Scott's Crew

Meet the members of the National Antarctic Expedition 1901–1904

Credit: Royal Geographical Society
R F Scott
Robert Falcon Scott
Armitage headshot
Albert Armitage
Royds headshot
Charles Royds
Shackleton portrait headshot
Ernest Shackleton
Skelton headshot
Reginald Skelton
Koettlitz headshot
Reginald Koettlitz
Wilson headshot
Edward Wilson

Officers 
Robert F Scott, Cdr RN
Albert B, Armitage, Lieutenant RNR, Navigator and Second-in-Command
Charles WR Royds, Lieutenant RN, First Lieutenant
Michael Barne, Lieutenant RN
Ernest H Shackleton, Sub-Lieutenant MM*
George FA Mullock, Lieutenant RN*
Reginald W Skelton, Engineer Lieutenant RN, Chief Engineer

Scientists 
Reginald Koettlitz, Surgeon and Botanist
Edward A Wilson, Surgeon, Zoologist and Artist
Thomas V Hodgson, Marine Biologist
Hartley T Ferrar, Geologist
Louis C Bernacchi, Physicist

Warrant Officer’s Mess 
Thomas A Feather, Bosun PO1, RN
James H Dellbridge, 2nd Engineer RN
Fred E Dailey, Carpenter RN
Charles R Ford, Chief Steward Dom 1, RN

Mess Deck 
Petty Officers
Jacob Cross PO1, RN
Edgar Evans PO2, RN
William Smythe PO1, RN
David Allan PO1, RN
William Macfarlane PO1, RN*

Men dressed up for the play Ticket of Leave at Hut Point, 1902

Marines 
Gilbert Scott, Pte RMLI
AH Blissett, Pte RMLI

Civilians 
Charles Clarke, Ship’s cook
Clarence H Hare, Domestic*
HC Buckridge, Laboratory Attendant*

Seamen 
Arthur Pilbeam, LS RN
William L Heald AB RN
James Dell AB RN
Frank Wild AB RN
Thomas S Williamson AB RN
George B Croucher AB RN
Ernest EM Joyce AB RN
Thomas Crean AB RN
Jesse Handsley AB RN
William I Weller AB, Dog Handler
W Peters AB RN*
JD Walker AB RN*
J Duncan MN, Carpenter’s Mate*
HR Brett MN, Cook*
George T Vince A.B RN, Died at Danger Slopes March 1902
Thomas Kennar, PO2, RN

Stokers 
William Lashly, Lg stoker RN
Arthur L Quartley, Lg stoker RN
Thomas Whitfield Lg stoker RN
Frank Plumley, Stoker RN
W Page RN*
William Hubert MN, Donkeyman*

The original crew also included Charles Bonner AB RN, who died December 1901 as the ship left Lyttelton.
 * Wintered for one season only and returned on the Morning in March 1903.

Shackleton, Scott and Wilson on their return from the furthest point south that anyone had been at the time, February 1903.

BIOGRAPHIES OF SOME OF THE CREW

Robert Falcon Scott, Commander, RN 
Nicknamed ‘The Skipper’ and also ‘Con’ and ‘The Owner’ (during the 1910–13 expedition). Born 1868. Entered the Royal Navy in 1886. In the Rover (Training Squadron) 1887–88. Spent four years in sailing ships. Torpedo Lieutenant in the Majestic, 1898–99. Took a special course in surveying, 
1898–99 and in magnetic observation 1900. Commander, 1900; Captain, 1904. 

After the Discovery expedition he was made a gold medalist of the Royal Geographical Society and similarly honoured by other societies and institutions. Scott wrote The Voyage of Discovery, published in 1905. He later led the British Antarctic (Terra Nova) Expedition 1910–13 and died on the return from the South Pole in March 1912. His diaries were published posthumously in 1913, as Scott’s Last Expedition. Scott is commemorated with many geographic features including Mount Scott 65º 09’ S, 64º 03’ W; Scott Coast 76º 30’ S, 162º 30’ E; Scott Glacier 66º 30’ S, 100º 20’ E and also the Scott Glacier at 85º 45’ S, 153º 20’ E; Scott Island 67º 24’ S, 170º 55’ W; Scott Mountains 67º 30’ S, 50º 30’ E.

Albert B Armitage, Lieutenant RNR 
Nicknamed ‘The Pilot’. Born in 1864. Chief Officer of the Peninsula and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. Second-in-Command of the Jackson-Harmsworth expedition, 1894–97, to Franz-Josef Land where he took charge of the magnetic, meteorological and astronomical work, and gained experience in ice navigation and sledge travel. Received the Murchison Award of the Royal Geographical Society in 1898. 

