Aldrich Pelham

(08.12.1844 - 12.11.1930)


English officer, arctic explorer, admiral.

Born in Mildenhall, Suffolk, in the family of Dr. Pelham Aldrich and Elizabeth Francis. He became a cadet of the Navy in June 1859, promoted to lieutenant in 1864 and lieutenant in 1866.

In this rank  Aldrich served first as a reconnaissance corvette, and since November 1872 on the research sailing-steam vessel "Challenger", which under the command of George Ners made a 4-year scientific expedition, famous for his outstanding scientific discoveries, which formed the basis of a new scientific discipline - oceanography.

In 1875  Aldrich, under the leadership of the same George Ners, took part in the British Arctic expedition sent by the British Admiralty to reach the North Pole through the Smith Strait in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Aldrich commanded the Western luge party on Ellesmere Island.

In 1876  he led an expedition aboard the "Sylvia" and "Fawn" ships that explored China and the Mediterranean.

In 1882  as the captain of the Fawn, Aldrich, along with astronomer Stephen Joseph Perry from the improvised tent observatory in Madagascar, watched Venus pass through the solar disk.


Sailing steam schooner "Challenger"


In June 1883  Aldrich was promoted to captain and, commanding the "Sylvia" and "Egeria" vessels, explored Australia and the Cape of Good Hope.

In 1898 he was promoted to rear admiral and appointed to the post of admiral-superintendent of the shipyard Portsmouth.

In 1902  King Edward VII awarded Aldrich with the Royal Victorian Order. The following year he was made vice admirals, and in 1907 - admirals.

In 1908  Aldrich retired and settled in Suffolk County, in the small town of Great Bealings, where he died.

Buried in the courtyard of the local church of St. Mary.


Courtyard of St. Mary’s Church in Great Bealing


The most northern cape of the island of Ellesmere in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Named by the expedition of J. Ners. Later renamed Cape Columbia.

Cape in the Bayam-Martin Strait in the west of Cameron Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.


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