Armitage Albert

(02.07.1864–31.10.1943)

 

Officer of the English merchant fleet, polar explorer.

After receiving marine education Armitage for several years served in the sailing fleet, and then entered the service in the shipping company, from which he retired with the rank of Commodore.

His finest hour came in 1894, when, on the recommendation of the company’s directors, he was offered to join the British Northern Polar Expedition headed by F. Jackson and sent to the Franz Josef Land Archipelago. Her organization marked the resumption of British polar research after a long break following numerous Franklin expeditions. 
A. Kharmsworth, who financed the expedition, approved Armitage’s candidacy and appointed him Jackson’s assistant. Life showed the correctness of this decision, Armitage fully justified the hopes placed on it. He led magnetic, meteorological, astronomical observations and played a leading role in navigation and mapping. It was Armitage who first noticed Nansen, wandering on the ice in the area of Cape Flora. In the report on the work of the expedition, this moment is described. "Armitage, who was observing at the observatory, suddenly stuck his head in the door of the living quarters and shouted, "How many of you are here? I see a man on the ice”.  Recalculated and found that all are present. It became obvious - near them the newcomer. Jackson jumped up and shouted: "Whoever it is, I go out", and ran out of the house. Everyone else grabbed telescopes and binoculars and began to observe".  
Armitage helped Nansen to make adjustments to the calculations of the coordinates of his trip, correcting the error caused, as is known, by stopping the chronometer. 
In 1895-1897 Armitage together with Jackson made three toboggans along the archipelago, rightfully sharing the expedition’s geographical achievements with the head. Upon return, the Royal Geographical Society noted the merits of Armitage by awarding him a grant from Murchison. 
After returning from the Arctic, Armitage intended to organize an independent expedition to Antarctica, but in 1901, unable to withstand R. Scott's charm and benevolence, he agreed to become his assistant on an expedition on the ship “Discovery”. Scott's choice was determined by Armitage's great arctic and marine experience. Two conditions were agreed: first, being considered an assistant, Armitage will decide for itself about his actions in Antarctica; the second is that Scott’s salary should not exceed Armitage’s salary by more than £ 50. It should be said that only the second condition was fulfilled. Scott managed to convince Armitage that the success of such an enterprise requires unity of command.

 

On board the Discovery. Armitage third left


Armitage presented his memories of this expedition in the books “Two Years in Antarctica” and “From Cadet to Commodore”. 
The base of the expedition was organized in the hall. McMurdo. In 1902, Armitage led a toboggan trip west to uncharted areas of Victoria Land. A trial trip was made with five satellites in September. Upon return, they all showed signs of scurvy, and Armitage, on the advice of Dr. Wilson’s expedition doctor, began to include fresh seal meat instead of canned food, which was previously preferred, in the daily diet. 
The main campaign with twelve comrades in the main game, which included Shakesleton, who later became famous, began to Armitage at the end of November. An auxiliary group of nine people was led by his companion on the Jackson expedition, Dr. R. Ketlitz. 
The path ran through a mountainous country, the movement through which with loaded sleds was terribly exhausting.
It should be said that the British, unlike the Norwegians, refused to use dogs on sled trips, considering it to be unethical and inhuman. This circumstance was one of the main reasons for the tragic failure of R. Scott in his march to the South Pole. For the same reasons, the British have not used fresh meat of dead animals in their diets for a long time. 
The main party reached a height of 6,000 feet, from which it descended into unexplored areas of the Ferrar glacier. Then they went deep into the glacier to a height of 7,500 feet, and then 9,000 feet. The assumption that Victoria Land is a mountain range beyond which the lowlands are located has been rejected. Further extended vast mountainous country. This was an important geographical discovery. 
The peninsula (until 1931 was shown on maps as an island) in the northeast of the George Land island  in the Franz-Josef Land archipelago. Named in 1897 by the expedition of F. Jackson. 
The Armitage family name also carries a cape in the west of Luigi Island in the Franz-Josef Land Archipelago. 
Opened in the spring of 1897 by F. Jackson and named after Alice Armitage - a member of the family of Albert Armitage.

 

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