Category Archives: Polar Exploration

Dingwall Museum, Dingwall, Highlands, Scotland

Wall tablet in Dingwall Museum , Highlands, Scotland commemorating Thomas Simpson. d. 1840

Location

Dingwall Museum, Dingwall, Highlands, Scotland

Transcript

'In memory of / THOMAS SIMPSON / a native of this County and Burgh / who departed this life / on the XV June MDCCCXL / a few days before he had completed / his Thirty Second Year. / Though removed so early / He had already attained the high / distinction of being the discoverer / of the long sought / NORTH WEST PASSAGE'

Details

Description: Gothic lettering.
Type: Wall tablet

People

Simpson, Thomas
Age: 31
Date of Death: 15/6/1840
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation:
Organisation: Hudson's Bay Company

Extra

Notes: Formerly in church. Claim based on erroneous belief that Simpson had reached the Gulf of Boothia in 1839.
Bibliography: William Barr 'Richard Cyriax's note concerning Thomas Simpson's claim ', 'Polar Record' vol. 36, pp.113-116, (Cambridge, 2000).

St Mary's Church, Fetcham, Surrey, England

Memorial at St Mary’s Church, Fetcham commemorating Admiral Sir George Henry Richards d. 1896

Location

St Mary's Church, Fetcham, Surrey, England

Details

Type: Tablet
Position: North aisle

People

Richards, George Henry
Age: 76
Date of Death: 14/11/1896
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Admiral
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Notes: Head of the Admiralty Hydrographic Department and later the Managing Director of the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company.

Hospital Burial Ground, Haslar, Hampshire, England

Memorial in Hospital Burial Ground, Haslar, Hampshire, commemorating John Simpson d. 1859

Location

Hospital Burial Ground, Haslar, Hampshire, England

Transcript

'Sacred to the memory of John Simpson Surgeon R.N. one of the surgeons of Haslar Hospital and Gosport. Youngest son of the late William Simpson of Larne County Antrim Ireland. The deceased spent five years in the Arctic Regions, serving in H.M.S. Plover, in the search for Sir John Franklin. He died at Haslar Hospital on the 29th of August 1859 aged 39. He also received a Medal for Services in the first China War 1845.'

Details

Vessel: HMS Plover

Event

First China War

Event Date

1839 – 1842

Event Category

19th century conflicts in Asia

People

Simpson, John
Age: 39
Date of Death: 29/8/1859
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Surgeon RN
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Naval Museum, Louvre, Paris, France, Rest of the World

Memorial at the  Naval Museum, Louvre, Paris, France commemorating Lieutenant Joseph Rene Bellot d. 1853, at Paris

Location

Naval Museum, Louvre, Paris, France, Rest of the World

Transcript

'A / BELLOT / JOSEPH RENE, / Lieut. de vaisseau de la Marine Impériale / Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur:/Né à Paris le 18 Mars 1826, / who twice served as a volunteer in / the expeditions sent from England / to the Arctic Regions, and who when under / the command of Captain N. Inglefield. / of H.M.'s ship Phoenix, unhappily / perished amongst the ice on the 18th / August 1853 / Qui deux fois prit comme volon / taire à des expeditions envoyées d'Ang / leterre à / recherché de Sir John Franklin, et / qui, place sous le commandement du / Capitaine N. Inglefield, du bâtiment / de sa Majesté Britannique le Phenix, / perit malheuresement au milieu des / glaces, le 18 Août, 1853 / Cette tablet a été élevée à sa memoire par les Anglais residents en France.'

Details

Description: Royal arms of England and France above the inscription, an anchor between them, banners and clasped hands above.
Type: Memorial
Materials: Bronze
Artists: Courtney Boyle, Nicolas Guillemin
Vessel: HMS Phoenix

People

Bellot, Joseph Rene
Age: 27
Date of Death: 11/8/1853
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Lieutenant
Organisation: French Navy

Extra

Bibliography: 'Illustrated London News' (17 Feb 1855) p.156 (picture and inscription).

