Cecil Meares collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of papers by Cecil Mears relating to the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott) and to later experiences in the First World War.

Administrative / Biographical History

Cecil Henry Meares was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland in 1877. At the age of nineteen, he began to travel extensively in Europe and Asia, trading in furs in Siberia and observing the Russo-Japanese war. After an interlude in South Africa, where he fought in the Boer War, he resumed his travels in the Far East. He joined the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott), and was put in charge of the dogs, travelling to Siberia in 1910 to buy dogs and ponies. Meares was a member of the support party, which accompanied Scott's Polar Party as far as the lower depot of the Beardmore Glacier, before turning back with the dogs on 11 December 1911, accompanied by the Russian dog-driver, Dmitriy Girev.

During the First World War, he joined the Royal Flying Corps, rising to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and in 1921 took part in a British Air Mission to Japan which earned him the award of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, third class. He continued his travels, eventually settling in British Columbia, where he died on 13 May 1937.


The collection is arranged chronologically.

Access Information

By appointment.

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.


Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author has signed the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Scott of the Antarctic by Elspeth Huxley, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London (1977) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Scott, R.F.] and Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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

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.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying material by photography, electrostat, or scanning device by readers is prohibited. The Institute may be able to provide copies of some documents on request for lodgement in publicly available repositories. This is subject to conservation requirements, copyright law, and payment of fees.

Copyright restrictions apply to most material. The copyright may lie outside the Institute and, if so, it is necessary for the reader to seek appropriate permission to consult, copy, or publish any such material. (The Institute does not seek this permission on behalf of readers). Written permission to publish material subject to the Institute's copyright must be obtained from the Director. Details of conditions and fees may be had from the Archivist.


Further accessions possible.