Louis Bernacchi

Last updated

Louis Charles Bernacchi
Bernacchi at WIdnes.jpg
Bernacchi in 1910
Born(1876-11-08)8 November 1876
Belgium
Died24 April 1942(1942-04-24) (aged 65)
London, England
AllegianceFlag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Branch Royal Navy
Years of service1914-1919 & 1939-1942
Rank Lieutenant commander
Expeditions
Awards
Spouse(s)Winifred Edith, née Harris (m. 1906)
Children Michael Bernacchi

Louis Charles Bernacchi CMG OBE (8 November 1876 – 24 April 1942) was an Australian physicist and astronomer best known for his role in several Antarctic expeditions. [1]

Contents

Early life

Bernacchi was born in Belgium on 8 November 1876 to Italian parents in one of the communes of Brussels known as Schaerbeek. [2] [3] His father, Diego Bernacchi, established a vineyard on Maria Island in 1884. He was educated in Hobart, Tasmania, at the Hutchins School from May 1889 and finishing at the school around Easter 1891. [2] [4] He entered the Melbourne Observatory in 1895 where he spent about three years studying magnetism and meteorology. [5] During this period he developed an interest in Antarctic exploration, expressed in letters to the press and by following the proceeding of Antarctic Exploration Committees.

Polar exploration

He joined Carstens Borchgrevink's Southern Cross expedition (1898–1900) which wintered at Cape Adare, Antarctica, joining the expedition in Christchurch, New Zealand after the previous physicist candidate had been rejected on medical grounds. The expedition was the first to spend the winter on the Antarctic continent (the Belgian Antarctic Expedition having been first to overwinter in 1898) and the first to sledge towards the South Pole. He was awarded the Cuthbert-Peek Grant of the Royal Geographical Society that allowed him to work on the geomagnetic data. [2] He wrote a book about the expedition To the south polar regions: expedition of 1898–1900 published in 1900. [6] His granddaughter Janet Crawford has edited a version of his diaries from the expedition under the title That First Antarctic Winter: The story of the Southern Cross Expedition of 1898–1900. [7]

He was again a physicist on the Discovery expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott (1901–1904). [2] Bernacchi was the only man on this expedition who had previously been to the Antarctic. During the trip, he made extensive magnetic observations. Following the trip, Bernacchi was awarded the Royal Geographical Society and Polar Medals as well as the Légion d'honneur. Scott was the best man at Bernacchi's marriage in 1906. [1]

Subsequent career

Following two short expeditions to Africa and the upper Amazon Basin in Peru, Bernacchi made two unsuccessful attempts to run for the House of Commons as a Liberal Party candidate, standing in Widnes in 1910. He also invested in rubber plantations in Malaya, Java and Borneo. [1]

During World War I, he served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, the Admiralty in the anti-submarine division, [8] and later with the United States Navy. In 1919, he received both an Order of the British Empire and the United States Navy Cross. Following the war, he returned to his interests in rubber. [1]

He remained active in scientific organisations, most notably the Royal Geographical Society, serving as a council member between 1928 and 1932. Bernacchi planned his own expedition to the Antarctic in 1925, but failed to raise sufficient funds. In 1930, he organised the British Polar Exhibition and helped to organise the Second International Polar Year in 1932. [1]

Bernacchi wrote a number of books on the Antarctic including a biography of Lawrence Oates called A Very Gallant Gentleman published in 1933, and Saga of the Discovery in 1938. In World War II, he returned to the Royal Naval Reserve Volunteers before his death in 1942. [1]

Commemoration

Three landmarks in Antarctica are named after him: Bernacchi Head, on Franklin Island, Cape Bernacchi and Bernacchi Bay, both on the coast of Victoria Land. [9] A species of Antarctic fish, the Trematomus bernacchii was named in his honor. [10]

