Dr Leonard Hussey collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of expedition material for the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, [Weddell Sea Party], 1914-1916 (leader Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton), the Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic Expedition, 1921-1922 (leader Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton) and correspondence by Hussey.

Administrative / Biographical History

Leonard Duncan Albert Hussey was born ca. 1893 in London. He was educated at London University and accompanied a scientific expedition to the Sudan before joining the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition [Weddell Sea Party], 1914-1916 (leader Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton), as meteorologist.

After Endurance was crushed in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea, the crew lived for six months on drifting ice until this broke up northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Proceeding in three open boats, the party of twenty-eight men reached Elephant Island on 15 April 1916. Hussey and his companions were eventually rescued from Elephant Island on 30 August 1916. Hussey's banjo-playing and jovial character proved crucial in helping to maintain the morale of his fellow crewmen during the expedition.

On his return to Britain, Hussey was commissioned in the Royal Garrison Artillery, serving in France and with Shackleton in North Russia during the First World War. He qualified in medicine in time to join the Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic Expedition, 1921-1922. On Shackleton's death in January 1922 in South Georgia, Hussey volunteered to accompany the body back to England, but at Montevideo, he received a message from Emily Shackleton requesting her husband's burial in South Georgia.

Hussey practised in London until 1940 when he became a Royal Air Force medical officer, receiving an OBE (Military) in 1946. After the war, he took up medical practice in Hertfordshire and also, for a period, served as ship's surgeon. His book South with Shackleton was published in 1949. He died on 26 February 1965.

Published work, South with Shackleton by Leonard D.A. Hussey, Sampson Low, London (1949) SPRI Library Shelf (7)91(08)[1914-1916 Shackleton]


The collection is split into three sub-fonds comprising of expedition material and correspondence respectively.

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 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 The Polar Record (September 1965) volume 12 number 81 p775-776 and Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library (7) and Visit and learn

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.

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 two expeditions Hussey took part in. The catalogue can be searched on line by going to the Picture Library Database and selecting the Enter Polar Pictures link.