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Meet the Crew of Shackleton's Nimrod Expedition

Following are brief biographies, in alphabetical order, of the Shore or Land Party of the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907–09.

Ages given are at the start of the expedition in 1907 and places names commemorating the person are given.

 JB Adams (Lieutenant): 27, Second-in-Command, Meteorologist.

(Jameson Boyd) Born Lincolnshire, England, 1880. Lieutenant, Royal Naval Reserve. Member of party of first ascent of Mount Erebus, March 1908, and of Furthest South Party. Served with distinction in two world wars. Knighted kcvo 1948. Died 1962. Mount Adams 84o26’S. 166o45’E.

B Armytage: 38, In Charge of Ponies.

(Bertram) Born Australia, 1869. Educated Melbourne Grammar School and Jesus College, Cambridge. Commissioned Victorian Permanent Artillery, veteran South African War, 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers). Leader Western (South Magnetic Pole) Party. Committed suicide in Melbourne, 1910.

PL Brocklehurst, Sir (Bart): 20, Assistant Geologist.

(Philip Lee) Born Staffordshire, England, 1887. Educated at Eton and Trinity Hall, Cambridge University. Member of party of first ascent of Mount Erebus. Served with Distinction two world wars. Died 1975. Mount Brocklehurst 76o 08’S. 160o55’E.

TW Edgeworth David frs (Professor): 49, Director of Scientific Staff.

(Tannatt William Edgeworth) Born Wales, 1858. Educated Magdalen School and New College, Oxford. Professor of Geology, Sydney University. Leader of party of first ascent of Mount Erebus, and leader of Western (South Magnetic Pole) Party. Lieutenant Colonel and awarded the dso, 1918. Knighted 1920. Died 1934. David Glacier 75o20’S. 162o45’E.

BC Day: 23, Motor Expert.

(Bernard C) Born Wymondham, Leicestershire, England, 1884. Employed by the New Arrol–Johnston Motor Car Company before joining the Nimrod expedition. Served also on Terra Nova expedition, returning home after first year. Settled in Australia. Applied to join the Ross Sea Relief Expedition 1916–17. Cape Day 76o16’S. 162o37’E.

EEM Joyce: 32, In Charge of Dogs, Sledges etc.

(Ernest Edward Mills) Born Bognor, England, 1875. Joined Royal Navy 1891, ab, on Discovery expedition, left Royal Navy to join Nimrod expedition. Member of Ross Sea Party (itae) (awarded Albert Medal in bronze). Married New Zealand woman. Died in London 1940. Mount Joyce 75 36’S. 160 38’E.

AF Mackay: 30, Assistant Surgeon.

(Alistair Forbes) Born Argyllshire, Scotland, 1877. Signed on Nimrod at Poplar, 26 July 1907, discharged Antarctic Regions 22 January 1908 (to serve on Shore Party). Trooper in South African War, one of Baden Powell’s police. Navy surgeon for four years. Member of first ascent of Mount Erebus and Western (South Magnetic Pole) Party. Lost in February 1914 on Vilhjalmur Stefansson’s Canadian Arctic Expedition. Mackay Glacier 76o57’S. 162o30’E.

ES Marshall: 28, Surgeon and Cartographer.

(Eric Stewart) Born in England, 1879. Educated Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Initially studied for the Church. Entered St Bartholomew’s Hospital in 1899 and qualified as a surgeon in 1906. On first ascent of Mount Erebus and of party under Shackleton which reached ‘Farthest South’. Surgeon and assistant surveyor on British expedition to Dutch New Guinea, 1909–11. Served in France and Russia during First World War, and honoured cbe 1919. Died February 1963. Marshall Mountains 84o40’S. 165o20’E.

GE Marston: 25, Artist.

(George Edward) Born Portsmouth, England, 1882. Qualified art teacher, served also as artist on Weddell Sea Party itae. Died 1940. Mount Marston 76o55’S. 162o 16’E.

D Mawson: 25, Physicist.

(Douglas) Born Shipley, England, 5 May 1882. Family migrated to Australia, 1884. Educated Fort Street High School and University of Sydney. Member of first ascent of Mount Erebus and of Western (South Magnetic Pole) Party. Leader Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911–14. Knighted 1914. Elected Fellow Royal Society 1923. Leader British, Australian, New Zealand Antarctic Expedition (banzare) 1929–31. Died 1958. Of several Antarctic place names, Mawson Glacier 76o 12’S. 162 30’E.

J Murray: 42, Biologist/Naturalist.

(James) Born Glasgow, Scotland, 1865. Lost in February 1914 on Vilhjalmur Stefansson’s Canadian Arctic Expedition. Mount Murray 76o08’S. 162o00’E.

RE Priestley: 21, Geologist.

