Seaman - Discovery 1901-04
George Vince is the first man to have lost his
life in McMurdo Sound, he was one of a party of nine men who had
caught out in a blizzard during an excursion from the Discovery.
Instead of staying where they were and waiting for the storm to end,
they decided to try to make their way back to the ship.
Vince was wearing fur-soled boots with very little
grip and wandered onto a snow slope which he slipped down before
falling over the cliffs at their end into the sea. The slope was
later known as "Danger Slopes", his body was never recovered. He is
commemorated by a wooden cross erected by the crew and men of the
Discovery that is maintained to this day by the near-by New Zealand
and US bases in McMurdo Sound.
"Tuesday, March 11, was to be one
of our blackest days in the Antarctic.... From the moment when he
joined us at the Cape of Good Hope, Vince had been popular with all;
always obliging and always cheerful, I learnt that he had never
shown these qualities more markedly that during the short sledge
journey which brought him to his untimely end. His pleasant face and
ready wit served to dispel the thought of the hardship and
difficulty to the end. Life was a bright thing to him, and it is
something to think that death must have come quickly in the grip of
that icy sea."
George T Vince memorial cross at McMurdo
Photo courtesy Dog Stoneback