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Ascension Island Introduction


Ascension Island, South Atlantic


The family group surveying the dew pond
at the summit of Green Mountain
on Ascension Island during our
1997 visit



Smith Family by the Green Mountain dew pond on Ascension Island 1997

Our 1997 visit

Lying halfway roughly between the UK and the Falklands, Ascension Island was a little known UK territorial backwater until it came to prominence when the UK task force to free the Falklands used it as an assembly point prior to the final voyage down to the Falklands.


In fact, Ascension Island owes it's original occupation by Royal Marines (before that it was uninhabited) to the fact that Napoleon was exiled on the nearby (well in the South Atlantic 200 odd miles is nearby) Saint Helena.


Following that, the emergence of oceanic telegraphic cables in the late 19th century meant that it's position mid-Atlantic made it ideal as a cable relay base.


Then in World War II the US armed forces arrived and built the runway, but then departed again at the end of the war, only to return in the sixties to build a tracking station for the Apollo  moon missions.


Also in the 60's BBC came to the island and built a world service transmitter.


So all in all this small volcanic outcrop in the South Atlantic has had a chequered past.


Oh and about 25 years ago my brother-in-law, Johnny Hobson arrived on the island, and is now the longest standing inhabitant of the island as no-one lives on the island as a permanent resident. Bizarrely he originally worked for the BBC as they recruited and employed the dental and medical staff on the island at that time until relatively recently. Now the island has it's own fledgling government which was meant to mean less interference from Westminster, although of late the UK government seems to be back pedalling and the phrase "no taxation without representation" has been heard more than once in the Ascension Island weekly newspaper "The Islander".


Click on the links for details of some pages about our first visit in 1997, and also the daily diary for our 2005 visit as by then the island had good connections to the internet, and publishing a daily diary was definitely much faster than sending postcards back !


Now there is also a daily diary for our 2006/7 Ascension Island visit although given it took us from the 20th till the 23rd for the RAF flight to take off perhaps a more appropriate description would be our "daily diary for our 2006/7 Ascension Island preceded by a 3 day tour of Oxfordshire hotels"


For other information then on Ascension Island see our "Ascension Island links" pages