Independence: Explorer Fiennes weighs into debate

Scottish Independence: BRITAIN’S greatest living explorer has said independence should be rejected in next month’s referendum.
Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Picture: PAExplorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Picture: PA
Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Picture: PA

Fresh from a recent visit to Gretna Green to help build a cairn to celebrate the union between Scotland and England, Sir Ranulph Fiennes is preparing to return north for a series of public lectures.

He said he would not debate politics but made his thoughts on the vote clear.

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“I’m not debating politics” he said. “But I would happily point out that every time we broke a record and planted our flag, that flag was called the Union Jack.

“My uncle was killed in World War One fighting with the Gordon Highlanders and my dad served with the Royal Scots Greys – and so did I 
for eight years, alongside ­Glaswegians, under that same flag.”

A regular visitor north of the Border and lover of the Highlands where he has trained for various expeditions, Sir Ranulph said he regretted not being eligible to vote in the referendum.

He will stop off in Inverness, Aviemore and Elgin next month to recount experiences from a 50-year career of global adventure featuring polar firsts and an epic 26-year mission to discover the long lost city of Ubar in the Arabian Desert.

He has been part of 38 life-challenging expeditions and has raised £16.3 million for charity. Once described by the Guinness Book of Records as “the world’s greatest living explorer,” the Englishman is the only man alive to have travelled around the Earth’s circumpolar surface.

The 70-year-old was raised in South Africa and educated at Eton. He also served with the SAS, and fought Marxist Terrorists for which he was awarded the Sultan of Oman’s Bravery medal from the Queen.