British Relief Expeditions

Scope and Content

  • MS 366/9;SL Deck Log of the Morning, 25 December 1902 to 10 January 1903. 1 volume UDC 91 (08) (7)
  • MS 588/1;SLAgreement and account of the crew of steam yacht Morning, 9 July 1902 and 18 October 1904, master William Colbeck during the relief expeditions. 32 pages plus one loose page Photostat.
  • MS 588/2;SLAgreement and account of the crew of Terra Nova, 21 August 1903 and 18 August 1904 master Henry McKay. Photostat purchased with Friends' funds 12 January 1962] 16 pages Photostat
  • MS 588/3;SLOfficial log book of the Terra Nova, 21 August 1903 to 18 August 1904. 21 pages Photostat.

Administrative / Biographical History

Morning, steam yacht. Captain William Collbeck. Terra Nova, steam yacht. Captain Henry Duncan McKay.

Two relief expeditions were mounted during the British National Antarctic expedition of 1901 - 1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott)

In 1902 - 1903 The Royal Geographical Society organised for the Morning [Morgenen] captained by William Colbeck to carry stores and dispatches to Discovery in McMurdo Sound. The expedition discovered and surveyed Scott Island (first named Markham Island), where a party landed and claimed it for Britain, 25 December 1902. They also landed on Possession Island. Geological specimens were collected on both landings. The Morning returned with eight members of the Discovery (including Ernest Henry Shackleton). (The vessel was originally Morgenen but the translation to Morning was made before the next expedition)

In 1903 - 1904 William Colbeck and Morning were joined by Terra Nova captained by Henry Duncan Mackay. This relief expedition was organised by the Royal Navy to assist the return of the British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901 - 1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott). The three ships (Discovery, Morning and Terra Nova) sailed north on 19 February 1904. They sighted Scott Island and visiting the Auckland Islands. Terra Nova also visited the Falkland Islands on the return voyage.

Access Information

By appointment


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

Descriptions compiled by Naomi Boneham, Assistant Archivist with reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) (Cambridge University Press 1989) ISBN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

Other Finding Aids

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

Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue. (Garland Publishing New York and London 1982) ISBN 0824093941

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Further accessions possible

Related Material

  • MS 1232;D Aldrich, P. Memoranda on fitting out of Terra Nova, 1903
  • MS 761/8/6-7;D Colbeck, W. Report and orders, 1903
  • MS 761/8/2;D Colbeck, W. Sailing instructions to Captain MacKay, 24 August 1903
  • MS 383/1 Great Britain Admiralty. Instructions to Colbeck, 12 August 1903
  • MS 575/6;MJ Doorly, G.S. Journal from Morning, 1902 - 1903 and 1903 - 1904
  • MS 383/2/1-2;D Scott, R.F. Letters (3) to William Colbeck of British relief Expedition, 22 January, 3 March, 10 September 1902

Additional Information

Originals of MS 588/1 MS 588/2 and MS 588/3 found in the General Register and Record Office of Shipping and Seamen, Cardiff, Wales.

Geographical Names