Thursday 30 January 2020

A Plaque to Edward Bransfield RN

At 11 Clifton Road.

The plaque was unveiled by Deputy Mayor Cllr Alan Robins with
Rear Admiral Richard John Lippiett CB, CBE, DL, in attendance. 

Music by Salvation Army musicians

Guard of Honour

200 years to the day that Edward Bransfield became the first known person to glimpse and chart part of the Antarctic continent a plaque has been unveiled at his one-time residence, 11 Clifton Terrace. This follows the unveiling, on 25 January, of a memorial at Bransfield's birthplace, Ballinacurra, near Midleton, Cork. See below.

At Ballinacurra

His 2 year expedition in command of the 216 ton merchant vessel Williams is remarkable for being accomplished without loss of life even though Bransfield, then in Valpariso, had been ordered by the Admiralty to sail at short notice, and none of his crew were equipped for icy weather. His remarkable achievements was recognised by later explorers by the naming of Bransfield Strait and Bransfield Basin in his honour.

Bransfield's achievements had for many years been overshadowed by controversy over whether he or the Russian explorer Bellingshausen were the first to discover the Antarctic mainland but this has recently been resolved by author Rip Bulkeley, who following an exhaustive study of the Russian expedition concluded: “Bellingshausen was not the first commander to see the Antarctic mainland.” 

With the unveiling of these two memorials Edward Bransfield's important place in the annals of Antarctic Exploration is finally recognised.

Edward is buried in the Brighton Extra-Mural Cemetery.

Read more.

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