He published his own account of the Discovery expedition - Two Years in the Antarctic – and became Captain P and O in 1907; Commodore P and O in 1923, and retired in 1924. He was at sea throughout the First World War and was torpedoed in 1917. His autobiography From Cadet to Commodore appeared in 1925. He died in October 1943 and is commemorated with Cape Armitage 77º 51’ S, 166º 40’ E; Armitage Saddle 78º 09’ S, 163º 15’ E.

Charles W Rawson Royds, First Lieutenant, RN 
Nicknamed ‘Our Charlie’. Born in 1876. Trained in meteorology at the Ben Nevis Observatory. In charge of meteorological work on the expedition and supervised the internal economy of the ship.

Royds later became a Director of Physical Training and Sports in the Royal Navy and Commodore of the RN Barracks at Devonport and a Rear-Admiral in 1926, when he retired from the Navy to become Deputy Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, a post which he held until his death in 1931. Knighted in 1929. Promoted Vice-Admiral, retired, in 1930. Royds is commemorated with Cape Royds 77º 33’ S, 166º 09’ E.

Ernest Henry Shackleton, Third Lieutenant, RNR 
Nicknamed ‘Shackle’. Born in Ireland in 1874. Entered the Merchant Service in 1890 and served for three years in sailing ships in the Pacific and was also with the Union Castle Line, rising to Third Officer. During the expedition he was in charge of sea-water analysis and edited the South Polar Times, which was later published as two volumes. He participated with Scott and Wilson in the southern journey in 1902 and, following his breakdown with scurvy, was invalided home after the first year. 

Shackleton subsequently organised and led three expeditions to the Antarctic in 1907–09 (Nimrod), 1914–17 (Endurance) and 1921–22 (Quest), during the last of which he died and was buried in South Georgia. He had made a further trip to Antarctica as a Supernumerary Officer on the Aurora Relief Expedition 1916–17. Shackleton wrote The Heart of the Antarctic (1909) and South (1919). He was knighted in 1909 and is commemorated with Mount Shackleton (1,465 metres) 65º 13’ S, 63º 56’ W; Shackleton Coast 82º 00’ S, 162º 00’ E; Shackleton Glacier 84º 35’ S, 176º 20’ W; Shackleton Ice Shelf 66º 00’ S, 100º 00’ E; Shackleton Inlet 82º 19’ S, 164º 00’ E and other geographical features.

Officers of Discovery on the deck, at Lyttelton, 21 December 1901. Left to right: Dr Wilson, Lt Shackleton, Lt AB Armitage RN, Lt M Barne, Dr Koettlitz, Mr RW Skelton RN, Captain RF Scott RN, Lt CW Royds, Mr LC Bernacchi, Mr HT Ferrar and Mr JF Hodgson.

Reginald Skelton, Chief Engineer, RN 
Nicknamed ‘Skelly’. Born 1872. Joined Royal Navy 1887. Served in HMS Centurion in China, 1894–97, and in HMS Majestic, Channel Squadron, 1899–1900. Supervised the construction of the Discovery at Dundee. Also acted as photographer during the expedition. He served in the Submarine Service from 1906–12 and from 1916–18. In the interval, he served in HMS Superb and in HMS Agincourt and took part in the Battle of Jutland, 31 May 1916 for which he was awarded the DSO. He continued in the Royal Navy after the War, being posted to Archangel, Constantinople, to the Mediterranean Station and to the Atlantic Station. He became Engineer Rear-Admiral in 1923, Engineer Vice-Admiral in 1928 and Engineer-in-Chief of the Fleet, Admiralty, 1928–32. He retired in 1932 and died in September 1956. He is commemorated with geographic features including, Skelton Glacier 78º 35’ S, 161º 31’ E and Skelton Inlet 78º 54’ S, 162º 15’ E.

Dr Reginald Koettlitz 
Nicknamed ‘Cutlets’. Born 1861. Trained at Guy’s Hospital, London. In country practice for seven years. Surgeon during Jackson-Harmsworth Expedition to Franz Josef Land, 1894–97. Accompanied expeditions to Abyssinia, Somaliland and Brazil. Bacteriologist. Described the first botany on Ross Island. On the return of the Discovery expedition he practised in South Africa, where he died of dysentery at Port Elizabeth in 1916. Is commemorated with the Koettlitz Glacier 78º 15’ S,164º 15’ E.

