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
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
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
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
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.
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.
Died in Scotland.
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.