Category Archives: Polar Exploration

Royal Geographical Society Building, Exhibition Road, London, England

Statue on the Royal Geographical Society Building, Exhibition Road, London representing Ernest Shackleton d. 1922

Location

Royal Geographical Society Building, Exhibition Road, London, England

Details

Description: Shackleton shown full-length in polar clothing.
Type: Statue
Position: Niche on exterior
Artists: C. S. Jagger

People

Shackleton, Ernest Henry
Age: 47
Date of Death: 5/1/1922
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Polar explorer
Organisation:

Extra

Bibliography: Arthur Byron 'London Statues: a guide to London's outdoor statues and sculpture' (London, 1981) p. 192.
Photographer: Royal Museums Greenwich

St Peter's Church, Binton, Warwickshire, England

Memorial window in St Peter’s Church, Binton commemorating Captain Robert Falcon Scott RN d. 1912 and his companions

Location

St Peter's Church, Binton, Warwickshire, England

Transcript

'Here Captain Scott with his brave companions / full of zeal to plant the British flag at / the South Pole receive their last farewells / on their way south', 'Here the intrepid explorers coming upon / the flag of Amundsen learn with great / disappointment that the Norwegian expedition, had forestalled them', 'Here Captain Oates, that brave and gallant / gentleman - unwilling to be a burden to / his companions, leaves them and the shelter / of the tent to die', 'Here the search party erect a cairn to / mark the resting place of their gallant / countrymen, Capt. Scott, Dr Wilson, and Lt. Bowers' [top] 'Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends'

Details

Description: Window of four lights, the centre panels depict episodes from Scott's last expedition within gothic canopies. Below, small roundels depicting biblical scenes - Abraham and Isaac, Moses in the bullrushes, the boy Samuel, David and Golliath. Above - two small trefoil lights show the expedition vessel 'Terra Nova' and the cairn above the explorers' grave. The crucifixion is shown at the very top of the window with the inscription 'Greater Love hath no man'.
Type: Window
Position: West window
Materials: Stained glass
Date Erected: 25/9/1915
Artists: C. E. Kempe & Co., H.G. Ponting

People

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

Extra

Bibliography: David Saunders 'Maritime Memorials & Mementoes' (Yeovil, 1996) p. 21. Max Jones 'The Last Great Quest' p. 256.
Recorder: B. Tomlinson
Photographer: B. Tomlinson

Sebastopol, Russia, Rest of the World

Bust in Sebastopol, Russia depicting Rear Admiral Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev, Imperial Russian Navy d. 1851

Location

Sebastopol, Russia, Rest of the World

Details

Description: Bust.
Type: Memorial
Materials: Bronze
Date Erected: 1993

People

Lazarev, Mikhail Petrovich
Age: 62
Date of Death: 11/4/1851
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Rear Admiral
Organisation: Imperial Russian Navy

Extra

Notes: 1780-1851. Died in Vienna. Buried in crypt of cathedral of St Vladimir, Sebastopol. Russian Antarctic Expedition 1819-21,
Bibliography: 'Polar Record' vol. 35, p.153, (Cambridge, 1999).

Glen Prosen, Angus, Scotland

Cairn at Glen Prosen, Angus commemorating  Captain Robert Falcon Scott RN and Edward Adrian Wilson both d. 1912

Location

Glen Prosen, Angus, Scotland

Transcript

'Given into the care of the people of Cortachy / For them to hold in remembrance / ROBERT FALCON SCOTT and / EDWARD ADRIAN WILSON / Who knew this glen: they reached the / South Pole on 17 January 1912 and / Died together on the Great Ice Barrier / March 1912 / For the journey is done and the / Summit attained and the barriers fall.'