(Raymond Edward) Born Tewkesbury, England, 1886. Educated Bristol University College; Clare College, Cambridge. After Nimrod expedition, returned south as geologist on Terra Nova expedition. Member of Northern Party stranded for winter 1912 on Inexpressible Island. Decorated in First World War. Joint founder of Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge. Vice-Chancellor Melbourne University 1935 and Birmingham University 1938. Knighted 1949. Died 1974. Mount Priestley 75o12’S. 161o25’E.

WC Roberts: 35, Cook and Assistant Zoologist

(William C) Born London, England, 1872. Lived Feltham, Middlesex. Cape Roberts 77o00’S. 162o50’E.

EH Shackleton: 33, Commander.

(Ernest Henry) Born Kilkea, Ireland, 1874. Educated Dulwich College. Went to sea at 16. Commissioned sub-lieutenant Royal Naval Reserve, 1901. Member of ‘Farthest South’ Party of Scott’s Discovery expedition. Leader British Antarctic (Nimrod) Expedition 1907–09. Pioneered route up Beardmore Glacier and almost reached Geographic South Pole. Knighted on return. Leader Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914–17. Died while leading Shackleton-Rowett (Quest) Expedition at South Georgia, 5 January 1922. Of several Antarctic place names, Shackleton Ice Shelf 94 55’E to 99 25’E.

F Wild: 23, In Charge of Provisions.

(Frank) Born Yorkshire, England, 1874. Joined Merchant Service 1899, and Royal Navy in 1900. AB in Discovery. Member Furthest South Party on Nimrod expedition. Later was leader of Western Party AAE and second in command of Weddell Sea Party of itae. Led an expedition to Spitzbergen in 1918–19. Second in command of Quest expedition and leader following Shackleton’s death. Settled in Swaziland, 1922 and died in Johannesburg 1939. Mount Wild 84o50’S. 162o30’E.

Following are brief biographies of the masters, and several members of the crew, of the Nimrod.

JK Davis: 23, First Officer.

(John King) Born Kew, England, 1884. First Officer SY Nimrod for both voyages south in support of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907–09. Signed on at Poplar, 26 July 1907, discharged Lyttelton, 29 March 1909. Educated at Colet Court, London, and Burford Grammar School, Oxfordshire. Went to sea at 16. Received his first command at the age of 25 when he succeeded Captain FJ Evans as master of Nimrod on return voyage to England after the expedition. Served as second in command of Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911–14, captain on Aurora Relief Expedition 1916–17, captain Discovery and second in command in the first summer of banzare (British, Australian, New Zealand Antarctic Research) Expedition 1929–31. Director of navigation for the Commonwealth of Australia until 1949. Died 1967. Of several Antarctic place names, Davis Glacier 75o 45’S. 162o45’E.

HJL Dunlop: 31, First Engineer

(Harry) Born Belfast, Ireland, 1876. Signed on at Poplar 26 July 1907, discharged at Poplar, 31 August 1909, serving as First Engineer for both voyages south. Served his time with the world-famous engineering firm Harland and Wolff. Chief engineer on the Ashburton prior to joining the expedition. Dunlop Island 77o14’S. 163o30’E.

RA England (Lieutenant): 29, Master

(Rupert A) Born Warthill, Yorkshire, England, 1878. Signed on at Poplar, 26 July 1907, discharged Lyttelton, New Zealand, 23 March 1908, serving as Master for the first voyage south. Educated at Hull Grammar School. First officer on Morning, 1902 and 1903. He then went to Nigeria for 12 months. After the expedition he founded his own business. Served in First World War, and retired as lieutenant-commander rnr. Died 1942. Mount England 77o03’S. 162o27’E.

 FP Evans (Lieutenant rnr): 34, Master.

(Frederick Pryce) Born Newtown, Wales, 1874. Signed on at Lyttelton, 7 November 1908. Discharged at Lyttelton, 29 March 1909, serving as Master for the second voyage south. Began at sea when 18. Was serving on New Zealand coastal run when approached to command tow vessel Koonya. Commanded troop ships during First World War. Qualified in law and retired in Sydney. Died 1959. Evans Cove at 74o 59’S. 163o47’E.

ALA Mackintosh: 27, Second Officer.

(Aeneas Lionel Acton) Born Tirhut, India, 1 July 1879. Signed on at Poplar, 26 July 1907, discharged at Lyttelton, 31 March 1909. In 1894 he went to sea in the merchant navy service and served in skysail yard ships. In 1899 he became a junior officer in the P and O Company. Commissioned to rank of sub-lieutenant, Royal Naval Reserve, 1 July 1908. Lost an eye in an accident on SY Nimrod on 31 January 1908, and returned to New Zealand on the Nimrod. In February 1912 he married and, in 1914, he resigned his post as assistant secretary to the Imperial Merchant Service Guild in Liverpool to take up his position as leader of the Ross Sea Party of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914–17. Lost his life on 8 May 1916 when crossing on sea ice to Cape Evans. Mount Mackintosh 74o20’S. 162o15’E.

Extract from Conservation Plan for Shackleton’s Hut, Cape Royds, Antarctica 2004. Prepared by Polar Historian David Harrowfield.

 

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