Fascinating photographs of groundbreaking expedition to map Antarctica are auctioned
Fascinating photographs have emerged that document one of the very first aerial expeditions above the Antarctic.
The photos were taken by Francis Davies when he served aboard research vessel William Scoresby between 1929 and 1930 while participating in the second Wilkins-Hearst expedition.
They document the famous mission of explorer Sir George Hubert Wilkins to map the polar region from the seat of a Lockheed Vega seaplane flanked by the American newspaper Mogul William Randolph Hearst and the British government.
Photographer and carpenter Francis Davies (pictured in the middle right, with pipe) participated in one of the first air expeditions across the South Pole region and documented the adventure
Aboard the RRS William Scoresby, Davies witnessed the Australian polar explorer Sir George Hubert Wilkins who flew across the continent in a sea plane (photo) to help chart it
Wilkins, who led the first Wilkins-Hearst expedition from 1928-1929 to explore the western Antarctica off the southern tip of Argentina, had returned later that same year to renew his air travel.
The Scoresby sailed from London to Deception Island, off the south coast of Argentina, by plane (photo)
He launched his RRS William Scoresby monoplane and explored an area then known as Charcot Land, which revealed itself as a large island.
As he flew over him, Wilkins dropped a flag and document in which he proclaimed the land for King George after he had received permission from the British to claim territories.
Wilkins documented the South Pole region for use in making future maps and also wanted to set up various meteorological stations
Photos taken by Davies show Wilkins and his companions alongside the aircraft, the Scoresby carrying the aircraft, and a Baby Austin car whose team is seen with snow chains so that it can drive over the antarctic permafrost.
Other photos from different expeditions show research ship Discovery II leaving London on his first voyage in 1929 to explore the South Sandwich Islands.
Wilkins (depicted standing) explored several thousand kilometers of coastline through the air and aimed to set up meteorological stations to help assess weather patterns in Australia and New Zealand
The British government provided the men with money for the expedition, along with the RRS Scoresby and a Baby Austin car equipped with snow chains (photo)
Davies also had a carpenter and shipwreck aboard the Terra Nova for Captain Robert Scott's ill-fated expedition to reach the South Pole.
His archive, including photos, letters and personal belongings, is sold by his family with auction house Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood, Exeter, Devon.
£ 7,000 is expected to be collected.
Brian Goodison-Blanks, specialist at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood, said: & # 39; Francis Davies was quite a character and a vital member of Captain Scott's ill-fated attempt to reach the South Pole during the British Antarctic Terra-Nova expedition of 1910-1913.
& # 39; He was part of the heroic era of polar exploration and was involved with Ernest Shackleton and later expeditions.
Three members of the Wilkins expedition, known as the Wilkins-Hearst expedition after the newspaper mogul helped him finance, were depicted in 1930
Penguins on Deception Island, in Antarctica, with the Scoresby in the background, in 1930
& # 39; His family has decided to sell material from his later expeditions to finance a book they write about the life of Davies, focusing on the Terra Nova expedition. & # 39;
Davies was born in Plymouth and did his apprenticeship at the Royal Naval Dockyard, Devonport.
Hubert Wilkins with a camera during the expedition of 1929-1930 to explore Antarctica by plane
While the carpenter of Terra Nova Davies supervised the preparation and construction of the expedition huts.
He also built the wooden memorial cross after the death of Scott and his team that still stands on Observation Hill.
The archive also contains a gripping letter that was sent to him by his friend Harry Pennell, who was an officer aboard the Terra Nova.
Pennell wrote to him on May 11, 1916, to discuss attempts to rescue Shackleton whose steam-powered Endurance was caught in ice pack in the Weddell Sea.
Pennell was killed only 20 days later when the Queen Mary was sunk during the Battle of Jutland.
It says: & # 39; No doubt an expedition will have to be sent to the Weddell Sea next season to relieve Sir Ernest.
& # 39; However, it is most unlikely that the Admiralty will let naval officers or men go because they are urgently needed at home.
Davies saved many artifacts from his time at sea, including (left) a letter from his friend Harry Pennell discussing that he had to rescue Ernest Shackleton after his Endurance ship was packed in ice pack, and (right) a letter from Shackleton office at Davies after he apparently applied for a position on one of his travels
Davies photographed the crew of Discovery II, another research vessel, when it departed from London in 1929 to explore the South Sandwich Islands
The Discovery II is seen against Tower Bridge in London during its first trip in 1929
& # 39; It is the navy – and only the navy – that stands between civilization and its total destruction by Germany. & # 39;
The photo album contains a photo of Shackleton's grave at the Grytviken whaling station in South Georgia after his death in 1922.
Another letter reveals that Davies was paid £ 250 for a year of work aboard the Discovery (£ 11,400 in today's money), while a menu he kept for the ship highlights a particularly decadent Christmas dinner.
The crew was treated to lobster patties, jugged hares, asparagus with butter and Christmas pudding with cognac.
Davies died at the age of 67 in 1952. The sale takes place on August 14.
Among other things memorabilia from Davies & time at sea is a Christmas day menu from the Discovery II, and a photo of the grave of Ernest Shackleton (right)
A montage of photos from the Davies collection, which is expected to yield £ 7,000 at an auction
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