Details

Description: Engraved stone plaque on a cairn. It replaces the original monument on the site which was a fountain. Expedition planning took place at Dr Edward Wilson's home nearby.
Type: Cairn
Materials: Stone

People

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

Extra

City Hall, Cardiff, Wales

Wall memorial in City Hall, Cardiff, Wales commemorating Captain Robert Falcon Scott RN d. 1912

Location

City Hall, Cardiff, Wales

Transcript

'ROBERT FALCON SCOTT KCB CVO / BORN 6TH JUNE 1868 AT DEVONPORT DIED 29TH MARCH 1912 / WHILST RETURNING FROM THE SOUTH POLE / CAPTAIN IN HIS MAJETY'S ROYAL NAVY, ANTARCTIC EXPLORER / COMMANDER OF THE BRITISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION 1910 / LEFT CARDIFF IN THE "TERRA NOVA" ON THE 15TH JUNE 1910 / REACHED THE SOUTH POLE 18TH JANUARY 1912 / "TO STRIVE, TO SEEK, TO FIND AND NOT TO YIELD. / VICTORY FOR HIM WAS SWALLOWED UP IN DEATH / THIS TABLET WAS ERECTED TO COMMEMORATE THE MEMORY OF ONE / WHO SACRIFICED HIS LIFE TO OBTAIN GLORY FOR HIS BELOVED COUNTRY / ALDERMAN MORGAN THOMAS JP LORD MAYOR 1912-13 / DAN RADCLIFFE JP HON. TREASURER / J.L. WHEATLEY TOWN CLERK.

Details

Description: Captain Scott in high relief above the inscription tablet, half-length in uniform. A low relief of 'Terra Nova' above flanked by seals. Upright skiis and penguins flank the inscription, a dog sled below. Coat of arms at the bottom.
Type: Wall memorial
Position: On stairs left of main entrance
Materials: Bronze
Date Erected: 1916
Artists: W. Wheatley Wagstaffe
Vessel: Terra Nova

People

Scott, Robert Falcon
Age: 43
Date of Death: 3/1912
Cause of Death: Malnutrition, starvation and hypothermia
Rank / Occupation: Captain RN
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Bibliography: Anthony M. Johnson 'Scott of the Antarctic and Cardiff' (Cardiff, 1984) p.57.
Recorder: B. Tomlinson
Photographer: B. Tomlinson

Westminster Abbey, Westminster, London, England

Monument in Westminster Abbey, London commemorating Rear Admiral of the Blue, Sir John Franklin RN d. 1847 and Admiral Sir Francis McClintlock RN d. 1907

Location

Westminster Abbey, Westminster, London, England

Transcript

[Side] 'TO THE MEMORY / OF / SIR JOHN FRANKLIN, / BORN APRIL 16 / 1786 / AT SPILSBY / LINCOLNSHIRE / DIED JUNE 11 / 1847 / OFF POINT VICTORY IN THE FROZEN OCEAN / THE BELOVED CHIEF / OF THE GALLANT CREWS / WHO PERISHED WITH HIM / IN COMPLETING / THE DISCOVERY OF THE / NORTH WEST PASSAGE'
[Front] 'O YE FROST AND COLD, O YE ICE AND SNOW / BLESS YE THE LORD PRAISE HIM AND MAGNIFY HIM FOR EVER.' / 'NOT HERE: THE WHITE NORTH HAS THY BONES; AND THOU, / HEROIC SAILOR-SOUL / ART PASSING ON THY HAPPIER VOYAGE NOW / TOWARD NO EARTHLY POLE'.
[Below] 'HERE ALSO IS COMMEMORATED / ADMIRAL SIR LEOPOLD McCLINTOCK / 1819-1907 / DISCOVERER OF THE FATE OF FRANKLIN / IN 1859'.
[Right side] 'THIS MONUMENT / WAS ERECTED / BY JANE, HIS WIDOW, / WHO AFTER LONG WAITING, / AND SENDING MANY / IN SEARCH OF HIM, / HERSELF DEPARTED / TO SEEK AND FIND HIM / IN THE REALMS OF LIGHT / JULY 18, 1875, / AGED 83 YEARS'

