Former Teacher (1925-1956) Arthur St George Walsh’s contribution to listing the 2000ft Mountains of England and Wales is celebrated.

King’s were recently contacted by Myrddyn Phillips who is part of G&J surveys, a company run by mountain enthusiasts who survey the heights of British hills and mountains. He was celebrating the contribution made by former King’s teacher Arthur St. George Walsh to listing the 2,000 foot mountains of England and Wales.


Mr Walsh was an extremely popular teacher at King’s, and his passion for hill walking and mountain mapping was well known, but perhaps not his huge contribution to the listings.


Myrddyn states ‘it is probably correct to say that Walsh’s list is the earliest comprehensive list to the 2,000 foot mountains of England and Wales. The list is little known and in its own right quite extraordinary, as it is the first to use 50 foot as the designated minimum re-ascent value, something that up until the present day is regarded by many people as the accepted re-ascent value for a mountain in Wales. Walsh was revolutionary in his use of a thorough and systematic, although perhaps subjective, approach to surveying hills on the ground. It is easily one of the most important Welsh hill lists that has ever been produced.


For those who may not know, Walsh was born on the 23rd April 1893, the middle part of his name given to him because of the day of his birth, St. George’s day. He won a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied mathematics. When the First World War broke out, he was still studying at Cambridge. Applying for a commission at Christmas time 1914, he was gazetted as a 2nd lieutenant in the 15th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment on the 22nd March 1915. Walsh later became a Captain and served in the Middle East. He was then transferred to the Dolomites, from what was to become the slaughter of the Somme, something he believed saved his life, as well as providing him with good climbing experiences.


After the war he resumed his education at Trinity Hall. His first appointment after leaving college was as a schoolmaster teaching mathematics at Cambridge High School. In 1925 he moved to King’s, where his career as a Maths Master began. During this time Walsh and his brother Roger Crompton, came upon Carr and Lister’s use of 100 foot rise as the main qualification for their list of 2,000 footers of Snowdonia. Soon afterwards the Walsh brothers decided to make their own lists for England and Wales, using a 50 foot rise, as part of their criteria. Mr Walsh also played a key part in maintaining contact with Alumni after his retirement.