Borchgrevink's Crew

Meet the members of the British Antarctic Southern Cross Expedition 1898–1900

Credit: Scott Polar Research Institute
Borchgrevink headshot
Carsten Borchgrevink
Bernacchi headshot
Louis Bernacchi
Nicolai Hanson headshot
Nicolai Hanson
William Colbeck headshot
William Colbeck
Hugh Evans headshot
Hugh Evans
Anton Fougner headshot
Anton Fougner
Klovstad headshot
Herlof Klovstad


Louis Charles Bernacchi: 24, Astronomer and Physicist
Born in Brussels, Belgium, 1876. Louis moved to Tasmania when he was seven and was educated at Hutchins School Hobart, and the Melbourne Observatory 1895 where he qualified as an astronomer, meteorologist and magnetic expert. He served on the Discovery as physicist during Scott’s National Antarctic expedition 1901–04. He later went on various private expeditions and entered politics in 1910. He served during World War One and received the Unites States Navy Cross and OBE. Died in London in 1942. Cape Bernacchi and Bernacchi Bay on the Victoria Land Coast and Bernacchi Head on Franklin Island are named after him.

Carsten Egeberg Borchgrevink: 34, Commander
Born in Christiania, Norway, 1864. Educated at Gjertsen College and the Royal Forestry school, Tharandt, Saxony. He worked in Australia with government surveyors and in 1894 joined HJ Bull’s whaling expedition as an ‘ordinary seaman’.  Carsten led the first expedition to winter over on the Antarctic continent in 1899 and sledged over the Ross Ice Shelf. In 1930 he was awarded the Patron’s Medal of the Royal Geographical Society. Died in Oslo in 1934. Antarctic features named for him include the Borchgrevink Coast, Borchgrevink Glacier and Borchgrevink Glacier Tongue, Borchgrevinkisen a glacier in the Sor Rondane Mountains and Borchgrevink Nunatak.

William Colbeck: 27, Magnetic Observer and Cartographer
Born at Kingston-upon-Hull, England, 1871. Educated at Hull Grammar School and did a short course in navigation before going to sea aged 14. He received his first-mate’s certificate in 1894 and passed for extra-master in 1897. Gazetted to sub-lieutenant RNR in 1898, William studied magnetism at Kew Observatory. He met Carsten Borchgrevink during a voyage to Norway and in 1901 was placed in command of the National Antarctic Expedition (1901–04) relief vessel Morgenen (Morning). He is recognised with Cape Colbeck, Colbeck Bay and Colbeck Archipelago.

Kolbein Ellefsen: 23, Assistant
Kolbein passed his Civil Service Examination and was an experienced sailor. When he was appointed to the expedition he was working in an office in Tonsberg, Norway. He was also Cook on the expedition and a talented artist.

The expedition members pictured just before spending the first winter on the Antarctic continent, 1899.

Hugh Blackwall Evans: 23, Assistant Zoologist
Born Aylburton, England, 1874. Educated at King’s School, Gloucester, and an agricultural college in the North-West Territories of Canada. He went to Australia and joined a sailing brig on a sealing expedition to Kerguelen Island. He wintered at Cape Adare in 1898 and sledged with Bernacchi, Fougner and Johansen across the Ross Ice Shelf to latitude 74° 34’ S. He later farmed in Canada and retired in Vermilion, Alberta. Died in 1975. He had been the oldest living explorer from the heroic era and two years after he died was awarded the Polar Medal. 

Anton Fougner: 30, Scientific Assistant
Born in Norway, 1870. Educated in Christiania (now Oslo). After getting his mate’s certificate he became an experienced sailor and snow-shoe runner. At the time of appointment he was an office clerk.

Nicolai Hanson: 28, Zoologist
Born at Christiansund, Norway, 1870. Studied zoology at the University of Christiania. At the time of appointment he was collecting in north Norway for the British Museum and the Zoological Museum in Christiania. He was an experienced skier and wintered at Cape Adare in 1899 where he died on 14 October after being ill for about three months. Hanson Peak (1,255m) on the Adare Peninsula commemorates Nicolai Hanson.

Herlof Klovstad: 30, Medical Officer
Born in Norway, 1868. Educated at Christiania University and received MA and MD degrees. When he joined the expedition he was a resident doctor at a hospital for the mentally ill near Bergen. He died soon after the return of the expedition and has Cape Klovstad in Robertson Bay named after him.

Ole Must: 22, In charge of dogs
Born in Norway, 1877. An experienced snow-shoe runner from Lapland.

Persen Savio: 22, In charge of dogs
From Lapland.


Bernhard Jensen: Master
Born in Norway, 1853. Had 20 years’ experience in ice navigation, which put him in good stead to serve as Master on the Southern Cross.

Jorgen Petersen: First Mate
An experienced ice navigator who died in 1900 on voyage from Australia.

Hans Hansen: Second Mate
Born in 1877. An experienced hunter and ice navigator.

Hans Ulis: Carpenter

Johannes Christian Olsen: First Engineer
Johannes had his first-class certificate and was an experienced engineer and boiler maker. At the time of appointment he was a professional engineer at Jensen and Dahl’s ship building yard at Friedrikstad, Norway.

Julius Johanesen: Second Engineer
At time of appointment Julius was at the same ship building yard as JC Olsen.


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