In 2001, Australia Post issued a postal stamp in honour of the 100th anniversary of Australia's involvement in Antarctic exploration. [11] The Premier of Tasmania, Jim Bacon, unveiled sculptures of Bernacchi and fellow explorers at Sullivans Cove. [12]

Writings

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Antarctica</span> Past events regarding the continent of Antarctica

The history of Antarctica emerges from early Western theories of a vast continent, known as Terra Australis, believed to exist in the far south of the globe. The term Antarctic, referring to the opposite of the Arctic Circle, was coined by Marinus of Tyre in the 2nd century AD.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carsten Borchgrevink</span> Norwegian polar explorer (1864–1934)

Carsten Egeberg Borchgrevink was an Anglo-Norwegian polar explorer and a pioneer of Antarctic travel. He inspired Sir Robert Falcon Scott, Sir Ernest Shackleton, Roald Amundsen, and others associated with the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

Timeline of New Zealands links with Antarctica

This is a timeline of the history of New Zealand's involvement with Antarctica.

SS <i>Southern Cross</i> (1886)

SS Southern Cross was a steam-powered sealing vessel that operated primarily in Norway and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Henrik Johan Bull

Henrik Johan Bull was a Norwegian businessman and whaler. Henry Bull was one of the pioneers in the exploration of Antarctica.

<i>Discovery</i> Expedition British scientific expedition to Antarctica

The DiscoveryExpedition of 1901–1904, known officially as the British National Antarctic Expedition, was the first official British exploration of the Antarctic regions since the voyage of James Clark Ross sixty years earlier (1839–1843). Organized on a large scale under a joint committee of the Royal Society and the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), the new expedition carried out scientific research and geographical exploration in what was then largely an untouched continent. It launched the Antarctic careers of many who would become leading figures in the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, including Robert Falcon Scott who led the expedition, Ernest Shackleton, Edward Wilson, Frank Wild, Tom Crean and William Lashly.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration</span> Period of history from the 1890s to the 1920s

The Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration was an era in the exploration of the continent of Antarctica which began at the end of the 19th century, and ended after the First World War; the Shackleton–Rowett Expedition of 1921–1922 is often cited by historians as the dividing line between the "Heroic" and "Mechanical" ages.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cape Adare</span> Peninsula of East Antarctica

Cape Adare is a prominent cape of black basalt forming the northern tip of the Adare Peninsula and the north-easternmost extremity of Victoria Land, East Antarctica.

John Rymill Australian explorer (1905–1968)

John Riddoch Rymill was an Australian polar explorer, who had the rare second clasp added to his Polar Medal.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Farthest South</span> Record held for most Southerly latitude reached, before the South Pole itself was reached.

Farthest South refers to the most southerly latitude reached by explorers before the first successful expedition to the South Pole in 1911. Significant steps on the road to the pole were the discovery of lands south of Cape Horn in 1619, Captain James Cook's crossing of the Antarctic Circle in 1773, and the earliest confirmed sightings of the Antarctic mainland in 1820. From the late 19th century onward, the quest for Farthest South latitudes became in effect a race to reach the pole, which culminated in Roald Amundsen's success in December 1911.

<i>Southern Cross</i> Expedition 1898–1900 research expedition to Antarctica

The Southern CrossExpedition, otherwise known as the British Antarctic Expedition, 1898–1900, was the first British venture of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, and the forerunner of the more celebrated journeys of Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton. The brainchild of the Anglo-Norwegian explorer Carsten Borchgrevink, it was the first expedition to over-winter on the Antarctic mainland, the first to visit the Great Ice Barrier—later known as the Ross Ice Shelf—since Sir James Clark Ross's groundbreaking expedition of 1839 to 1843, and the first to effect a landing on the Barrier's surface. It also pioneered the use of dogs and sledges in Antarctic travel.

William Colbeck (sea captain)

William Colbeck was a British seaman who distinguished himself on two Antarctic expeditions.

