Edwin Florence - Biographical Notes

Chief cook - Scottish Antarctic Expedition 1902-04


The Scotia at Laurie IslandEdwin Florence was 28 at the beginning of the expedition, He was taken on initially as chief cook, later promoted to first steward at Buenos Aires in January 1904.

address: 22 Queen Street, Peterhead.

Born December 6th, 1872 in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He died February 10, 1945 in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, Canada.

He was one of seven known children of James Florence and Mary Falconer. His father was a blacksmith in Peterhead.

Edwin married Jessie Stewart Thomson on March 1, 1899 in St. Nicholas, Aberdeen. Jessie was born on December 9th, 1874 and died May 1st, 1971 in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. They had six children, all born in Peterhead.

The following history was written by Edwin's daughter, Ann Hutcheson Florence Young:

    Edwin Florence spent most of his younger years on sailing ships and on whaling ships in the Antarctic. He is known to have been a crew member on the ship 'Scotia' during the Scottish Antarctic Expedition at the turn of the 20th Century. He sailed from Kilmarnock, Scotland, 1903.

    It is known that prior to his settling in Canada, he sailed northern waters - to Iceland, Jutland, the Skageratt and the Baltic Sea. This could have been connected with fishing trawlers.

    His collected artifacts and stories come from his calls in Rangoon, Hong Kong and Sierra Leone.

    Since he was in San Francisco near the time of the 1906 earthquake, it is thought that his rounding of the Horn was at about this time. He then returned to Scotland.

    Edwin Florence came to Canada about 1910, working on the Canadian National Railway construction at Fort William, Ontario, Canada.

    Sioux Lookout, Ontario, was his final choice. He established a bakery shop in 1918. His wife and children emigrated from Scotland in 1920. He retired in 1935.


    My great grandfather was Edwin Florence, on the Bruce expedition. My father had a camera supposedly from that expedition, and turned it in to the Sioux Lookout museum. Enjoyed your information. - Bob Uren.



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