Horace Edgar Buckridge
(1877 - 1961) - Biographical notes

Laboratory Assistant - Discovery 1901-04


Horace Buckridge and pups Joined at Capetown, returned to Lyttleton on the Morning in 1903.

Horace Edgar Buckridge sailed to Australia  from England. When in Australia, he joined the "NSW Imperial Bushmens Unit" as a volunteer for a year. He sailed out with them to fight in the 2nd Boer War. While in south Africa, his year with them came to an end.

He met the Discovery team at Simons Bay, Capetown and joined them to go to the South Pole.

While on the Discovery Expedition, he was commended by Scott for saving someone's life.

He also had his first acting part in "Ticket of Leave" which was performed there, for the entertainment of the crew.

    Ticket of Leave.

    Adapted version of a Victorian farce entitled A Ticket-of-Leave, by Watts Phillips (Clyde, Ohio: Ames & Holgate, c. 1862). Perf. Gilbert Scott, Frank Wild, and Horace Buckridge.

    The Royal Terror Theatre, Ross Island, Antarctica. 25 June 1902. Believed to be the first play performed in Antarctica, "Ticket of Leave" was presented on a makeshift stage in Discovery Hut (christened "The Royal Terror Theatre" for the occasion), Ross Island, on 25 June 1902. The cast included Horace Buckridge as Mrs Quiver, Frank Wild as Mr Quiver, and Gilbert Scott as Mary Ann the housemaid. The play was hailed as a "screaming comedy" and considered a "great success" by its enthusiastic (and captive) audience. Pages from the script were found in rubbish around Discovery Hut during its restoration in 1963-64. The programme for the evening is held in the archives of Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand.

He left the Discovery in March 1903 and returned to Lyttleton, NZ on the ship Morning having found his time on the Discovery, boring and monotonous. He joined a captain Voss on the crew of the Tilikum, an "Indian war canoe", 4 tons in weight, 82 feet long and 6 feet beam, that had already sailed 12,870 miles and was intent on going around the world. He gave a number of lectures about his experiences in Antarctica while on this vessel.

Horace then commissioned the building of his own Yacht called the "Kia Ora", 22 foot long and 2.5 tons in weight. He set sail in the Kia Ora on the 14th of October 1903 intending to go around the world in the manner of Voss and the Tilikum, with another ship mate Sowden (who had  no experience). Somewhere around the Chatham Islands Horace suffered an injury aboard the yacht, Sowden did nothing to help and Horace subsequently died on the 7th of December 1903 aged 27. He was buried at sea.

    An inquiry held at Lisburne (N. Z.) concerning the death of Horace Buckridge, who died on the Yacht Kia Ora, while attempting to make a voyage to London from New Zealand 'I he court came to the conclusion that the account by Sowden, the survivor, of the circumstances attending Buckridge's death, was extraordinary and unsatisfactory.

Details provided by Yvonne Lawrence, Horace Buckridge's great, great niece.


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