Smiths Clocks Ltd. are listed in the firms who assisted the 1953 expedition (J. Hunt, The Ascent of Everest, London 1953, p. 284), credited with supplying 'alarm clocks, watches'. Rolex Watch Co. Ltd. also supplied watches to the expedition (see lot 128). The value of expedition endorsements to commercial advertising was huge and whether it was Rolex or Smiths who had bagged the summit became as hotly argued as, and inextricably linked with, the debate over whether Hillary or Tenzing reached the top first -- Tenzing having worn a Rolex Explorer and Hillary a Smiths Everest.
Ward's dual role on the 1953 expedition as both climber and medical officer compromised any hopes of reaching the summit. 'Hunt had made it quite clear that Ward had been chosen as a doctor first and climber second, and that the proper place for the expedition's doctor when the final assault on the summit was under way was no higher than advanced base camp. Even so, Ward proved a valuable member of the climbing team, reaching Camp VII half way up the Lhotse face where he helped George Lowe prospect the route to the South Col.' (The Times, Obituary, October 2005)