• Stoker's great granddaughter puts unique cache up for sale • Collection includes, letters, photos and even table waresA remarkable collection of documents and artefacts relating to the ill-fated British Antarctic Expedition of 1910-13 will be sold by Bamfords of Derby on May 26. The cache of largely unseen material has been entered for sale by the great granddaughter of Edward Archibald McKenzie, a crewman on the expedition supply ship Terra Nova.
Robert Falcon Scott's second and final mission to conquer the
South Pole involved a total of 65 men chosen from 8000 applicants:
a shore party comprising seven officers, 12 scientists and 14 men
together with an additional ship's complement of 32 that included
Leading Stoker R.N. Edward Archibald McKenzie.
His papers, watercolour drawings, photographs and artefacts
acquired during and after the voyage were recently discovered in a
Derbyshire house. They will be sold by Bamfords in 31 lots with
modest estimates ranging from £30 to £3000.
After returning from the Antarctic, Leading Stoker McKenzie
served in the Great War, briefly in the Grenadier Guards and then
in the Navy, before becoming a policeman.
In his spare time he was a keen modelmaker, producing scale
models of both the controversial experimental motor sledges and
horse-drawn sleds used by Scott on his final push to the Pole
(estimate £600-900) and a 1:42 scale model of the Terra Nova itself
(estimate: £3000-4000). Both models, probably made to mark the 25th
anniversary of the expedition, have previously been on display at
the Science Museum in London.
However, it is the very personal lots that relate directly to
the Terra Nova Expedition that promise to generate most excitement
among collectors of polar exploration material.
McKenzie's diary (estimate £1500-2000), illustrated with
snapshots by expedition photographer Herbert George Ponting, charts
the voyage of the whaler from its departure from Cardiff on June
15, 1910 until its return to Britain.
There are references to conditions during the journey, the
unexpected meeting with the Fram, the supply ship to the rival
Norwegian expedition led by Roald Amundsen, and the sadness on
hearing of the deaths of Scott and his small team of four, Dr
Wilson, Captain Oates, Lieutenant Bowers and Petty Officer
According to McKenzie, meals on board the Terra Nova were basic
but a captain in the King's Navy ate in some style, and Scott's
table was adorned with the suitable accessories of the time.
A silver-plated pint jug by Walker and Hall bearing a large
stamped device of the British Antarctic Expedition, carries an
estimate of £800-1200. An en suite cruet set from the captain's
table, presented to McKenzie by Lady Scott to be used in the
lectures he gave after returning home, is also estimated at
Other items include: a letter mailed by McKenzie from Cape
Evans, South Victoria Land informing his sweetheart 'Loll'of "the
terrible news of Capt Scott" and enclosing a small Ponting photo of
"Ted in Antartic" (estimate £800-1000); Terra Nova Naval hat bands;
a postcard signed by the Captain of the Terra Nova to McKenzie
(estimate £150-250); a dedicated copy of Ponting's seminal work The
Great White South (estimate £300-500) and an autograph album
started at the founding of the Antarctic Club in the 1929
containing the names of many Antarctic explorers including some 20
members of the fatal expedition (estimate £500-800).
by Roland Arkell
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