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1 WILLIAM GWYNN THOMAS 1948 - 1949 ORIGINAL FASCINATING MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A CREW MEMBER OF THE FALKLAND ISLAND BASE CAMPS WORKING TO HELP SUPPLY AND RESEARCH THE ANTARCTIC REGION INCLUDING A TYPESCRIPT PROPOSAL FOR A SLEDGE JOURNEY TO SNOW HILL ISLAND
FALKLAND ISLANDS MALVINAS STH ATLANTIC ANTARCTICA 1948 Very Good 
On offer is a very unique, pair of original 1948 - 1949 manuscript relics of Antarctic exploration being a diary and typed proposal with tucked in ephemera handwritten by "Wm. Gwynn Thomas, Base F, Argentine Islands West Graham Land" a crew member of the British Falkland Island - Argentine Island Base Camps for supply and research to the Antarctic Region. [The main book is a handwritten diary and then there is a typed diary of a special expedition.] The author does an exceptional job putting the reader right in the thick of this most interesting and historically well known island group. Dated February 24th 1948 through January 22nd 1949 he writes approximately 100 pages (this is a triplicate book ruled feint lines - the carbon has only been used to copy one sheet at a time not triplicate) of everyday life from the mundane daily chores on what they ate, weather, the dogs they had with them, the maintenance tasks they had to undertake etc. and the many trials and tribulations of one living in a weather challenged, remote and contested area. Along with the book there is a typescript journal on loose sheets of paper. By way of an introduction it begins: 'The John Biscoe arrived at Base F this evening and [we] met the chaps who were leaving when we took over. I went ashore fairly early and stayed chatting with the boys until quite late. The four who had been here a year seemed very pleased that their time was up & that they were getting out of it at last. Burd met the base leader Watson and Reeve, the two general assistants and Stock, wireless operator. From their tales I gather they have had quite a pleasant year, one or two complaints but nothing serious. Most of the time we were together Stock & I discussed the radio set up here; he said he had managed to keep communications going very well during the year but did not have much to say in praise of the transmitter, which in his opinion was too low powered for this job and suggested a bigger transmitter would greatly ease the work... March 31 It has been very cold today, but I managed to keep fairly warm. Dave and Frank caught four seals this afternoon and had a bit of a job getting them back through the brash ice... April 1 Frank overhauled the small German engine today but it is of no use, there's more rust than engine. I worked on the Villiers and had great success for a change. August 29 Base A party have got back safely so the 'panic stations' is over. Apparently they had been cut off and have had quite a time. September 16 There was a code message in today from base E telling of arrangements for a new Base K and also saying that I would be going to Signy [a subantarctic island in the South Orkney Islands] next year...Nov 2 ...Jumbo brought back some sea urchins, a limpet and a very strange looking item in the shape of an overgrown worm. We haven't decided what it might be yet, but we have pickled it for future reference. We had penguin steaks, livers and hearts today and a few eggs found in the victims. The taste of these compare favourably with the corresponding items in a chicken. (Personal opinion only) Dave did a pilot balloon ascent using a Langersed 150" balloon, it reached 15000 feet before disappearing into some cloud...' Included in the journal are also 2 blank documents entitled 'COLONY OF THE FALKLAND ISLANDS AND ITS DEPENDENCIES JUDICIAL OATH. I... do swear that I will well and truly serve Our Sovereign lord King George VI in the office of Justice and Peace and I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages in force in this Colony without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. Sworn at... The typed document is entitled Base D Hope Bay Grahamland Diary for the 5th Sledge Journey. The proposal was that a party of five with four teams should set out on a journey to Snow Hill Island with the object of completing the survey and geology of Ross Island...Weds Sept 1st to Thurs Sept 30th, including a summary page on number of days, miles made good, total miles accumulative, average etc & a report on the Condition of Hut of Swedish Expedition on Snow Hill Island. This document does not seem to be for the same year as the larger journal as there is no mention of a Sledge trip in there for September. HISTORICAL NOTES: RRS John Biscoe (1944) (1584 tonnes) operated from 1947-55. Named after the English explorer John Biscoe, who discovered parts of Antarctica in the early 1830s. When a party of British scientists attempted to land from John Biscoe at Hope Bay, Graham Land on February 2, 1952, an Argentine shore party fired shots over their head (ref Wikipedia) There is a hand drawn map of the Argentine Islands where Base F is marked. The journal measures 11"x 8.25" x 1" has light wear to edges of cover and pages, tightly bound. Overall VG. 
Price: 5285.99 USD
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