Meet the Crew of Scott's Discovery Expedition

Meet the crew of the Shore or Land Party of the National Antarctic Expedition 1901–04.

 The biographies of some of the men are also listed below.


Robert F Scott, Cdr RN

Albert B, Armitage, Lieutenant RNR, Navigator and Second-in-Command

Charles WR Royds, Lieutenant RN, First Lieutenant

Michael Barne, Lieutenant RN

Ernest H Shackleton, Sub-Lieutenant MM*

George FA Mullock, Lieutenant RN*

Reginald W Skelton, Engineer Lieutenant RN, Chief Engineer


Reginald Koettlitz, Surgeon and Botanist

Edward A Wilson, Surgeon, Zoologist and Artist

Thomas V Hodgson, Marine Biologist

Hartley T Ferrar, Geologist

Louis C Bernacchi, Physicist

Warrant Officer’s Mess

Thomas A Feather, Bosun PO1, RN

James H Dellbridge, 2nd Engineer RN

Fred E Dailey, Carpenter RN

Charles R Ford, Chief Steward Dom 1, RN

Mess Deck

Petty Officers

Jacob Cross PO1, RN

Edgar Evans PO2, RN

William Smythe PO1, RN

David Allan PO1, RN

William Macfarlane PO1, RN*


Gilbert Scott, Pte RMLI

AH Blissett, Pte RMLI


Charles Clarke, Ship’s cook

Clarence H Hare, Domestic*

HC Buckridge, Laboratory Attendant*


Arthur Pilbeam, LS RN

William L Heald AB RN

James Dell AB RN

Frank Wild AB RN

Thomas S Williamson AB RN

George B Croucher AB RN

Ernest EM Joyce AB RN

Thomas Crean AB RN

Jesse Handsley AB RN

William I Weller AB, Dog Handler

W Peters AB RN*

JD Walker AB RN*

J Duncan MN, Carpenter’s Mate*

HR Brett MN, Cook*

George T Vince A.B RN, Died at Danger Slopes March 1902


William Lashly, Lg stoker RN

Arthur L Quartley, Lg stoker RN

Thomas Whitfield Lg stoker RN

Frank Plumley, Stoker RN

W Page RN*

William Hubert MN, Donkeyman*

 The list does not include Charles Bonner AB RN who died December 1901 as the ship left Lyttelton.

 * Wintered for one season only and returned on the Morning in March 1903.

Biographies of some of the crew

Robert Falcon Scott Commander, RN

Nicknamed ‘The Skipper’ and also ‘Con’ and ‘The Owner’ (during the 1910–13 expedition). Born 1868. Entered the Royal Navy in 1886. In the Rover (Training Squadron) 1887–88. With Captain Hutton in the Amphion 1889 and navigator in the Sharpshooter. Torpedo Lieutenant, serving under Captain Hall, Durnford, Robinson and Jackson. Spent four years in sailing ships. Torpedo Lieutenant in the Majestic, 1898–99, under Captain Egerton. Took a special course in surveying, 1898–99, and in magnetic observation 1900. Commander, 1900; Captain, 1904. On the return of the Discovery expedition he was made a gold medalist of the Royal Geographical Society and similarly honoured by other learned societies and institutions. Wrote The Voyage of Discovery, published in 1905. Led the British Antarctic (Terra Nova) Expedition 1910–13 and died on the return from the South Pole, March 1912. His diaries were published posthumously, 1913, as Scott’s Last Expedition. Scott is commemorated with numerous geographic features including Mount Scott 65º 09’ S, 64º 03’ W; Scott Coast 76º 30’ S, 162º 30’ E; Scott Glacier 66º 30’ S, 100º 20’ E and also the Scott Glacier at 85º 45’ S, 153º 20’ E; Scott Island 67º 24’ S, 170º 55’ W; Scott Mountains 67º 30’ S, 50º 30’ E.

Albert B Armitage, Lieutenant RNR

Nicknamed ‘The Pilot’. Born in 1864, and a Worcester cadet in 1878. Chief Officer of the Peninsula and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. Second-in-Command of the Jackson-Harmsworth expedition, 1894–97, to Franz-Josef Land, where he took charge of the magnetic, meteorological and astronomical work, and gained experience in ice navigation and sledge travel. Received the Murchison Award of the Royal Geographical Society in 1898. After the Discovery expedition he published his own account titled, Two Years in the Antarctic. He became Captain P and O in 1907; Commodore P and O in 1923, and retired in 1924. He was at sea throughout the First World War, carrying mail, troops and food and he was torpedoed in 1917. His autobiography From Cadet to Commodore appeared in 1925. He died in October 1943 and is commemorated with Cape Armitage 77º 51’ S, 166º 40’ E; Armitage Saddle 78º 09’ S, 163º 15’ E.