Intersection of Oxford Terrace and Worcester Street, Christchurch, New Zealand, Rest of the World

Statue at Christchurch, New Zealand to Captain Robert Falcon Scott RN d. 1912

Location

Intersection of Oxford Terrace and Worcester Street, Christchurch, New Zealand, Rest of the World

Transcript

'ROBERT FALCON SCOTT / CAPTAIN ROYAL NAVY / WHO DIED RETVRNING FROM THE SOVTH POLE / WITH A.E. WILSON H.R. BOWERS L.E.G. OATES E. EVANS / I DO NOT REGRET THIS JOVRNEY WHICH SHOWS / THAT ENGLISHMEN CAN ENDVRE HARDSHIPS / HELP ONE ANOTHER AND MEET DEATH WITH / AS GREAT FORTITVDE AS EVER IN THE PAST'

Details

Description: Full-length in polar clothing with a ski pole, a copy in marble of the Waterloo Place statue.
Type: Statue
Materials: Marble, granite
Date Erected: 1917
Artists: Kathleen Scott

People

Scott, Robert Falcon
Age: 43
Date of Death: 3/1912
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Captain RN
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Notes: Carved in Carrara marble in La Massa in Italy. Choice of materials dictated by a wartime shortage of bronze. Reinstated in 2017 following earthquake damage and repair.

St Oswald's Church, Lythe, North Yorkshire, England

Memorial at St Oswald’s Church, Lythe commemorating Captain Constantine John Phipps RN , Baron Mulgrave d. 1792

Location

St Oswald's Church, Lythe, North Yorkshire, England

Transcript

'In memory of / Constantine John [Phipps] Baron Mulgrave / Who was born on the 9th May 1744 / And died the 10th October 1792 / Having passed the period of an active life / In the practice of every public and domestic virtue. In the service of his country / He was / A skilful, gallant and enterprising sea officer / A learned upright and constitutional statesman, / In society / An active and indefatigable patron / A sincere and unalienable friend / In his family a zealous, kind and liberal brother, / A dutiful and affectionate son, / An indulgent, considerate and tender husband, / He bore a tedious wasting illness with the patient firmness / of / a philosopher, / He saw the approach of death with the cheerful resignation / of / A Christian! / Having employed the concluding hours of such a life / In the active exertion of his mental faculties / He died / With the humble but confident hope / of / Eternal happiness / Through the merits and mercy / of his Saviour'

Details

Description: Sarcophagus on lion paw feet topped with coronet. On an apron, an anchor wrapped in a sail on a spar.
Type: Sarcophagus
Position: North aisle
Materials: Marble
Artists: Fisher

People

Phipps, Constantine John
Age: 48
Date of Death: 10/10/1792
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Captain RN
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Notes: In 1773 leader of two Arctic expeditions. Joint Paymaster-General of the forces and one of the Commissioners.
Bibliography: Ed. E. Hailstone 'Portraits of Yorkshire Worthies selected from the National Exhibition of Works of Art at Leeds, 1868' (London, 1869).
Recorder: Poppy Corita Myerscough 1996

Kensal Green Cemetery, Kensal Green, London, England

Memorial at Kensal Green Cemetery commemorating Robert McCormick d. 1890

Location

Kensal Green Cemetery, Kensal Green, London, England

Transcript

[East side] 'SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF / MARY /...OF ROBERT McCORMICK /...ROBERT McCORMICK...' [North Side] 'LOUISA...'

