In 1946 a young doctor, "Doc" Butson, sailed from England as part of a British Antarctic survey of the Antarctic Peninsula, that mountainous peninsula 1,000 miles long that projects north towards the southern tip of South America. For sixteen months he kept a daily diary which is reproduced here, illustrated with photographs.
It recounts the relationship with a nearby American expedition and the 12 hour rescue of an American who had fallen 106 feet into a crevasse at night in mid-winter, seven miles from the base huts and 2,000 feet up a glacier.
It recounts the crash of a small aircraft in a blizzard and the three occupants having to walk for over a week on foot in deep slushy sea ice for eighty miles before being picked up.
It recounts the thrill of seeing an unknown coastline. It describes the mapping of the coast – long before satellite mapping and the Global Position Systems.
It describes the adventures and fun of husky dog travel and the antics of penguins. It records some inter-personal conflicts and what makes for harmonious relationships.
Above left: The Albert Medal that Dr. Butson received from H.M. King George VI in 1948. He received the George Cross in 1972 from H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and his Albert Medal was donated to Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, England, where it is on display today.
Above right: Dr. Butson outside the Base Hut.
Related book by Dr. Butson's father: