spread out in tempting nearness - the Langdale Pikes in the foreground, and Scafell with Great End and the Gable rising beyond - was the starting point of many a good expedition, for which no time of year came amiss and muscles and good fellowship were the first qualifications. It was during this time that his 24 hours' walk took place, of which he has left a record, characteristic in its simple directness, in No. 4 of our Club Journal. He became a member of the Alpine Club and among many achievements in France, Switzerland and the Tyrol, perhaps the finest was his ascent of the Aiguille Verte by a new route in August, 1902. But, while he added to his reputation abroad, his heart was to the end among his native fells: and he returned straight from the conquest of two fresh rock climbs in the Alps to the Scafell expedition at which he met his death.

This is not the place for any question or comment on that awful accident, nor can I do more than briefly allude to those other sides of Wilfred Broadrick's nature for which he was loved in his lifetime and is mourned in his death. As a climber, he may claim our admiration for his cool head, sure hand, firm foot, and splendid bodily vigour. As fellow Ramblers, we may sympathize with his love for the fells which, like his fine singing powers, came to him - let us think - in part at least from his Yorkshire ancestry. As a master and a man, he gained the affection of his boys and the respect of his equals by a simple sincerity of character, a gentleness and charm of manner, a high standard of life, and a quiet devotion to duty, which will not soon be forgotten by those whose happiness it was to come in contact with him.