Douglas Mawson

Douglas Mawson

Douglas Mawson

Birth : (1882-05-05)5 May 1882 Shipley,West Riding of Yorkshire, England

Death : 14 October 1958(1958-10-14)(aged 76) Brighton, South Australia, Australia

Personal Information

Name Douglas Mawson
Birth (1882-05-05)5 May 1882 Shipley,West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Birth Place Shipley,West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Death (1958-10-14)(aged 76) Brighton, South Australia, Australia
Died At Brighton, South Australia, Australia
Nationality Australian
Famous Research First ascent ofMount Erebus First team to reach theSouth Magnetic Pole Sole survivor ofFar Eastern Party Australasian Antarctic Expedition Mawson's Huts Mawson Plateau

Word Cloud

Events Occured in Scienctist Life


In 1905 he was made a lecturer in petrology and mineralogy at the University of Adelaide.


He returned to the University of Adelaide in 1919 and became a full professor in 1921, contributing much to Australian geology.


Mawson is commemorated by numerous landmarks and from 1984 to 1996 appeared on the Australian $100 note.


Mawson was born on 5 May 1882 to Robert Ellis Mawson and Margaret Ann Moore.


He attended Fort Street Model School and the University of Sydney, where he graduated in 1902 with a Bachelor of Engineering degree.


He was appointed geologist to an expedition to the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) in 1903; his report, The Geology of the New Hebrides, was one of the first major geological works of Melanesia.


He then became a lecturer in petrology and mineralogy at the University of Adelaide in 1905.


Mawson turned down an invitation to join Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova Expedition in 1910; Australian geologist Griffith Taylor went with Scott instead.


The expedition, using the ship SY Aurora commanded by Captain John King Davis, departed from Hobart on 2 December 1911, landed at Cape Denison (named after Hugh Denison, a major backer of the expedition) on Commonwealth Bay on 8 January 1912, and established the Main Base.


On 1 January 2009, fragments of it were rediscovered by the Mawson's Huts Foundation, which is restoring the original huts.


Mawson himself was part of a three-man sledging team, the Far Eastern Party, with Xavier Mertz and Lieutenant Belgrave Ninnis, who headed east on 10 November 1912, to survey King George V Land.


Mawson and six men who had remained behind to look for him wintered a second year until December 1913.


In 1915, the Royal Geographical Society awarded him their Founder's Gold Medal and in 1916 the American Geographical Society awarded him the David Livingstone Centenary Medal.


In his book The Home of the Blizzard, Mawson talked of "Herculean gusts" on 24 May 1912 which he learned afterwards "approached two hundred miles per hour".


Also in 1914, he was knighted, and was preoccupied with news of the Scott disaster until the outbreak of World War I. Mawson served in the war as a major in the British Ministry of Munitions.


Returning to the University of Adelaide in 1919, he was promoted to the professorship of geology and mineralogy in 1921, and made a major contribution to Australian geology.


He organised and led the joint British Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition in 1929–31, which resulted in the formation of the Australian Antarctic Territory in 1936.


Upon his retirement from teaching in 1952 he was made an emeritus professor of the University of Adelaide.


He died at his Brighton home on 14 October 1958 from a cerebral haemorrhage.


At the time of his death he had still not completed editorial work on all the papers resulting from his expedition, and this was completed by his eldest daughter, Patricia, only in 1975.


His image appeared on several postage stamps of the Australian Antarctic Territory: 5 pence (1961), 5 pence (1961), 27 cents and 75 cents (1982), 10 cents (2011), 45 cents (1999).His image appeared from 1984 to 1996 on the Australian paper one hundred dollar note and in 2012 on a $1 coin issued within the Inspirational Australians series.


The Mawson Collection of Antarctic exploration artefacts is on permanent display at the South Australian Museum, including a screening of a recreated version of his journey that was shown on ABC Television on 12 May 2008.


The suburb was gazetted in 1966 and is named after him.


In 2011, Ranulph Fiennes included Mawson in his book My Heroes:


In 2013 an "Australian Mawson Centenary Expedition" was led by Australian Polar scientists Chris Turney and Chris Fogwill, of the University of New South Wales, together with Antarctic veteran geologist and mountaineer Greg Mortimer and a group of scientists and adventurers.


In December 2013, some of the expedition members revisited Mawson's huts at Cape Denison on Commonwealth Bay.


In December 2013, the first opera to be based on Mawson's 1911–1914 expedition to Antarctica, The Call of Aurora (by Tasmanian composer Joe Bugden) was performed at The Peacock Theatre in Hobart.


First published in "Remarcable Geographers and Travellers", State Publishing House of Geographical Literature, Moscow, 1960.