Category Archives: Polar Exploration

Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh, Scotland

Celtic Cross in Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh commemorating Lieutenant John Irving RN, d. 1848

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Location

Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh, Scotland

Transcript

'IN MEMORY OF / LIEVT JOHN IRVING R.N. / H.M. SHIP TERROR / BORN 1815 / DIED IN KING WILLIAM'S LAND / 1848-9 / HER MAJESTY'S SHIPS / EREBUS AND TERROR / LEFT ENGLAND IN MAY / 1845 UNDER COMMAND / OF SIR JOHN FRANKLIN K.C.B. TO EXPLORE A NORTH-WEST PASSAGE / TO THE PACIFIC / AFTER WINTERING / 1845 AT BEECHEY ISL / AND THEY SAILED SOUT / H DOWN FRANKLIN ST / RAIT AND ENTERED THE / N.W. PASSAGE / HAVING BEEN THERE BESET WITH ICE FOR TWO YEARS SIR J. FRANKLIN / 8 OTHER OFFICERS AND / 15 SEAMEN HAVING DIED / THE SURVIVORS 105 IN / NUMBER LIEUT IRVING / BEING ONE LANDED ON / KING WILLIAM LAND A / ND ATTEMPTED TO MARC / H TO CANADA BUT ALL D / IED FROM COLD AND WAN / T OF FOOD. / IN 1879 LIEVT SCHWAT / KA OF THE AMERICAN SE / ARCHING EXPEDITION DI / SCOVERED LIEVT IRVING / S GRAVE. THROUGH HIS / KINDNESS THE REMAINS / OF THIS BRAVE AND GOO / D OFFICER WERE BROUGH / T AWAY AND WERE DEPOS / ITED HERE ON 7TH JANUA / RY 1881 / "WHO SHALL SEPARATE US / FROM THE LOVE OF CHRIST/ SHALL TRIBULATION OR / DISTRESS - OR - FAMINE"' {Base} 'DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MORI'

Details

Description: Celtic cross carved with interlaced decoration. The inscription is placed on the shaft. Two carved rope bands run round the top of the base. The base is carved with a relief showing crew members preparing to bury Irving as his body is dragged across the ice to the shore. The two expedition ships are shown beset in the background. The two sides of Irving's silver mathematics medal are shown above. This was found near his original grave and was the principal means by which the remains were identified.


Type: Celtic cross
Position: Block G
Materials: Sandstone
Artists: Stewart McGlashen
Vessel: HMS Terror

People

Irving, John
Age:
Date of Death: 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Lieutenant RN
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Notes: Died on Franklin Arctic expedition.
Bibliography: Ann Savours 'Franklin Memorial at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich', 'Mariners Mirror' vol. 72, p. 481, (Greenwich, 1986); R.J. Cyriax 'Sir John Franklin's Last Arctic Expedition' (London, 1939) p. 204.

Le cimetière de Rochefort, Rochefort France

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Location

Le cimetière de Rochefort, Rochefort France

Details

Description: The recumbent effigy of Bellot dressed in polar clothing lies on an ice floe under a canopy supported by four polar bears. On top of the canopy is a draped sledge.
Type: Cenotaph
Materials: Stone

People

Bellot, Joseph Renu00e9
Age:
Date of Death: 18/8/1853
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Lieutenant
Organisation: French Navy

Extra

Kensal Green Cemetery, Kensal Green, London, England

Memorial in Kensal Green Cemetery, London, commemorating Admiral Sir John Ross d. 1856.

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Location

Kensal Green Cemetery, Kensal Green, London, England

Transcript

'Sacred to the Memory of / ADMIRAL SIR JOHN ROSS KCB / THE ARCTIC NAVIGATOR / DIED 30TH AUGUST 1856 AGED 80 YEARS / PHILIP HEYLAND ROSS / DIED 24TH JUNE 1864 AGED 13 YEARS / MARY CAROLINE ROSS DIED 13TH AUGUST 1865 AGED 16 YEARS / ALICE JANE ROSS / DIED 28th NOVEMBER 1870 AGED 11 YEARS / EDITH GEORGIANA ROSS / DIED 6TH DECEMBER 1873 AGED 15 YEARS / ADA CATHERINE ROSS DIED 19TH JULY 1882 AGED 21 YEARS / GEORGIANA ELIZABETH ROSS / WIFE OF ANDREW ROSS B.C.S. / DIED AT BRIGHTON 24TH JANUARY 1890 / AGED 55 YEARS / ANDREW ROSS B.C.S. /DIED 1ST MARCH 1894 AGED 75 YEARS / CECIL CHARLES ROSS / DIED 4TH MAY 1913 AGED 42 YEARS'

Details

Description: Cross on a rock, with a anchor below.
Type: Memorial
Position: 13388/112/4
Materials: Carrara marble

People

Ross, John
Age: 80
Date of Death: 30/8/1856
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Admiral
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Notes: BCS Bengal Civil Service DOSSIER. Grade II listed.