Details

Description: A bust of Franklin within a gothic arch. A relief of ships beset in ice below. At the top, the Franklin crest - a congar eel head head and the motto: 'NISU'.
Type: Monument
Position: Chapel of St John the Evangelist, North transept north aisle
Materials: White marble, alabaster
Date Erected: 1875
Artists: Matthew Noble, George Gilbert Scott

People

Franklin, John
Age: 61
Date of Death: 11/6/1847
Cause of Death: Unknown
Rank / Occupation: Rear Admiral of the Blue
Organisation: Royal Navy
McClintock, Francis Leopold
Age: 88
Date of Death: 1907
Cause of Death: Unknown
Rank / Occupation: Admiral
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Notes: See also West window in St Paul's Church, Whitechapel which shows four maritime scenes from life of Christ. Verse written by Tennyson. Commissioned by Lady Jane Franklin, who specifically wanted a bust rather than the window suggested by Dean Stanley. The canopy was added by Sir George Gilbert Scott. Photograph in P & D box 1386. A small tablet underneath the memorial commemorates Admiral F.L. McClintock. The original plaster model for the bust of Franklin was at the Museum of Science and Engineering, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Bibliography: F. Bond 'Westminster Abbey' (1909) p. 267. Frances J. Woodward 'A portrait of Jane' (London, 1951) p. 362.
Recorder: B. Tomlinson
Photographer: B. Tomlinson

Thule air base, North Star Bay, Greenland, Rest of the World

Gravestone at North Star Bay, Greenland commemorating William Sharp RN d. 1849

Location

Thule air base, North Star Bay, Greenland, Rest of the World

Transcript

'SACRED / to the / MEMORY / Of Wm. Sharp / of H.M.S. North / Star; who departed / this life Nov, 1, / 1849 / AGED, 26 / YEARS'

Details

Type: Gravestone
Position: near building 1201
Vessel: HMS North Star

People

Sharp, William
Age: 26
Date of Death: 1/11/1849
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation:
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Notes: Three other crew members buried nearby.
Bibliography: Ann Savours 'The Search for the North West Passage' (London, 1999) pp. 197-198.
Photographer: Captain Anthony R. Wade 2008

St Anne's Church, Woodplumpton, Lancashire, England

Memorial at Woodplumpton to Commander Henry Foster RN d. 1831

Location

St Anne's Church, Woodplumpton, Lancashire, England

Transcript

'SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF / HENRY FOSTER, R.N., F.R.S. / DISTINGUISHED AS WELL FOR SUPERIORITY OF INTELLECT AS URBANITY OF/MANNERS, BY A ZEALOUS AND FIRM DISCHARGE OF DUTY / HE GAINED THE CONFIDENCE AND REGARD OF HIS OF HIS BROTHER OFFICERS / AND BY A SUCCESSFUL PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE / ATTRACTED THE NOTICE OF MEN OF SCIENCE / FOR HIS PHILOSOPHICAL EXPERIMENTS MADE IN THE ARCTIC REGIONS / THE COPLEY MEDAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY / WAS PRESENTED TO HIM ON 30TH NOVEMBER, 1827, / WHEN THE LORD HIGH ADMIRAL OF ENGLAND WITH AN ALACRITY / HONOURABLE TO HIMSELF AND TO THE SUBJECT OF HIS PATRONAGE / INSTANTLY PROMOTED HIM TO THE RANK OF COMMANDER. / IN THE YEAR FOLLOWING HE SAILED ON A VOYAGE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH. / HE HAD COMPLETED HIS ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATIONS AT PANAMA, / AND ALL THINGS HAD PROSPERED IN HIS HAND; WHEN, PROCEEDING TO/HIS SHIP AND ANTICIPATING A SPEEDY RETURN TO HIS NATIVE SHORE, HE / FELL FROM A CANOE AND IN A MOMENT WAS LOST TO HIS COUNTRY / AND HIS FRIENDS. / HIS BODY SHROUDED IN THE BRITISH FLAG WAS INTERRED NEAR THE FATAL / SPOT ON THE BANK OF THE RIVER CHAGRE IN THE GULPH [sic] OF MEXICO / ON THE 8TH FEBRUARY, 1831, AND IN THE 34TH YEAR OF HIS AGE / THIS MONUMENT IS ERECTED BY SEVERAL OF HIS COMPANIONS AND FRIENDS / AS A MEMORIAL OF THE HIGH ESTEEM THEY ENTERTAINED FOR HIS / CHARACTER, AND OF THE DEEP REGARD THEY FELT FOR HIS / UNTIMELY DEATH. / HE WAS THE SON OF THE REV. HENRY FOSTER, / INCUMBENT OF THIS CHAPELRY.' [ON BASE] 'IN MEMORY / OF THE REVEREND / HENRY FOSTER LATE INCUMBENT / OF THIS CHAPELRY UPWARDS OF 33 YEARS / DIED AUGUST 7TH 1844 AGED 84 YEARS'