Nicolai Hanson Norwegian zoologist and Antarctic explorer (1870–1899)

Nicolai Hanson was a Norwegian zoologist and Antarctic explorer. Nicolai Hanson was a member of the Southern Cross Expedition led by Carsten Borchgrevink to Antarctica and he became the first person to be buried in Antarctica.

Dugdale Glacier Glacier in Antarctica

Dugdale Glacier is a glacier about 25 nautical miles (46 km) long, draining northeast from the Admiralty Mountains into Robertson Bay on the north coast of Victoria Land, Antarctica. The geographical feature flows along the west side of Geikie Ridge before coalescing with Murray Glacier just west of Duke of York Island. It was charted by the British Antarctic Expedition, 1898–1900, under Carsten Borchgrevink, who named it for Frank Dugdale of Snitterfield, Stratford-on-Avon. The glacier lies situated on the Pennell Coast, a portion of Antarctica lying between Cape Williams and Cape Adare.

Murray Glacier Glacier in Antarctica

Murray Glacier is a valley glacier, 37 km (23 mi) long, draining seaward along the east side of Geikie Ridge in the Admiralty Mountains. Its terminus coalesces with that of Dugdale Glacier where both glaciers discharge into Robertson Bay along the north coast of Victoria Land. First charted by the British Antarctic Expedition 1898-1900, under Carsten Borchgrevink, who named this feature for Sir John Murray of the Challenger Expedition, 1872–76.

Archer Peak is a peak, 110 metres (360 ft) high, on the southwest extremity of Possession Island, Antarctica. It was named by the British Antarctic Expedition, 1898–1900, either for A. Archer, Esq., of Australia, mentioned in the preface to Carsten Borchgrevink's First on the Antarctic Continent, or for Colin Archer who designed Borchgrevink's vessel, the SS Southern Cross.

Index of Antarctica-related articles

This is an alphabetical index of all articles related to the continent of Antarctica.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Emerald rockcod</span> Species of fish

The emerald rockcod, also known as the emerald notothen is a species of marine ray-finned fish belonging to the family Nototheniidae, the notothens or cod icefishes. It is native to the Southern Ocean where it is a commercially important species.

Michael Louis Bernacchi (1911–1983) was a British colonial administrator, who was the Resident Commissioner of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands from 1952 to 1961.

Per Savio Norwegian polar explorer

Per John Savio was a Norwegian polar explorer and dog sled driver. As a member of the Southern Cross expedition 1898–1900, Savio together with Ole Must were the first to overnight on the Antarctic continent. He was also part of the sled team who were the first persons to travel on the Ross Ice Shelf and reaching a new Farthest South record.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Swan, R. A. (1979). "Bernacchi, Louis Charles (1876–1942)". Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 13 December 2021.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Atkin, Andrew (1979). "New Light on the British National Antarctic Expedition (Scott's Discovery Expedition) 1901-1904" (PDF). Canterbury University. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  3. Carsten Borchgrevink (1901). First on the Antarctic continent: Being an account of the British Antarctic expedition, 1898–1900. p. 14.
  4. Carsten Borchgrevink (1901). First on the Antarctic continent: Being an account of the British Antarctic expedition, 1898–1900. p. 14.
  5. Carsten Borchgrevink (1901). First on the Antarctic continent: Being an account of the British Antarctic expedition, 1898–1900. p. 14.
  6. "Physics in Australia to 1945 – BERNACCHI, Louis Charles". www.asap.unimelb.edu.au.
  7. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/printpage/0,5942,3867957,00.html [ dead link ]
  8. Black, Nicholas Duncan (2005). "The Admiralty War Staff and its influence on the conduct of the naval war between 1914 and 1918" (PDF). University College, University of London. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  9. Louis Bernacchi – Biographical notes at www.coolantarctica.com
  10. "Trematomus bernacchii summary page". FishBase.
  11. "Antarctica a sticking point". In: The Hobart Mercury, 17 May 2001 page 13.
  12. "Sculpting a piece of Antarctic history". In: In: The Hobart Mercury, 11 September 2002.