Admiral Ross is credited with three expeditions to the Arctic between 1818 and 1850. His third expedition in 1850 was an attempt to find the mission expedition of Sir John Franklin, however, he was unsuccessful.

Town Hall, Stockport, Greater Manchester, England

Commemorative window at Stockport Town Hall dedicated to Admiral Sir George Back d. 1878

Location

Town Hall, Stockport, Greater Manchester, England

Transcript

'HMS Terror / Beset in Fox's / Channel. AD. 1857', 'Sir George Back Admiral and / Arctic Navigator was born at / Stockport AD 1796. At the age / of 12 he was taken prisoner / by the French at Deba and / carried across the Alps on / a donkey, being too young to / march with the other prisoners. / He made two Arctic voyages / under Franklin in 1819 & 1824 / and was in command of two / himself in which few sailors / ever survived more terrible / perils and hardships. In / bravery intelligence and love / of adventure, he was the / very model of an English sailor.'

Details

Description: Left hand panel shows HMS 'Terror' beset in the ice, central panel depicts St George carrying a banner inscribed 'FORTITVDO' and a portrait of George Back, biographical text on right panel.
Type: Window
Materials: Glass

People

Back, George
Age: 81
Date of Death: 23/6/1878
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Admiral; Arctic explorer
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Bibliography: Ann Pares 'The Man who ate his trousers: a narrative of the life of Sir George Back RN 1796-1878'(opposite p. 204)

St Mary's Church, Banbury, Oxfordshire, England

Window in Banbury, Oxfordshire dedicated to Admiral Sir George Back d. 1878

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Location

St Mary's Church, Banbury, Oxfordshire, England

Transcript

[Brass plaque below window] 'TO . THE . GLORY . OF . GOD . AND . IN . MEMORY . OF . ADMIRAL . SIR . GEORGE . BACK . D.C.L.F.R.S. WHO . DIED . 23RD . JUNE . 1878 . AGED . 81 . YEARS' [Around flight into Egypt] ' HE . TOOK . THE . YOUNG . CHILD . & . HIS . MOTHER . BY . NIGHT . AND . DEPARTED . INTO . EGYPT' [Around Jesus in the temple] 'ALL . THAT . HEARD . HIM . WERE . ASTONISHED . BY . HIS . UNDERSTANDING' [Around Jesus in the carpenter's shop] 'AND . CAME . TO . NAZARETH . AND . WAS . SUBJECT . UNTO . THEM'

Details

Description: Window showing the carpenter's shop at Nazareth, Christ in the temple and the flight into Egypt in roundels in the centre. Below and at the edges, Arctic fauna - wolf, fox, polar bears, caribou, walrus and seals. Two small roundels are based on sketches of HMS 'Terror' in the ice. An Inuit dog sled occupies the space at the bottom. The window has a border of snow flakes.


Type: Window
Materials: Stained glass
Date Erected: 1878-1881
Artists: Heaton, Butler & Bayne
Vessel: HMS Terror

People

Back, George
Age: 81
Date of Death: 23/6/1878
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Admiral
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Notes: DOSSIER. Window given by Rev. H. Back and the Rev. John Back in memory of their uncle. It was designed and made by Heaton, Butler & Bayne. Acknowledgments to St Mary's Church Banbury for permitting access.
Bibliography: Eleanor Draper and William Potts 'The Parish Church St Mary's Banbury' 1907.

