A local family have consigned two items of interest from the British Antarctic Expedition to Morphets Spring Fine Art & Antiques sale which will be held on Thursday 2nd March 2017 in our Harrogate auction house.
The opening lot in the sale will be a pair of inuit-type snow goggles with cross-shaped eye slits used by Thomas Soulsby Williamson on the British Antarctic Expedition on Discovery 1901-1904 and again on Terra Nova expedition 1910-1913. Accompanying the snow-goggles is a letter from Williamson to Mr Frank Cork, written on notepaper bearing the Terra Nova logo which reads 'These pair of goggles given by me to Mr Frank Cork as a mark of esteem were used by me on both of my Expeditions National Antarctic Expedition 1901-1904, British Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913'
Also in the sale will be a British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1914, Dunn Bennett plate with dark blue painted border and gilt rim and with the British Antarctic Expedition Terra Nova crest printed in blue
Thomas Soulsby Williamson was born in Sunderland in October 1877. He ran away to sea at the age of thirteen and was serving in the Royal Navy on board HMS Pactolus, when he joined the British Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 (leader Robert Falcon Scott), as able seaman on board the expedition ship Discovery. He took part in the sledging programme undertaken, including a journey in September 1903 to the Cape Crozier emperor penguin rookery. He served as petty office on the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (again led by Scott), and was amongst those who landed at Cape Evans in January 1911. Returning to New Zealand in Terra Nova, he rejoined the main party in February 1912. In April of that year, he was one of those attempting the relief of Victor Campbell's Northern Party. Later, he was a member of a major sledging expedition heading south from Hut Point, Ross Island, on the final search for those missing with Scott. On 12 November 1912, eleven miles beyond One Ton Depot, they found the tent containing the bodies of Scott, Edward Adrian Wilson and Henry Bowers.
After the expedition, he rejoined the Royal Navy, serving in destroyers during the First World War, and was severely wounded when a mine blew up his ship. He was working as a labourer in Portsmouth dockyard when he died in January 1940
Morphets, the Yorkshire auctioneer, hold quarterly Fine Art and Antiques auctions and fortnightly general sales in our Harrogate saleroom