A GERMAN woman is appealing for a Greenock-born Polar hero to be recognised during a special anniversary next year.

Lieutenant Henry 'Birdie' Bowers, 29, was the youngest of Captain Robert Scott's team which reached the South Pole in January 1912.

They got there after an arduous 800-mile trek - only to find they had been beaten to it by Norwegian Roald Amundsen.

Special events to mark the anniversary are planned in the home towns of the other members of Scott's team, but nothing yet for Bowers.

Now Petra M�ller of Hamburg is urging the people of Inverclyde to remember Birdie.

Petra, 64, a retired company secretary, said she had been 'deeply interested' in Antarctica for some time.

She said: "Unfortunately I have never been to this beautiful continent, as such a trip is far beyond my means.

"However, I was browsing the Scott Polar Research Institute's website and came upon the publication of events commemorating the 100th anniversary of Scott's attainment of the South Pole and the death of the Polar Party on their return march.

"I noticed that commemoration services are being planned for four of the five men who died - Evans, Oates, Wilson, and Scott - in their respective home towns.

"Missing from this list is Henry Bowers who, I feel, should be treated equally to the others, especially since he was an extraordinary man, often praised by Scott for his organisation skills and his strength and endurance on the sledging trips.

"He died together with Scott and Wilson in their tent on the Ross Ice Shelf on or about 29 March, 1912." Petra added: "As Bowers was born in Greenock, I thought I would approach the Greenock Telegraph for help, and perhaps his home town can do something in remembrance of him." The Tele contacted Inverclyde Council, and they said tourism group Discover Inverclyde had been given a grant which could cover something like this.

Chris Jewell, a director of Discover Inverclyde, said they had received a grant to erect signs on tourist trails.

He said: "There is a plaque on Birdie Bowers' house on the Esplanade, so he is recognised in that way.

"But we would be glad to look at the possibility of marking next year's anniversary."