Northern party at cape adare

Dickason, Harry - Able Seaman
(1884 - 1943) - Biographical notes

Able Seaman, R.N. - Terra Nova 1910-13

Harry Dickason
December 1884 - December 3rd 1943

Harry Dickason was most probably born in Clifton, Bristol, England, the record is not entirely clear. He became a mariner aged 16 in 1900 and joined the navy at Chatham, Kent at the age of 18.

In Antarctica on the Terra Nova expedition, he was part of the Northern Party under Campbell, they spent one planned winter away from the main expedition base in a hut at Cape Adare and another unplanned winter in an ice cave when the party could not be picked up due to heavy sea ice. He came up with a "blubber lamp" along with Browning to light the otherwise pitch black living quarters which was fuelled by fat from the few penguins and seals they managed to capture through the winter.

Dickason also took part in an ascent of Mount Erebus.

Abbott, Campbell and Dickason after thier winter in an ice cave on Inexpressible Island

Abbott, Campbell and Dickason after their winter in an ice cave on Inexpressible Island

Frank Debenham, Raymond E Priestley, Thomas S Williamson, and Harry Dickason

l to r, Frank Debenham, Raymond E Priestley, Thomas S Williamson, and Harry Dickason
Cape Royds 1912

Northern Party Cape Evans on the 6th 
							of November 1912 Dickason, Abbott, Browning, 
							Campbell, Priestley, Levick The Northern Party arrived at Cape Evans on the 6th of November 1912
l to r: Dickason, Abbott, Browning, Campbell, Priestley, Levick

Dickason served with the Royal Navy in WW1 as a Petty Officer being transferred to a Q-ship, an armed decoy boat designed to bring U-boats to the surface where they would raise the white ensign and attack the out-gunned U-boat.

he was pensioned by the Royal Navy in 1924 and died in 1943, he received the Polar Medal for his time in Antarctica.

Harry Dickason family history page here

References to Harry Dickason by Cherry-Garrard in "The Worst Journey in the World"

  • The cave is lighted up with three or four small blubber lamps, which give a soft yellow light. At one end lie Campbell, Dickason and myself in our sleeping-bags, resting after the day's work, and, opposite to us, on a raised dais formed by a portion of the floor not yet levelled, Levick, Browning and Abbott sit discussing their seal hoosh, while the primus hums cheerily under the cooker containing the coloured water which served with us instead of cocoa.
    Priestley's diary

  • This oven was found to be not quite level, and in a corner a pool of old blood, water and scraps of meat had collected. This and a tainted hoosh which they did not have the strength of mind to throw away in their hungry condition, seems to have caused the outbreak, which was severe. Browning and Dickason were especially bad.

  • Dickason was half crippled with dysentery when they started, but improved.

  • It was an uneventful trip, Debenham said, and very harmonious: the best trip he had down there. Both Debenham and Dickason suffered from mountain sickness, however, and they were the two smokers!
    of the ascent of Mt. Erebus

Landmarks named after Harry Dickason

Feature Name: Mount Dickason
Latitude: 74° 24' 00.0" S
Longitude: 163° 58' 00.0" E
A mountain, about 2133m high, lying west-south-westward of Mt Melbourne, at the head of the Boomerang Glacier in Victoria Land. First charted by the Northern Party, led by Campbell, of the BAE, 1910-13. Named by Campbell for Seaman Harry Dickason, RN, who was a member of the Northern Party.

Other Crew of the Terra Nova Expedition

Abbot, George Percy - Petty Officer, R.N.  - 1, 2, N
Atkinson, Edward L. - R.N. - surgeon, parasitologist - 1, 2, D, P, S
Balson, Albert  - Leading seaman, R.N.- 1, 2
Bowers, Henry Robertson - Lieutenant - 1, 2, D, C, Po
Browning, Frank Vernon - Petty Officer  - 1, 2, N
Campbell, Victor - Lieutenant, R.N.  - 1, 2, N
Cheetham, Alfred B. - Boatswain (Bosun), R.N.R.
Cherry-Garrard, Apsley - Assistant zoologist - 1, 2, D, C, S
Crean, Tom - petty officer, R.N. - 1, 2, D, P, S
, Frank - Geologist - 1, 2, iW, iiW
Dickason, Harry - Able Seaman  - 1, 2, N
Evans, Edgar - petty officer, R.N. - 1, iW, Po
, Edward R.G.R. - Lieutenant, R.N. "Teddy Evans" - second in command, and Captain of the Terra Nova - 1, D, P
Girev (Geroff), Dmitriy - Dog driver - 1, 2, D, P, S

Gran, Tryggve - ski expert - 1, 2, D, iiW, S
Lashly, William - chief stoker, R.N. - 1, 2, P, S
Levick, G. Murray - Surgeon, R.N.  - 1, 2, N
Lillie, Dennis Gascoigne - Biologist on the ship
McLeod, Thomas F. - Able seaman - 1, 2
, Cecil H. - in charge of dogs - 1, D, P
, Lawrence - Capt. 6th Iniskilling Dragoons - 1, D, Po
, Herbert G. - Camera artist - 1
Priestley, Raymond E. - Geologist  - 1, 2, N
, Anton - Groom - 1
Scott, Robert Falcon - Commander, R.N. - Expedition leader - 1, D, Po
Simpson, George - Meteorologist - 1
Taylor, T. Griffith - Geologist - 1, iW, iiW
Wilson, Edward Adrian - chief of scientific staff and biologist - 1, D, C, Po
Wright, Charles Seymour - Physicist - 1, 2, iW, P, S

1 - first winter
2 - second winter
iW - first western party
iiW - second western party
N - northern party

D - depot laying for south pole journey
P - south pole party
C - winter journey to Cape Crozier
S - search party for south Pole party
- reached South Pole

Biographical information - I am concentrating on the Polar experiences of the men involved. Any further information or pictures visitors may have will be gratefully received. Please email  - Paul Ward, webmaster.

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