Dr Edward Adrian Wilson 
Nicknamed ‘Billy’. Born Cheltenham, England, 1872. Studied natural sciences at Cambridge then medicine. Contracted tuberculosis in 1898 and recovered. Volunteered to join the Discovery expedition and sledged with Scott and Shackleton to beyond 82° South. He became Scott’s closest friend and confidant and on return spent five years working on a survey of grouse disease. Shackleton wanted him to join his Nimrod expedition, but partly out of loyalty to Scott Wilson refused. He died on the return journey from the South Pole and is commemorated with Cape Wilson 82º 14’ S, 37º 10’ W; Wilson Hills 69º 40’ S, 28º 30’ E and the Wilson Piedmont Glacier 77º 15’ S, 163º 10’ E.

Thomas Vere Hodgson 
Nicknamed ‘Muggins’. Born 1864. Had a business career until devoting himself to marine biology at the Marine Biological Station, Plymouth. Curator of the Plymouth Museum. After the Discovery expedition he was concerned with the publication of its scientific results, particularly with those relating to marine invertebrates. He had previously worked on the Southern Cross expedition collections and later on those of the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, 1902–04. He was re-appointed Curator of the Plymouth Museum on his return from the Antarctic, but was unwell until his death in May 1926. He is commemorated with Cape Hodgson 78º 07’ S, 166º 05’ E.

Hartley Travers Ferrar 
Nicknamed ‘Our Junior Scientist’. Born 1879. Educated at Oundle School and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, taking the Natural Science Tripos shortly before the expedition sailed. In charge of geology and sea-water analysis (after Shackleton). His report on field geology was published in 1907 as part of Vol 1 (Geology) of the expedition’s scientific results. In 1905 he joined the geological section of the Survey Department in Egypt, and remained there until 1913 when he went to New Zealand as a master at Christchurch College. During the First World War he served with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, mainly in Palestine. In 1919 he joined the New Zealand Geological Survey and worked in New Zealand until his death in April 1932. He is commemorated with the Ferrar Glacier 77º 46’ S, 41º 25’ E.

Louis Charles Bernacchi 
Nicknamed ‘Bunny’. Born in Belgium, 1876. With an early interest in Antarctica in 1896 he moved to Melbourne where he studied astronomy, magnetism and meteorology at the Observatory, before attending Kew Laboratory in London. In 1898 he joined the British Antarctic Expedition led by Carsten Borchgrevink and wintered at Cape Adare in 1899. He later published his account of the expedition - To the South Polar Regions. He joined the National Antarctic Expedition as physicist and, in 1938, published the Saga of the Discovery. Louis Bernacchi never returned to Antarctica and is commemorated with Cape Bernacchi 77º 28’ S, 163º 51’ E; Bernacchi Bay 77º 28’ S, 163º 27’ E and Bernacchi Head 76º 08’ S, 168º 20’ E.

Frederick E Dailey 
Born in Portsmouth. Joined the Discovery expedition from HMS Ganges. He served his apprenticeship in a wooden shipyard and was responsible in Antarctica for building Discovery Hut. A member of Scott’s Western Attempt, he sledged supplies to Bluff depot. He was also a member of the Southern Support Party and Western Depot Party. He is commemorated with the Dailey Islands 77° 53’ S, 165° 06’ E.

Frank Wild 
Born 1874 at Skelton, Yorkshire. Joined the expedition from HMS Vernon. Member of the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907–09, accompanying Shackleton on farthest south party. Leader Queen Mary Land wintering station during Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911–14, Second-in-Command on Endurance during Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914–16. Led an expedition to Spitsbergen, 1918–19, when Shackleton recalled. Went to Nyasaland as a farmer 1920. Second-in-Command Shackleton–Rowett Antarctic (Quest) Expedition, 1921–22, succeeding to command on Shackleton’s death, 1922. Moved to Swaziland in 1922 then Johannesburg, where he died in 1939. Awarded CBE. Frank Wild is commemorated with Cape Wild 68° 23’ S, 149° 07’ E; Mount Wild 84° 48’ S, 162° 40’ E and Point Wild 61° 06’ S, 54° 52’ W.

Ernest Edward Mills Joyce 
Born Bognor, England, 1875. Joined Royal Navy 1891, AB on Discovery expedition, left the Royal Navy to join the Nimrod expedition. Member of the Ross Sea Party (ITAE). Awarded Albert Medal in bronze. Died in London 1940. Mount Joyce 750 36’ S, 1600 38’ E is named after him.

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