Details

Description: Chest tomb with gabled top.
Type: Tomb
Position: 16725/130/4
Materials: Marble

People

McCormick, Robert
Age: 90
Date of Death: 28/10/1890
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Naval surgeon; explorer
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Notes: Sinking to the south. Faint inscriptions. Located on the south side of the path behind the chest tomb of Lady Morrow. McCormick was a naval surgeon, explorer and naturalist, he served on various stations and accompanied the Antarctic expedition commanded by Captain Sir James Clark Ross in 1839.
Recorder: Lucy Saint, Eleanor Baugh

Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, Mumby, Lincolnshire, England

Gravestone in Mumby, Lincolnshire commemorating  Rehoboth Robinson d. 1906

Location

Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, Mumby, Lincolnshire, England

Transcript

'Sacred / to the memory of / REHOBOTH ROBINSON / Master Mariner / Born at Mumby Chapel / May 23 1831 / Died at Boston Oct 30 1906 / He served under Sir Edward Belcher in the search for Sir John Franklin 1852-1854, and was the last survivor of that expedition.'

Details

Type: Gravestone
Position: Churchyard

People

Robinson, Rehoboth
Age: 75
Date of Death: 30/10/1906
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Master mariner
Organisation:

Extra

Recorder: Christopher John Allum

Exeter Cathedral, Exeter, Devon, England

Sledge flag in Exeter Cathedral, Exeter, Devon commemorating Captain Robert Falcon Scott d. 1912

Location

Exeter Cathedral, Exeter, Devon, England

Transcript

'Above this tablet hangs the sledge flag carried on his first expedition by Captain Robert Falcon Scott R.N. C.V.O. of Outlands Devonport. Leader of the National Antarctic Expeditions of 1900-4, 1910-13. Who with four comrades perished from hunger and cold after reaching the South Pole in 1912, and is here commemorated as being not the least illustrious of those men of Devon who brought fame to their country and rendered service to the world. Their name liveth for evermore. This flag was presented by his mother'

Details

Type: Plaque and sledge flag

People

Scott, Robert Falcon
Age: 43
Date of Death: 3/1912
Cause of Death: Unknown
Rank / Occupation: Captain
Organisation: RN

Extra

Notes: Captain Scott 'Scott of the Antarctic’ died on the Ross Ice Shelf, Antartica on 29 March 1912.

Recorder: Alex Chatwin 1982

Cenotaph, Beechey Island, Nunavut, Canada, Rest of the World

Cenotaph on Beechey Island, Nunavut, Canada commemorating John Coombs, RN, d. 1853 and Thomas Hood, RM,  d. 1854

Location

Cenotaph, Beechey Island, Nunavut, Canada, Rest of the World

Transcript

‘Sacred /TO THE MEMORY OF / JOHN COOMBS, / STOKER, / H.M.S. TENDER INTREPID, / WHO DIED SUDDENLY / WHILE TRAVELLING NEAR POINT NIAS / MELVILLE ISLAND, / MAY 12TH 1853, / AGED 34 YEARS; / ALSO / TO THE MEMORY OF THOMAS HOOD / PRIVATE ROYAL MARINE, / WHO DIED ON BOARD / H.M.S. TENDER INTREPID, / OFF CAPE COCKBURN, / JANUARY 2ND, 1854 / AGED 36 YEARS /'

Details

Description: Lead plate fixed to octagonal memorial surmounted by a ball.
Vessel: HMS Intrepid

People

Coombs, John
Age: 34
Date of Death: 12/5/1853
Cause of Death: Unknown
Rank / Occupation: Stoker
Organisation: Royal Navy
Hood, Thomas
Age: 36
Date of Death: 2/1/1854
Cause of Death: Unknown
Rank / Occupation: Private RM
Organisation: Royal Marines

Extra

Bibliography: Sir Edward Belcher 'The Last of the Arctic Voyages: being an narrative of the expedition in HMS Assistance under the command of Sir Edward Belcher, CB, in search of Sir John Franklin, during the years 1852-53-54' (London, 1855). 'Further papers relative to the recent Arctic expedition in search of Sir John Franklin and the crews of H.M.S. Erebus and Terror' (HMSO, 1855) p. 63.