Skegness hero to be honoured

A FORGOTTEN hero from Skegness’s past is to be honoured posthumously by the town council.

Jesse Handsley was a Royal Navy officer who joined Captain Scott of the Antarctic’s Discovery Expedition to the South Pole between 1901 and 1904.

The Skegness born explorer has been commemorated by the New Zealand government, which named two Antarctic landmarks in his honour, but has so far gone unrecognised by his home town.

Coun Steve Kirk recently became aware of Mr Handsley’s illustrious achievements and felt they warranted his nomination as an honoured citizen.

Speaking at Wednesday’s Skegness Town Council meeting he said; “I don’t just think that makes him a local hero, it makes him a national hero.”

Coun Kirk also felt there was an opportunity to recognise some of the town’s other heroic figures on the council’s website.

Coun Mark Smith seconded Coun Kirk’s motion and elucidated further on Mr Handsley’s notable achievements.

He said: “It would be a fitting tribute for a fine young man of Skegness to make him an honoured citizen - we should be celebrating the success of residents and shouting loud about our heroes.”

Several councillors, though keen to recognise such notable achievements, felt the honoured citizen award was an inappropriate way of doing so.

Coun Phil Kemp said: “This award is for those who gave exceptional service to the town over number of years - as wonderful as his achievements were, none of them were for Skegness.”

Councillors agreed to find another method of celebrating Mr Handsely’s achievements.