Frank Debenham – ‘Deb’ to all who
knew him – was one of the youngest members of Scott’s Terra-Nova
Expedition of 1911–13. Largely overlooked by history, he was nevertheless
at the heart of that great adventure, during which he had his own life-threatening
experiences. He was destined to go on to far greater things, for which
he was awarded both the OBE and the Polar Medal, and to make his mark
indelibly in Cambridge history.
Originally from Australia, Deb worked in Cambridge
writing up the Expedition’s cartographic and survey reports and
then more permanently as lecturer in geography. It is thanks to Deb’s
conviction that Cambridge University has today a designated Geography
Department, and he applied that same passion to fulfilling Scott’s
wish for a centre for polar research. The now world-renowned Scott Polar
Research Institute was founded in 1920, and Deb ensured its continued
development through to his retirement in 1946.
This thoroughly researched account is supported by
illuminating extracts of correspondence, interviews and personal communications,
as well as numerous photographs and maps, some published here for the
first time. Written in an engaging and accessible style, this book gives
insight into the character of Deb, the caring and sensitive family man,
and Deb, the geographer, scientist and Antarctic explorer.
His legacy lives on today, to the benefit of many.
Peter Speak, MA, M.Phil. (Cantab), FRGS, Emeritus Associate of Scott
Polar Research Institute, was Head of the Geography Department at the
Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology, 1950–87. In 1983
he became Master of Philosophy in Polar Studies and then Director of
the M.Phil. course, 1989–94, both at the Scott Polar Research
Institute, Cambridge. Peter has published several articles and is still
active within the Polar academic community.
Category: Biography/Polar History/Local History
Publisher: Polar Publishing Ltd in association with
the Scott Polar Research Institute
ISBN: 978-0-9548003-1-4 Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9548003-2-1 Limited Edition Hardback
Publication date: 7 June 2008
Format: 210 x 148 mm, 144 pages
Illustrations: 4 pp colour plate section, 28 b&w
Price: £12.99 paperback, £25 limited edition
Available from bookshops or direct from the Scott Polar
Tel: (+44) 1223 336540 or Website: www.spri.cam.ac.uk/shop/books/