Charles W Rawson Royds, First Lieutenant, RN

Nicknamed ‘Our Charlie’. Born in 1876. Conway cadet. In the Champion (Training Squadron) under Captain Cross; then in the destroyer squadron at the Nore under Commander de Robeck; then in the Crescent flagship, West Indies. Trained in meteorology at the Ben Nevis Observatory, winter 1900. In charge, during the expedition, of the meteorological work. Also supervised, as first lieutenant, the work of the men and the internal economy of the ship. The expedition’s meteorological observations, subsequently corrected, reduced and published by the Royal Society as part of the scientific results, were a valuable contribution to Antarctic meteorology. Royds later became a Director of Physical Training and Sports in the Royal Navy and Commodore of the RN Barracks at Devonport and a Rear-Admiral in 1926, when he retired from the Navy to become Deputy Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, a post which he held until his death in 1931. Knighted in 1929. Promoted Vice-Admiral, retired, in 1930. Royds is commemorated with Cape Royds 77º 33’ S, 166º 09’ E.

Ernest Henry Shackleton, Third Lieutenant, RNR

Nicknamed ‘Shackle’. Born in Ireland in 1874, and one of ten children of an Irish doctor. Moved to London when he was ten. Entered the Merchant Service in 1890 and served for three years in sailing ships in the Pacific and afterwards with the Union Castle Line, rising to the position of Third Officer. During the expedition he was in charge of sea-water analysis and was also editor of The South Polar Times, which was later published as two volumes. Participated with Scott and Wilson in the southern journey in 1902 and, following his breakdown with scurvy, was invalided home after the first year in the Antarctic. Returned to England in the relief ship Morning. He subsequently organised and led three expeditions to the Antarctic in 1907–09 (Nimrod), 1914–17 (Endurance) and 1921–22 (Quest), during the last of which he died and was buried in South Georgia. He made a further trip to Antarctica as a Supernumery Officer on the Aurora Relief Expedition 1916–17. Shackleton wrote The Heart of the Antarctic (1909) and South (1919). He was knighted in 1909 and is commemorated with Mount Shackleton (1,465 metres) 65ºo 13’ S, 63º 56’ W; Shackleton Coast 82º 00’ S, 162º 00’ E; Shackleton Glacier 84º 35’ S, 176º 20’ W; Shackleton Ice Shelf 66º 00’ S, 100º 00’ E; Shackleton Inlet 82º 19’ S, 164º 00’ E and other geographical features.

Reginald Skelton, Chief Engineer, RN

Nicknamed ‘Skelly’. Born 1872. Joined Royal Navy 1887. Served in HMS Centurion in China, 1894–97, and in HMS Majestic, Channel Squadron, 1899–1900. Supervised the construction of the Discovery at Dundee. Also acted as photographer, in charge of darkroom and negatives, during the expedition. He served in the Submarine Service from 1906–12, and from 1916–18. In the interval, he served in HMS Superb and in HMS Agincourt and took part in the Battle of Jutland, 31 May 1916 for which he was awarded the DSO. He continued in the Royal Navy after the War, being posted to Archangel, Constantinople, to the Mediterranean Station and to the Atlantic Station. He became Engineer Rear-Admiral in 1923, Engineer Vice-Admiral in 1928 and Engineer-in-Chief of the Fleet, Admiralty, 1928–32. He retired in 1932, and died in September 1956. He is commemorated with geographic features including, Skelton Glacier 78º 35’ S, 161º 31’ E and Skelton Inlet 78º 54’ S, 162º 15’ E.

Dr Reginald Koettlitz

Nicknamed ‘Cutlets’. Born 1861. Trained at Guy’s Hospital, London. In country practice for seven years. Surgeon during Jackson-Harmsworth Expedition to Franz Josef Land, 1894–97. Afterwards, accompanied expeditions to Abyssinia, Somaliland and Brazil. Bacteriologist. Described the first botany on Ross Island. On the return of the Discovery expedition he practised in South Africa, where he died of dysentery at Port Elizabeth, in 1916. Is commemorated with the Koettlitz Glacier 78º 15’ S, 164º 15’ E.

