Magazine article Geographical

Hartley Travers Ferrar: (1879-1932) the Geologist on the National Antarctic Expedition, Hartley Ferrar Carried out Important Geological Surveys in Antarctica, Egypt and New Zealand

Magazine article Geographical

Hartley Travers Ferrar: (1879-1932) the Geologist on the National Antarctic Expedition, Hartley Ferrar Carried out Important Geological Surveys in Antarctica, Egypt and New Zealand

Article excerpt

What was his background?

Hartley ("Harry") Travers Ferrar was born in Dalkey, Ireland, on 28 January 1879, the son of John Edgar Ferrar, a bank official, and Mary Holmes (nee Hartley) Ferrar. Much of his early childhood was spent in South Africa, where his father was a bank manager. He returned to the UK to attend Oundle School and, in 1898, he entered Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and began studying for a degree in the natural sciences. While at Cambridge, he distinguished himself as a sportsman, competing in athletics, rugby and swimming. In 1901, he graduated with an honours degree.

What did he achieve?

Ferrar was competing at the 1901 Henley Regatta when the telegram arrived informing him that he had been appointed the geologist on the National Antarctic Expedition. The expedition team sailed for the Antarctic on board the Discovery on 31 July 1901 and arrived in McMurdo Sound in January 1902. Over the next two years, Ferrar was based at McMurdo Sound and went on several survey expeditions. While returning to camp after one such expedition, he collapsed several times and would have died in the -45[degrees]C conditions but for the fact that his companion, Seaman William L Heald, kept him moving. When the two men finally returned to camp, Ferrar was diagnosed as suffering from scurvy.

By November, he had recovered and was to take part in several further expeditions. In December 1903, he travelled to the northwest of McMurdo Sound, crossing the New Harbour Glacier. …

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