Antarctic excplores

Davis ,Douglas Mawson, Scott and Admonsen are all here


Born in Surrey, England to James Davis and Marion nee King, he was educated at Colet Court, London, and Burford Grammar School, Oxfordshire. Davis did not have a family of his own, but had an endless love of the sea and exploration. Described by many as the greatest captain in Antarctic history, his share of help was honoured by the Australian Antarctic Division, naming one of its four permanent Antarctic research stations ‘Davis’, in 1957.


As a 16 year old, he was steward’s boy on the Carisbrooke Castle before being apprenticed as a seaman on the Celtic Chief and visiting Australia. Perhaps it was during these formative years that he decided to settle in Melbourne when no longer sailing.

Davis passed the Board of Trade examination to qualify as second mate, serving on the Westland and the Port Jackson. In 1906 he gained his first mate’s certificate in Australia, followed by his extra master’s certificate in New Zealand.

Douglas Mawsom

Sir Douglas Mawson (1882-1958), geologist and explorer, was born on 5 May 1882 at Shipley, Yorkshire, England, second son of Robert Ellis Mawson, a cloth merchant from a farming background, and his wife Margaret Ann, née Moore, from the Isle of Man. The family moved to Rooty Hill, near Sydney, in 1884. Douglas was educated at Rooty Hill and at Fort Street Model School in Sydney. At the University of Sydney in 1899-1901 he studied mining engineering and graduated B.E. in 1902 when he was appointed as a junior demonstrator in chemistry. Next year he took six months leave to make a geological survey of the New Hebrides (Vanuatu), under the auspices of Captain E. G. Rason, the British deputy commissioner there. This was Mawson's introduction to scientific exploration, carried out in rugged country with hard jungle conditions and among hostile inhabitants. His report, 'The geology of the New Hebrides', was one of the first major works on the geology of Melanesia.

He returned to further studies in geology in 1904 (B.Sc., 1905), having already published a paper (1903) on the geology of Mittagong, New South Wales, when Thomas Griffith Taylor and one (1904) on radioactive minerals in Australia, with Thomas Laby, in addition to several on the New Hebrides.

Through the early influence of Professor Archibald, Mawson became a pioneer in the chemical aspects of geology and geochemistry. But the dominant influence was that of Professor (Sir) Tannatt Edgeworth David, foremost among workers in the geological sciences in Australia


Robert Falcon Scott (June 6, 1868 - March 29, 1912) was a British naval officer and Antarctic explorer. Scott led two expeditions to the South Pole, and died on the disastrous second trip, along with his crew. His expedition was the second to reach the South Pole (1910-1912); Roald Amudson led the first.

First Antarctic Expedition: Scott led his first British Antarctic expedition on the ship HMS Discovery (1901-1904). On this mission, they sailed along northern Ross Island to Mount Terror (past the area explored by James Ross). Scott named this new area King Edward VI Land. Scott went in a hot air balloon on February 4, 1902, making the first balloon flight on Antarctica.

The expedition overwintered on Hut Point (on Ross Island). Scott and two crew members tried to cross the Ross Ice shelf on a sled pulled by 19 dogs (November 1902 - January 1903). Scurvy (a lack of vitamin C) made them ill and they were forced to return. Soon after, most of the crew returned to England (March 1903); Scott and a few others remained to expore the area until September 1904.

Upon his return, Scott was promoted to Captain, became very popular with the public, and wrote "The Voyage of Discovery" (published in 1905).


The North Pole is reached!" was the news that flashed all over the was September 1909 when the news reached Amundsen. The original plan of the FRAM'S third voyage--the exploration of the North Polar basin--was quickly called off. In order to save the expedition, Amundsen immediately turned his attention to the South simultaneously emphasizing to his financial contributors that the FRAM'S Arctic voyage would be, in every way, a scientific expedition and would have nothing to do with record-breaking. Therefore, as far as the supporters were aware, Amundsen's Arctic voyage would not be influenced one way or another by Peary's accomplishment. Since he was so heavily in debt, Amundsen felt his change in plans to head south and capture the South Pole should be kept a secret. In his own words, Amundsen wrote, "I know that I have been reproached for not having at once made the extended plan public, so that not only my supporters, but the explorers who were preparing to visit the same regions might have knowledge of it. I was well aware that these reproaches would come, and had therefore carefully weighed this side of the matter". As hinted at, he also felt it important to keep his intentions secret from his peers. "Nor did I feel any great scruples with regard to the other Antarctic expeditions that were being planned at the time. I knew I should be able to inform Captain Scott of the extension of my plans before he left.
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