Melbourne, February 20 (ANI): British author Jeffrey Archer claims that Oscar-winning Australian film actor Peter Finch's father could have been the first man to conquer Mount Everest in 1924, had the UK's Royal Geographical Society not intervened.
Archer, whose claims are part of his research for a new novel titled 'Paths Of Glory', says that Aussie mountaineer George Finch was set to accompany his regular climbing partner George Mallory, a Briton, on a bid to conquer Everest before the society intervened.
The writer tells in a Daily Telegraph report that they wanted Mallory to take with him another British climber named Sandy Irvine, reports News.com.au.
He says that Finch,Mallory's regular climbing partner for years, had been keen to make the climb, but his involvement was over-ruled by the Royal Geographical Society, who were sponsoring the attempt in a bid to lift the spirits of the British nation between the wars by showing what Britons could achieve.
It is believed that Mallory died either as he was about to conquer Everest or on the way back down, after having reached the summit of the world's highest mountain on June 8 or 9, 1924.
Archer believes that had the more experienced Finch been on the other end of Mallory's rope, it is more than likely that neither climber would have died, and quite probable that the final phase of the ultimate climb would have been completed.
Everest was ultimately conquered in 1953 by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and his Nepalese climbing partner Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.
George Finch, who was finally made a fellow of the RGS in 1938, was awarded an MBE for services to climbing. He died in 1970, aged 82. (ANI)