Alfred Cheetham collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of material relating to the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909 (leader Ernest Henry Shackleton) and correspondence by Cheetham regarding the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott).

Administrative / Biographical History

Alfred B. Cheetham was born in Liverpool in 1867. He became a Merchant Navy boatswain working out of Hull, and a Royal Naval Reservist.

He first saw the Antarctic as boatswain of the 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).

Cheetham was then invited to join the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1909 (leader Ernest Henry Shackleton), as boatswain and third officer on board Nimrod, and he served again as boatswain during the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott). He then joined the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition [Weddell Sea Party], 1914-1916 (leader Ernest Henry Shackleton), as third officer in Endurance.

After Endurance was crushed in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea, he and his companions escaped in boats to Elephant Island. A party of six led by Shackleton made the epic journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia to seek help from the Stromness whaling station and in August 1916, Cheetham and the remaining members of the expedition were rescued from Elephant Island. After the expedition, he served in the First World War but was drowned in 1918 when his ship was torpedoed while mine-sweeping in the North Sea.

Arrangement

The collection is split into two sub-fonds covering expedition material and correspondence respectively.

Conditions Governing Access

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.

Note

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Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN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) and Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library (7) and Shackleton's Lieutenant, the Nimrod Diary of A.L.A. Mackintosh, British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909 edited by Stanley Newman, Polar Publications Ltd (1990) SPRI Library Shelf (7)91(08)[1907-1909 Shackleton]

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.

Accruals

Further accessions possible.

Related Material

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a number of photographs, film and other illustrative material in the Picture Library, some of which covers the expeditions Cheetham served on. The catalogue can be searched on line by going to the Picture Library Database and selecting the Enter Polar Pictures link.

For a biographical sketch on Cheetham see SPRI collection Leslie Quartermain.