Mount Wise, Devonport, Plymouth, England

Memorial in Mount Wise, Devonport, Plymouth, England commemorating Captain Robert Falcon Scott RN d. 1912

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Location

Mount Wise, Devonport, Plymouth, England

Transcript

[Front panel] 'IN MEMORY OF / CAPT R F SCOTT RN / DR E A WILSON / CAPT L E G OATES INS DRGS / LT H R BOWERS RIM / PETTY OFFICER E EVANS RN / WHO DIED ON THEIR RETURN / FROM THE SOUTH POLE / MARCH 1912. [Round top] 'FOR KNOWLEDGE','FOR KING', 'FOR COUNTRY', 'FOR BROTHERLY LOVE' [Middle] ' HAD WE LIVED I SHOULD HAVE HAD A TALE', 'TO TELL OF THE HARDIHOOD ENDURANCE AND', 'COURAGE OF MY COMPANIONS WHICH WOULD', 'HAVE STIRRED THE HEARTS OF EVERY ENGLISHMAN' [Base] 'TO STRIVE', 'TO SEEK', 'TO FIND, 'AND NOT TO YIELD'

Details

Description: Figure of Scott in Polar clothing crowned by victory in bronze at the top. This stands on a large stone plinth with bronze profile portraits of the polar party - Evans and Wilson on one side, Bowers and Oates on the other. Profile of Scott within a wreath on the front. On the back are carved three skiis, a wreath placed over them. Round the base are four bronze reliefs showing scenes from the expedition - manhauling, ponies, unloading stores and the cairn built over the bodies of the polar party.
Type: Monument
Materials: Bronze, portland stone
Date Erected: 10/8/1925
Artists: Albert Hemstock Hodge

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: PRO WORK20-121. Commissioned by the Captain Scott Memorial fund. They were not permitted to erect it at a London site as originally intended.

Market Place, Spilsby, Lincolnshire, England

Statue at Spilsby, Lincolnshire commemorating Sir John Franklin d. 1847

Location

Market Place, Spilsby, Lincolnshire, England

Transcript

'SIR JOHN FRANKLIN / DISCOVERER OF THE NORTH WEST PASSAGE/BORN AT SPILSBY / APRIL 1786 / DIED IN THE ARCTIC REGIONS / JUNE 1847'

Details

Description: Full-length figure in uniform, holding a telescope in the right hand, an anchor behind.
Type: Statue
Materials: Bronze
Artists: Charles Bacon

People

Franklin, John
Age: 61
Date of Death: 11/6/1847
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Rear Admiral
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Hanwell cemetery, Kensington, London, England

Memorial at Hanwell Cemetery, Kensington commemorating Admiral Sir Francis Leopold McClintock d. 1907

Location

Hanwell cemetery, Kensington, London, England

Details

Type: Celtic cross
Materials: Granite

People

McClintock, Francis Leopold
Age: 88
Date of Death: 17/11/1907
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Admiral
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Notes: McClintock confirmed the fate of the missing North West Passage expedition lead by Sir John Franklin.
Bibliography: Hugh Meller 'London cemeteries: an illustrated guide and gazeteer' (Amersham, 1981) p. 200.

Old Royal Naval College Chapel, Greenwich, London, England

Memorial at Old Royal Naval College Chapel, Greenwich commemorating Sir John Franklin and the officers of ‘Erebus’ and ‘Terror’ who died in the Arctic 1845-1848

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Location

Old Royal Naval College Chapel, Greenwich, London, England

Transcript

'TO THE MEMORY OF / REAR ADMIRAL SIR JOHN FRANKLIN KT., K.C.H. / AND OF THE UNDERMENTIONED OFFICERS / OF HER MAJESTY'S SHIPS / EREBUS/CAPT. JAMES FITZJAMES / COMMR. GRAHAM GORE / LIEUT. HENRY T.D. LE VESCONTE / LIEUT. JAMES WALTER FAIRHOLME. / LIEUT. ROBERT ORME SARGENT / LIEUT. CHARLES F. DES VOEUX / LIEUT. EDWARD COUCH / MR. CHARLES H. OSMER, PAYMASTER / MR. STEPHEN S. STANLEY, SURGEON / MR. HARRY D.S. GOODSIR ACTG. ASST. SURG. / MR. JAMES REID (CIVILIAN), ICE MASTER/MR. HENRY F. COLLINS, 2ND MASTER / MR. THOS. TERRY, BOATSWAIN / MR. JOHN WEEKES, CARPENTER / AND TERROR / CAPT. FRANS. RAWDEN MOIRA CROZIER / COMMR. EDWARD LITTLE / LIEUT. GEORGE HENRY HODGSON / LIEUT. JOHN IRVING / LIEUT. FREDK. JOHN HORNBY / LIEUT. ROBERT THOMAS / MR. JOHN SMART PEDDIE, SURGEON / MR. ALEXR. MCDONALD, ASSIST. SURGEON / MR.THOS. BLANKY (CIVILIAN), ICE MASTER / MR. GILLIES ALEXR. MCBEAN, 2ND MASTER / MR. EDWIN JAMES HOWARD HELPMAN / (CLERK IN CHARGE) / MR. JOHN LANE, BOATSWAIN / MR. THOS. HONEY, CARPENTER / ALSO IN MEMORY OF / THE SEVERAL SEAMAN, PETTY OFFICERS AND MARINES; / WHO SAILED FROM ENGLAND IN THE SHIPS NAMED; / AND WHO WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, / LOST THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY / WHILE EMPLOYED ON A VOYAGE TO THE ARCTIC SEA, / IN SEARCH OF THE NORTH-WEST PASSAGE, A.D.1845-1854', 'BENEATH LIE THE REMAINS / OF ONE OF FRANKLIN'S COMPANIONS / WHO PERISHED IN THE ARCTIC REGIONS / 1848 / DISCOVERED AND BROUGHT AWAY FROM / KING WILLIAM'S LAND BY CAPTAIN HALL / THE UNITED STATES ARCTIC EXPLORER / 1869'

