William Speirs Bruce

9 Nov

I am thinking of writing a biography on Bruce, so any information or special anecdotes will be welcome.

Bruce’s  ambitions in relation to Antarctica came up against the formidable hostility of Sir Clements Markham, the geographer and explorer who was Secretary of The Royal Geographical Society in London for 5 years and its President for 12. When Bruce wrote to Sir Clements asking to join the National Antarctic Expedition, Sir Clements apparently did not reply, so Bruce organized the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition. This Sir Clements considered mischievous rivalry.

Due to Markham’s influence no Polar Medals were awarded to the Scottish expedition

Incidentally two attempts to have a Blue Plaque  on Markham’s London house, organized  by Robert Stevenson of the Antarctic Circle have been unsuccessful. Rob wanted to acknowledge  Sir Clement’s role in re-invigorating interest and enthusiasm for Antarctic exploration in the early 1900s and for his role in helping to eradicate malaria.  But both applications were turned down.

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