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BOWERS, Henry (Birdie) Robertson (Antarctic Explorer) RETAIN

Born Greenock, Scotland (1883-1912). He was one of the five men from the “Terra Nova” Expedition who reached the South Pole 16th January 1912. He was acting as navigator to ensure they reached the exact position of the pole. Prior to the start of the trek he had already suffered horrendous hardship during “The Worst Journey in the World”, a five week ordeal in darkness with temperatures reaching minus 70 degrees F., in an endeavour to obtain Emperor penguin eggs. He perished in a tent along with Captain Robert Falcon Scott, Dr Edward Wilson and Petty Officer Edgar Evans when caught in a blizzard only eleven miles from supplies and safety.

BRUCE, William Speirs FRSE (1867-1921) Antarctic Explorer


Craig Mathieson Polar Explorer.

Craig is the Royal Scottish Geographical Society’s explorer-in-residence.

MACKAY, Dr Alistair(1878-1913) Antarctic Explorer

Born Scotland. One of a party of three from the Shackleton Antarctic Expedition, who on 16th January 1909 became the first people to reach the South Magnetic Pole. He was also a member of the first party to scale Mount Erebus, the second highest mountain in Antarctica.

RAE, John (1813-1893) Arctic Explorer

Born Orkney, Scotland. Discovered the last link in, and finally proved the existence of the Northwest Passage. Also discovered what happened to the ill-fated Franklin expedition. His accomplishments were much greater than any of the other 19th century arctic explorers, and yet he was denied all of the awards and honours granted to others.

ROSS, James Clark (1800-1862) Arctic Explorer


Born London. He was of Scottish lineage, his uncle being the explorer Sir John Ross, whom he accompanied on his first Arctic voyage. He served under his uncle again during his second Arctic exploration, during which they located the position of Magnetic North. Following his promotion to captain he commanded his own voyages to the Arctic and made many discoveries. The British Arctic Survey’s research ship RRS James Clark Ross is named after him.

ROSS, Sir John CB (1777-1856) Arctic Explorer.

Born Balsarroch, Wigtownshire, Scotland. In 1818 he commanded the first of a new series of attempts to find the Northwest Passage. That was followed by command of two further expeditions. Uncle  of Arctic explorer James Clark Ross

SIMPSON, Thomas (1808-1840) Arctic Explorer.

Born Dingwall, Scotland. His herculean efforts filled in blanks left by other explorers in the search for the Northwest Passage.

The Polar Academy.

Set up by Craig Mathieson the Scottish Polar Explorer to give “Inspiration Through Exploration” to the youth of Scotland by taking them on Polar explorations.

WORDIE, Sir James “Jock” Mann (1889-1962) Geologist and Polar Explorer.

Born Glasgow, Scotland. Sailed with Shackleton on the Nimrod Expedition as geologist and head of the scientific staff. His polar achievements were unique among members of the expedition staff and later exceptional on a world level. He gained much distinction during his life.

Scottish Achievement, Influence & Heritage is a work in progress