Lester, British Expedition to Graham Land

Scope and Content

  • MS 358/17;MSM Admiralty Cart (part) 224C, undated [Distribution of sea ice N and NE of Graham Land, November to December 1919 and November 1920] 1 sheet
  • MS 931/2;BJ Notes and observations, 1920 to 1922 [Charts, sketches, worked sites for Waterboat Point and Nansen Island, ice, meteorology, tides, penguins] holograph and typescript
  • MS 1441/1-4;D Tide and current observations, 1920-1922 [By Lester and Bagshawe, Waterboat Point, Svend Foyn Harbour, with the Whaling Fleet, currents, ice-movements etc] 4 parts, holograph
  • MS 358/5;BJ Recognition sketches of islands off Graham Land coast, 1920 to 1922 [Includes drawings of icebergs, whales, penguins]
  • MS 358/6/3;D Plan of the hut, undated [Original drawing in coloured inks]
  • MS 358/6/4;D Lounge of the hut, undated, pen and ink sketch
  • MS 358/1/1-6;BJ Journals (6), 1920 to 1922, holograph
  • MS 358/8/11;D Summary of the scientific work, 20 November 1920 to 28 March 1922 [Includes sketch map showing locations from which geological specimens were obtained] 12 leaves, typescript
  • MS 358/8/12;D Summary of the scientific work, 20 November 1920 to 28 March 1922 [Waterboat Point, Deception Island, Nansen Island] duplicated typescript, holograph letter, 3 leaves
  • MS 358/2/1-4;BJ Meteorological logs (4), January to December 1921 [Deception Island, Waterboat Point] holograph, volume 4 unbound
  • MS 930/3;D Diary of life-boat trip to Nansen Island & Port Lockroy, 26 February to 4 March 1921 [Original MS 358/1/2;BJ] 14 leaves, holograph, copy
  • MS 358/3/1-2;BJ Meteorological journals (2), 1921 to 1922 [Waterboat Point, volume I 21 June to 20 October 1921, volume II 21 October 1921 to 30 March 1922] holograph
  • MS 358/4;BJ General navigation notebook, 6 July 1921 to 10 February 1922 [Sights and observations made] holograph
  • MS 358/12;MSM Chart of Svend Foyn Harbour, Nansen Islands, undated [Soundings supplied by Captain Ola Andersen of whaling vessel Svend Foyn] 1 sheet
  • MS 358/8/6;D Summary of expedition, undated [Includes sketches of boat and hut] 15 leaves, typescript
  • MS 358/8/9;D Notes, undated [Brief report of the expedition] 4 leaves, typescript
  • MS 358/8/5;D Narrative of the expedition, 27 May 1923 [A fuller account of that published in Geographical Journal] 67 leaves, typescript

Administrative / Biographical History

The British Expedition to Graham Land, 1920-1922 (leader John Lachlan Cope) was originally planned as a more comprehensive expedition entitled the British Imperial Antarctic Expedition. When funding for the ambitious projects was not forthcoming a more modest expedition eventuated. Four men were taken to the South Shetland Islands by whaling vassals. Cope and expedition member George Hubert Wilkins returned with the whalers when it became apparent that their goal of Antarctic flight was unachievable. The two remaining members, Thomas Wyatt Bagshawe and Maxime Charles Lester wintered at Waterboat point undertaking meteorological, tidal and zoological observations.



Related Material

The Institute holds several archival collections containing material relating to this expedition see SPRI collection GB 015 John Cope, GB 015 George Wilkins and GB 015 Thomas Bagshawe.

See also SPRI archival collections GB 015 Frank Debenham (MS 931/1/3/1-2;D Advice on scientific work of expedition, especially surveying) and GB 015 Edward Dinsley (MS 931/1/4;D Regarding Cope's organisation of expedition)