SCOTT & The South-Pole

Frank Debenham ("Deb")

A Portrait Of Frank Debenham

Debenham was born in New South Wales, Australia. At school he was considered to be a top academic and sporting student. He graduated from the University of Sydney with a BA in English and philosophy. He then taught for awhile. In 1908, he returned to university to study geology.

Debenham was one of the three geologists who Scott took along with him on The Terra Nova Expedition (19101912).

"From January to March 1911 Debenham, along with three other expedition members (Thomas Griffith Taylor, Charles Wright (physicist) and Edgar Evans), explored and mapped the western mountains of Victoria Land (the western journey) performing scientific studies and geological observations." (
Because of an injury to his knee, sustained when playing football in the snow with his fellow explorers, Scott did not choose him to go on any of the stages in the 800 mile trek to the pole.

After returning to England, he, as did many of his fellow south-pole explorers, went off to serve in World War One. After his war experiences (he was severely wounded), Debenham went to Cambridge where he became "a fellow of Gonville and Caius College and lecturer in cartography." Debenham went on to co-found the Scott Polar Research Institute (Cambridge University).

Beyond his university duties, Debenham published a number of his writings, including: "In the Antarctic: Stories of Scott's Last Expedition 1952"; "Antarctica The story of a continent"; "Discovery & Exploration"; "Simple Surveying"; "The use of Geography"; "Map Making"; "The World is Round"; and, "Space The Global Atlas".

GO TO A List of Persons Involved with Scott at the South-pole

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Peter Landry