Details

Description: Inscription tablet with a pediment above, on which are carved two entwined wreaths of oak and olive. It is flanked by the figures of a naval officer studying a chart and a despondant seaman. In the background - two departing vessels, icebergs and the Pole Star.
Type: Monument
Position: Chapel vestibile
Materials: Marble
Date Erected: 1858
Artists: Richard Westmacott
Vessel: HMS Erebus, HMS Terror

People

Blanky, Thomas
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Icemaster
Organisation:
Collins, Henry F.
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: 2nd Master
Organisation: Royal Navy
Couch, Edward
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Lieutenant RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
Crozier, Francis Rawden Moira
Age:
Date of Death: 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Captain RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
Des Voeux, Charles F.
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Lieutenant RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
Fairholme, James Walter
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Lieutenant RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
Fitzjames, James
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Captain RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
Franklin, John
Age:
Date of Death: 11/6/1847
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Rear Admiral
Organisation: Royal Navy
Goodsir, Harry D. S.
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Assistant Surgeon RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
Gore, Graham
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Commander RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
Helpman, Edwin James Howard
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Clerk in charge
Organisation: Royal Navy
Hodgson, George Henry
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Lieutenant RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
Honey, Thomas
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Carpenter
Organisation: Royal Navy
Hornby, Frederick John
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Lieutenant RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
Irving, John
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Lieutenant RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
Lane, John
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Boatswain
Organisation: Royal Navy
Le Vesconte, Henry T. D.
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Lieutenant RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
Little, Edward
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Commander RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
McBean, Gillies Alexander
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: 2nd Master
Organisation: Royal Navy
McDonald, Alexander
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Assistant Surgeon RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
Osmer, Charles H.
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Paymaster
Organisation: Royal Navy
Peddie, John Smart
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Surgeon RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
Reid, James
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Icemaster
Organisation:
Sargent, Robert Orme
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Lieutenant RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
Stanley, Stephen S.
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Surgeon RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
Terry, Thomas
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Boatswain
Organisation: Royal Navy
Thomas, Robert
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Lieutenant RN
Organisation: Royal Navy
Weekes, John
Age:
Date of Death: circa 1848
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Carpenter
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Notes: Erected by order of Parliament in the Painted Hall, subsequently moved to a small room behind the altar. Restored and relocated to the chapel vestibule 29 October 2009.
Bibliography: 'Illustrated London News' (8 January 1859) pp.35-36.

St James's Church, Spilsby, Lincolnshire, England

Wall tablet at St James’s Church, Spilsby, Lincolnshire commemorating Captain Sir John Franklin RN d. 1847

Location

St James's Church, Spilsby, Lincolnshire, England

Transcript

'IN MEMORY / OF / CAPTAIN SIR JOHN FRANKLIN, R.N. / K.C.H.-K.R.-D.C.L., / THE ARCTIC NAVIGATOR AND EXPLORER./BORN AT SPILSBY, APRIL 16TH 1786 / DIED IN THE ARCTIC SEAS, JUNE 11TH 1847. / WHILE IN COMMAND OF THE EXPEDITION / WHICH FIRST DISCOVERED / THE NORTH-WEST PASSAGE / 'THEY FORGED THE LAST LINK WITH THEIR LIVES' / ERECTED BY HIS WIDOW'

Details

Description: A round profile portrait in relief above the inscription.
Type: Wall tablet

People

Franklin, John
Age: 61
Date of Death: 11/6/1847
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Rear Admiral
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Notes: Statue of Franklin in the market place at Spilsby by Charles Bacon (1821-85?).