The collection comprises of diaries written during the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition [Ross Sea Party], 1914-1916 (Captains Mackintosh and Stenhouse) and correspondence to family members written during the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott).
James Paton collection
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 15 James Paton
- Dates of Creation1910-1916
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish.
- Physical DescriptionExpedition material (3 volumes) and correspondence (33 leaves)
- Direct Link
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
James Paton was born in Glasgow in 1869. He was an able seaman, residing with his family in Lyttelton, New Zealand, when he joined Morning, the relief ship sent to McMurdo Sound in 1902-1903 and 1903-1904 to assist the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott). His next Antarctic voyage was as able seaman on board Nimrod on the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909 (leader Ernest Henry Shackleton), after which he was invited to join the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) as able seaman in Terra Nova. Paton's final Antarctic venture was as boatswain on Aurora during the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition [Ross Sea Party], 1914-1917 (leader Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton). In May 1915, Aurora was driven by a blizzard from her moorings off Cape Evans and beset by pack ice, leaving ten men ashore to winter with minimal supplies. After drifting for ten months in the Ross Sea, she broke free in March 1916 and returned to New Zealand. Aurora, with Paton still boatswain, rescued the seven survivors of the shore party at Cape Evans in January 1917.
After the expedition, Shackleton sold Aurora to an American firm and Paton was on board the vessel when she sailed for Chile in June 1917. Paton was lost at sea, as nothing more was heard of Aurora, which was finally posted missing in January 1918.
The collection is split into two sub-fonds comprising of expedition material and correspondence respectively.
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Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.
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Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN 0521309034 and Antarctica's Forgotten Men by Leslie B. Quartermain, Millwood Press, Wellington (1981) ISBN 0-908582-52-8 SPRI Library Shelf 92(08)
Other Finding Aids
Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.
Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.
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