Dr Edward Adrian Wilson

Nicknamed ‘Billy’. Born in Cheltenham, England, 1872, the son of a doctor. He became fascinated with nature and drawing and studied natural sciences at Cambridge. He then studied medicine, but, in 1898, discovered he had tuberculosis. Following successful convalescence, he volunteered to join the Discovery expedition and sledged with Scott and Shackleton to beyond 82o South, the furthest south than anyone before. He became Scott’s closest friend and confidant and, on return, spent five years working on a survey of grouse disease. Shackleton wanted him to join his Nimrod expedition, but, partly out of loyalty to Scott, Wilson refused. He died on the return journey from the South Pole and is commemorated with Cape Wilson 82º 14’ S, 37º 10’ W; Wilson Hills 69º 40’ S, 28º 30’ E and the Wilson Piedmont Glacier 77º 15’ S, 163º 10’ E.

Thomas Vere Hodgson

Nicknamed ‘Muggins’. Born 1864. Of necessity, had pursued a business career until able to devote himself to marine biology at the Marine Biological Station, Plymouth. Curator of the Plymouth Museum. He was concerned, on the return of the Discovery expedition, with the publication of its scientific results, particularly with those relating to marine invertebrates. He had previously worked on the Southern Cross expedition collections and later on those of the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, 1902–04. He was re-appointed Curator of the Plymouth Museum on his return from the Antarctic, but suffered ill-health until his death in May 1926. Is commemorated with Cape Hodgson 78º 07’ S, 166º 05’ E.

Hartley Travis Ferrar

Nicknamed ‘Our Junior Scientist’. Born 1879. Educated at Oundle School and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, taking the Natural Science Tripos shortly before the expedition sailed. In charge of geology, and also of sea-water analysis (after Shackleton). His report on field geology was published in 1907 as part of Vol 1 (Geology) of the expedition’s scientific results. In 1905, he joined the geological section of the Survey Department in Egypt, and remained there until 1913 when he went to New Zealand as a master at Christchurch College. During the First World War, he served with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, mainly in Palestine. In 1919, he joined the New Zealand Geological Survey and worked in New Zealand until his death in April 1932. Is commemorated with the Ferrar Glacier 77º 46’ S, 41º 25’ E.

Louis Charles Bernacchi

Nicknamed ‘Bunny’. Born in Belgium, 1876, the son of a merchant and, when seven, moved with the family to Maria Island in Tasmania. With an early interest in Antarctica and an admirer of the explorer, Sir James Clark Ross, in 1896 he moved to Melbourne where he studied for two years, astronomy, magnetism and meteorology at the Observatory. He then attended Kew Laboratory in London and, in 1898, joined the British Antarctic Expedition led by Carsten Borchgrevink and wintered at Cape Adare in 1899, and subsequently published his account of the expedition titled, To the South Polar Regions. He joined the National Antarctic Expedition as physicist and, in 1938, published the Saga of the Discovery. Louis Bernacchi never returned to Antarctica and is commemorated with Cape Bernacchi 77º 28’ S, 163º 51’ E; Bernacchi Bay 77º 28’ S, 163º 27’ E and Bernacchi Head 76º 08’ S, 168º 20’ E.

Frederick E Dailey

Born in Portsmouth. Joined Discovery expedition from HMS Ganges. Served his apprenticeship in a wooden shipyard and responsible in Antarctica for building Discovery Hut. A member of Scott’s Western Attempt; sledged supplies to Bluff depot; member of Southern Support Party and Western Depot Party. He is commemorated with the Dailey Islands 77o 53’ S, 165o 06’ E.

Frank Wild

Born 1874 at Skelton, Yorkshire. Joined the expedition from HMS Vernon. Member of the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907–09, accompanied Shackleton on farthest south party. Leader Queen Mary Land wintering station during Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911–14, Second-in-Command on Endurance during Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914–16. Led an expedition to Spitsbergen, 1918–19, when Shackleton recalled. To Nyasaland as a farmer 1920. Second-in-Command Shackleton–Rowett Antarctic (Quest) Expedition, 1921–22, succeeding to command on Shackleton’s death, 1922. To Swaziland 1922, thence to Johannesburg, where he died in 1939. Awarded CBE. Frank Wild is commemorated with Cape Wild 68o 23’ S, 149o 07’ E; Mount Wild 84o 48’ S, 162o 40’ E and Point Wild 61o 06’ S, 54o 52’ W.

Ernest Edward Mills Joyce

Born Bognor, England, 1875. Joined Royal Navy 1891, AB on Discovery expedition, left Royal Navy to join Nimrod expedition. Member of Ross Sea Party (ITAE). Awarded Albert Medal in bronze. Married a New Zealand woman. Died in London 1940. Mount Joyce 750 36’ S, 1600 38’ E.


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