Harold Arthur Argles - Biographical Notes

Stoker - Shackleton - Rowett Expedition Quest 1921-1922


Harold Argles in 1928Harold Arthur Argles (Dec 15th 1899 - May 20th 1929)

    "My great uncle, Harold Arthur Argles joined the crew of the Quest at Rio de Janeiro in the 1921-22 Shackleon-Rowett expedition.

    H.A. Argles was born Dec. 15, 1899 in Omaha, Nebraska to Cdn. parents, Toronto was his hometown. He signed up in 1916 and was a pilot for the RAF during the Great War. After the war, he was a pilot in New York where he demonstrated a plane for Hubert Wilkins who was looking for planes for polar expeditions. When Wilkins was asked by Shackleton to join his Quest expedition, Argles followed and caught up to the ship at Rio de Janeiro.

    After the Shackleton expedition, Argles was a pilot in New York city. He was also navigator for Mabel Boll's failed 1928 trans Atlantic crossing (Earhart succeeded in being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic) Argles died in a plane crash 1929 while instructing a student at Long Island New York.

    Argles is mentioned both in 'Shackleton's Last Voyage'' and in Wild's report to the Royal Geographical Society. We have a physical copy of "Shackleton's Last Voyage" which belonged to H.A.Argles' sister, my grandmother."

    The Story of the 'Quest'" shows p48 "Whilst at Rio a change was made in the personnel. Eriksen returned home, and three new men were taken on: Young and Argles as stokers, and Naisbitt as cook's mate; p83 Wild refers to Ross and Young acting as firemen, and Argles as trimmer. It appears Argles and Young (and Ross) had something to do with the engines.

    Also, on p327 Wild thanks the following crew members for help with the geological surveys"
    Capt. G.H. Wilkins, M.C., F.R.G.S.
    Major C.R. Carr, D.F.C.
    MMessrs. Dell, Argles and Marr.

    Argles was also an experienced WW1 pilot. Since Shackleton intended to use an airplane on this expedition, Argle's knowledge and skills as a pilot would have been helpful.

    Anne Smith


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