Details

Description: A mourning seaman leaning on a pillar inscribed 'FOSTER' surmounted an urn and flanked by an anchor, flag and navigational instruments.
Type: Wall monument
Materials: Marble

People

Foster, Henry
Age: 34
Date of Death: 2/1831
Cause of Death: Maritime accident
Rank / Occupation: Commander RN
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Notes: DOSSIER.
Bibliography: Editors: Ann Savours and Anita McConnell 'Journal Kept by Midshipman Joseph Henry Kay during the Voyage of HMS Chanticleer, 1828-1831', 'Four Travel Journals: The Americas, Antarctica and Africa, 1775-1874.' (The Hakluyt Society, 2007) p.266.
Recorder: Peter Sheppard, Ann Shirley 1999

St Giles's Church, Chideock, Dorset, England

Gravestone at St Giles’s Church, Chideock, Dorset, commemorating William Brett d. 1878

Location

St Giles's Church, Chideock, Dorset, England

Transcript

'In affectionate remembrance of William Brett who died May 9 1878 Aged 54'

Details

Type: Gravestone
Position: East End of churchyard
Vessel: HMS Investigator

Event

Crimea War

Event Date

1853-1856

Event Category

19th century conflicts in Asia

People

Brett, William
Age: 54
Date of Death: 9/5/1878
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation:
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Notes: Arthur Mee's 'Dorset' says he was captured by the press gang when a lad in Ireland, fought in the Crimea, was on one of the Franklin Search expeditions, saved many lives from drowning and Queen Victoria presenting him with his 6th medal said 'I am proud of you'. Captain of the Foretop, HMS Investigator 1848-49 (Sir James Clark Ross, search expedition in 'Enterprise' and 'Investigator').
Bibliography: Arthur Mee, 'Dorset', Hodder & Stoughton, 1947
Recorder: David Sauners, 1991

St Oswald's Church, Grasmere, Cumberland, England

Memorial at St Oswald’s Church, Grasmere, Cumberland commemorating Sir John Richardson d. 1865, polar explorer

Location

St Oswald's Church, Grasmere, Cumberland, England

Transcript

'IN MEMORY OF SIR JOHN RICHARDSON CB / THE CONSTANT COMPANION / OF SIR JOHN FRANKLIN / IN ARCTIC EXPLORATION / BORN AT DUMFRIES 5 NOVEMBER 1787 / DIED AT LANCRIGG 5 JUNE 1865 / HEROIC SAILOR-SOUL / AND AS THE GREATEST ONLY ARE / IN HIS SIMPLICITY SUBLIME'

Details

People

Richardson, John
Age:
Date of Death: 5/6/1865
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Inspector of Hospitals and Fleets
Organisation: Royal Navy

Extra

Notes: Lancrigg was a local farmhouse that had been inherited by Richardson's wife. Richardson retired there during the last ten years of his life. The quotations are from the works of Alfred Lord Tennyson.
Photographer: B. Tomlinson 2019