Austin Horatio Thomas
sailor, arctic explorer.
He began service in the navy in 1813. Over
the next year, in the rank of midshipman, he participated in major
operations in England’s war with the United States, including
attacks on Washington, Baltimore and New Orleans. Over
the next ten years, Austin served on ships cruising off the coast of
Africa, on the English Channel off the coast of South America. In
1822, he was promoted to lieutenant, and in 1824 he first appeared
in the Arctic. In
the rank of first lieutenant on board the Fury sloop, he took part
in the expedition of W.
Parry, whose goal was to open the Northwest Passage. The
young lieutenant shared all the difficulties and hardships of the
Arctic expedition. Due
to heavy ice, only on September 10, the expedition was able to reach
the starting point of its march, the Prince
Regent Strait. Soon
the ships were forced to hibernate off the coast of Baffin Land in
the northernmost part of the strait. During
the ten-month wintering period, the sailors surveyed most of the
east coast of the strait and partly the west coast. In
the summer of 1825 the ice dragged ships north to the Strait of
they ran aground, receiving serious injuries, which in the end led
the Fury to complete disrepair, and it had to be thrown.
After this expedition, Austin served in the area of the Isthmus
of Panama, off the coast of Holland, Portugal, Spain, in 1831
received the rank of captain.
In 1832–1834 Austin
commanded one of the first Salamander steamers, then in 1839–1843. participated
in the war with Syria, was awarded the Order
of the Bath.
Austin's second meeting with the Arctic is associated with the
search for the expedition of J.
1850 five years after the departure of Franklin and the complete
absence of any news from him, the agitated public demanded decisive
action from the government and the Admiralty. Searches
began to be viewed as a matter of state importance, and everyone was
invited to participate in them “without distinction of nationality
and citizenship”. It
was decided to repeat the Ross – Richardson – Moore expedition of
1848 only on an even larger scale. Again
the detachments went from three sides: west, east and south. At
the head of the detachment, moving from the sea Baffin, and was put
his command were the sailing ships Resolute (Resolute) and
Assistance, as well as the steamers Pioneer and Intrepid. The
total number of team members was 180 people, among whom were later
became famous F.
expedition equipment spent £ 134,500.
Austin has scheduled a survey of the shores of the Lancaster and
Barrow Straits. He
divided the expedition, taking over the southern shores of the
straits, instructing his assistant, Ommann, the north. It
was Ommanni who managed to find the first wintering place of
Franklin in the area of
Beachy Island and Cape Riley.
Wintering 1850 - 1851 spent
at the western end of the Strait
of Barrow at the
point with coordinates 74° 32′N and
95° 10′W. Austin
organized a sleigh trips with three detachments, which led Ommanni,
McClintock and Lieutenant Aldrich. Austin
himself remained at the base. Ommann
explored the north-western tip of
McClintock reached the southern tip of
Melville Island, Cape
Dundas, from which he saw Banks Island, and Aldrich examined the
western coast of
Bathurst Island. New
traces of the expedition of Franklin, none of them found.
In the summer of 1851 after the ships were cleared from ice,
Austin, who did not believe in the success of the subsequent search,
decided to return to England, after inspecting the northwest exit
from the Baffin Sea - Jones Strait.
At the same time, a search expedition under the command of
who wanted to continue the search, acted in the same area, but for
this he needed one of the ships of Austin. Austin
refused the request, and both expeditions stopped searching.
Upon his return, Penny made a claim to Austin that he did not
provide him with a vessel to continue his search. To
resolve the dispute, the Admiralty appointed a commission called the
Arctic Committee, which included W.
Back and F.
committee met for 12 days, listened to the testimony of both the
captains, their chief deputies and other polar explorers, and
eventually published a report of 250 pages. Based
on the documents and discarding oral evidence, the Committee took
Austin's side, from which all the charges against Penny were
the official conclusion, the public was divided into two
approximately equal in the number of opposing camps, on the side of
Penny were such figures as Lady Jane
Barrow, S. Osborne.
In general, neither Austin nor Penny suffered much from this
conflict and its results. The
Committee’s conclusion contained praise and gratitude to both
captains for the work done and achievements, their return home was
considered a reasonable and reasonable step. Penny
returned to whaling, and Austin continued his successful military
In 1857 Austin received the rank of Rear Admiral,
occupying the post of manager of Deptford shipyard.
Cemetery Kensal Green
He died in London. He
was buried in Brent County, north-west London, at Kensal-Green
Cemetery (official name Cemetery of All Souls).
the north of the island of Cornwallis in the Canadian Arctic
A bay in
the south of Victoria Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.
of Bathurst Island in the Canadian Arctic archipelago.