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Details about  RGS Book inscribed by early Antarctic Explorer 1902

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RGS Book inscribed by early Antarctic Explorer 1902
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08 Aug, 2014 11:48:32 BST
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Dunstable, United Kingdom


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Used: An item that has been previously used. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of ... Read moreabout the condition

The classic book produced by The Royal Geographical Society for use by explorers. This is volume 2 only, I have a separate volume 1 should you wish to make a complete set. This volume is inscribed "Will Colbeck, National Antarctic Expedition, 1902, Morning" A fascinating book carried throughout the expedition.

SY Morning

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A-00454 Bark MORGENEN.jpg
Career (Norway; United Kingdom)
Name:Morgenen; SY Morning
Builder:Svend Foyn
General characteristics
Class & type:Barque-rigged steam yacht
Tonnage:Gross tonnage 437; Registered tonnage 297
Length:140 ft (43 m)
Beam:31.5 ft (9.6 m)
Draught:light draught 15.5 ft (4.7 m) after and 12 ft (3.7 m) forward,
loaded 19 ft (5.8 m) after and 17 ft (5.2 m) forward

SY Morning is most famous for her role as a relief vessel to Scott's British National Antarctic Expedition (1901–1904). She made two voyages to the Antarctic to resupply the expedition.

Acquisition for the British National Antarctic Expedition[edit]

Morgenen was a Norwegian whaling ship. She was built in 1871 by Svend Foyn of Tønsberg, Norway. In 1901 she was purchased as a relief ship for the British National Antarctic Expedition for £3880. In September 1901, she sailed from Norway to England where she was refitted and renamed Morning, the same name translated into English.[1]

Ships' company[edit]

The officers that set sail from London in 1902 were: Captain William Colbeck RNR; Rupert G. England, First Officer; Lieutenant E.R.G.R. Evans RN, Second Officer; Gerald Doorly RNR, Third Officer; Sub-Lieutenant G.F.A. Mulock RN, fourth officer; Doctor G.A. Davidson; J.D. Morrison, Chief Engineer; and F. L. Maitland-Somerville and Neville Pepper, both midshipmen. The crew consisted of eight petty officers, nine seamen, and three firemen. During the voyages, the people filling these posts sometimes changed.

London to New Zealand[edit]

Morning sailed from London to Lyttelton, New Zealand via Madeira. She left London on 1902-07-02 and arrived in Lyttleton on 1902-11-16.

Voyage of the Morning[edit]

Despite making two voyages to restock the expedition, it is the first that is known as the voyage of the Morning. Morning sailed from Lyttelton for the Antarctic on 1902-12-06. On Christmas Day, they sighted two uncharted islands. These are now known as Scott Island and Haggitt's Pillar. A landing was made and islands were claimed for the British Empire. Morning became stuck on a rock for 20 minutes here. Morning also collected scientific specimens as she voyaged south.

Morning called at several pre-arranged mail depositories in an attempt to locate Discovery, the expeditions main ship. At Cape Crozier, they found a message giving the location of her winter quarters. Discovery's masts were sighted just before midnight on 1903-01-23.

Supplies were sledged across the ice to the Discovery when it became apparent that the ice would not break up. Ernest Shackleton joined the crew of Morning as he was suffering from scurvy. Mulock took his place on the Discovery. Several other seamen joined the Morning for the voyage back to New Zealand. She left McMurdo Sound on 1903-03-02 and arrived in New Zealand on 1903-03-25.

A log of the voyage, compiled by Leonard Burgess, a seaman, is held in the Macmillan Brown Library, University of Canterbury.[2]



William Colbeck was born on August 8, 1871, in Myton Place, Hull. He was the second child in a family of six born to Christopher Colbeck, a baker, and his wife Martha.[1] Educated at Hull Grammar School, Colbeck served a merchant navy apprenticeship between 1886 and 1890, earning his second mate's certificate in 1890, first mate's certificate in 1892, master's in 1894 and extra master's in 1897. He was awarded a Royal Navy reserve commission in 1898. In that year he was invited by the Norwegian Carsten Borchgrevink to join the Southern Cross Expedition to the Antarctic. This would be the first expedition to overwinter on the Antarctic mainland; Colbeck took charge of the expedition's magnetic observation work.[2]

After returning to England in 1900, Colbeck was soon going southward again, this time in command of the relief ship Morning, sent in early 1903 to resupply Captain Scott's Discovery, then trapped in the ice at McMurdo Sound in the Antarctic.[3] In January 1904 Colbeck returned with Morning, this time with firm instructions that unless Discovery could be speedily released from the ice, she was to be abandoned; Colbeck was to bring Scott and the expedition home. In a race against time, and with a fortunate shift in ice conditions, Discovery was freed and sailed safely home.[4]

Thereafter Colbeck made no further Antarctic ventures. The family moved to London, living at 51 Inchmery Road, Catford. Captain Colbeck became a founder member of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners. [5] He died in 1930.

William Colbeck married Edith Robinson and they had four sons. One of these, William Robinson Colbeck (1906–86), joined the British Australia and New Zealand Antarctic Expeditions of 1929-1931 as second officer and navigator in the old Discovery. He was responsible for much of the charting during the two voyages and the Colbeck Archipelago off the Mawson Coast is named after him.[6]


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