Mawson

Author: Philip Ayres

Publisher: Melbourne Univ. Publishing

ISBN: 9780522850789

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 408

View: 5411


In the heroic age of polar exploration, Sir Douglas Mawson stands in the first rank. His Antarctic expeditions of 1911-14 and 1929-31 resulted in Australia claiming forty per cent of the sixth continent. The sole survivor of an epic 300-mile trek, Mawson was also a scientist of national stature. His image on banknotes and stamps reflects enduring public esteem. Yet until now there has been no comprehensive, objective biography of this tall, quiet figure. Aside from his two great expeditions, we have known remarkably little about him. Sources exist in profusion. People who knew him socially and professionally from as early as the 1920s are still alive. He kept copies of almost all his correspondence, and his papers reveal his most private self, his virtues and flaws, his social and professional circles, and the development and disintegration of his friendships. Most of this material has scarcely been touched over the years. Philip Ayres has now uncovered, from these and many other unpublished sources, a complex and interesting figure. He portrays Mawson the geo-politician with influential friends and rivals who, in 1942, offered his services to Prime Minister Curtin as Ambassador to Washington. In the Antarctic darkness of 1913, he confronted the bewildered delusions of a companion who believed himself to be Jesus Christ. He once took an advanced monoplane to the ends of the earth and forgot to pay for it. During the Great War, he compiled detailed reports on chemical weapons during visits to the vast war factories of England. Ayres also shows us the devoted husband of Paquita; the social Mawson of the Adelaide Club; the scientist within his national and international networks; the geologist who in 1924 failed to get the Sydney Chair; and the litigious Mawson, suing or threatening suit against associates who failed him. The icon both converges and conflicts with the real man. In this long-awaited, most impressive and readable biography, Philip Ayres not only illuminates Douglas Mawson's many achievements but also enables us to know and understand him as a human being. The book's many illustrations include reproductions of exquisite early colour photographs from the Antarctic expedition of 1911-14.

Mawson's Last Survivor

Author: Anna Bemrose

Publisher: Boolarong Press

ISBN: 1921920181

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 250

View: 4922


Alf Howard sailed with legends of the heroic era of Antarctic exploration and became a legend in his own lifetime. He was the last surviving member of Sir Douglas Mawson's 1929-1931 British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE) and was also the last survivor to have served aboard the coal-fired three-masted wooden ship Discovery, built for Captain Robert Falcon Scott's 1901-1904 Antarctic odyssey. As a young chemist and hydrologist on board the Discovery, going south with Mawson was the catalyst for his long-distinguished career with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Subsequently, at the University of Queensland, he was awarded degrees in physics and linguistics and completed a PhD in psychology. For more than twenty years he designed computer programs and provided statistical advice to postgraduate students and staff until he was 97. The call of Antarctica was too strong to resist and during the 1990s he returned four times.

Mawson's Huts

Author: David Jensen,Mawson's Huts Foundation

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 1760112666

Category: History

Page: 194

View: 5002


The Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) of 1911-14, led by the young Australian geologist Dr Douglas Mawson, who was later knighted for his efforts, was not only one of the last great voyages of the Heroic Era, it was by far the most successful of its time in scientific terms. The results of the AAE's investigations were still being published 30 years later. Mawson's team of 31 expeditioners, with an average age of just 26, established three bases. The main one was built at Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay, where in January and February 1912 they built the wooden hut from Oregon and Baltic pine that was to be their home for two years. It was from here that the disaster and heroism of Mawson's far eastern sledging party continues to frame the popular perception of his legendary polar explorations. After the death of his two sledging companions, Dr Xavier Mertz and Lieutenant Belgrave Ninnis, Mawson walked for a month, starving and alone, back to Cape Denison, only to see his ship departing in the distance. The fragile wooden hut where he had to spend a further year with six companions is now a historic site, and is being conserved by the Mawson's Huts Foundation in partnership with the Australian Antarctic Division. Formed in 1996, the Foundation is raising funds from the Australian Government and corporate and private sponsors to ensure that this vital part of Australia's Antarctic heritage remains intact. The Mawson's Huts Historic Site consists of the main hut, magnetograph house, the transit hut, the ruined absolute magnetic hut and a memorial cross to Ninnis and Mertz, along with a plaque recording the territorial claim Mawson made on his return for one night in 1931. The Cape Denison site is also recognised internationally under the Antarctic Treaty as a Historic Site and Monument, an Antarctic Specially Protected Area and an Antarctic Specially Managed Area. It is also inscribed on both the National Heritage and Commonwealth Heritage registers.

South with Mawson

Author: Charles Laseron

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Antarctica

Page: 223

View: 8665


Author was a member of the expedition, 1911-13.