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 Lost Ships - The Franklin Expedition

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brum
FM
FM


Number of posts : 2808
Age : 75
Localisation : Sandbach Cheshire
Cap Badge : RA/QOH
Places Served : JLRRA (Hereford) Nienburg Paderborn Colchester Munster Maresfield (Cyprus) Hohne Hemer Op Banner x4 Woolwich
Registration date : 2010-03-02

PostSubject: Re: Lost Ships - The Franklin Expedition   17/2/2013, 12:33

ritter wrote:
BAOR(27CIB)
Brum et al,
Thank you for alerting me to your discovery of the unique memorial in a local churchyard dedicated to John Hornby with the captive words," Died in the Polar regions, May 1927". These words by themselves serve to challenge our inquisitive natures and demand that we pursue the outcome of this story. Brum, you turned to Wikipedia and your lead prompted me to do the same. John Hornby is a name almost totally unknown to most people which is surprising as he was the subject of a novel, several documentaries, some dramatic productions, and finally a movie. The story about Hornby(1880-1927) begins with his military service to his country in WW1 where he was decorated and which was followed by his disillusionment with the shallow and civilized lifestyles of his country following the war. He becomes attracted to a moral alternative by emigrating to Canada where he gravitates to the lifestyle of an explorer in the subarctic region of the North West Territory. After a number of years, he returns to England to attend his father's funeral and while there he meets a young teenage second cousin, Edgar Christian. Christian becomes enthralled and captivated by his Great Uncle's adventures and lifestyle in the wilds of Canada. Hornby totally wins over his nephew and convinces him with his parental approval to return to Canada with him in April 1926. Together they start moving North from Edmonton, Alberta and along the way they add a third member to their party, Harold Adlard who is also seeking adventure. Hornby explains his mission to spend the approaching winter in an idyllic site on the northerly edge of the tree line in the sub polar region of the NWT. Hornby is convinced that they will be able to subsist in one of the harshest climates by hunting and fishing. His infallible theory is that their chosen site is on one of the migratory routes of the caribou. While travelling further North the party meet a prospector who is known to Hornby. After listening to Hornby's explanation of his mission, the prospector warns Christian and Adlard not to do it and leaves them with the unstated axiom that, " Failing to plan is planning to fail".
For the foreboding climax to this tale look for the next installment.
Thanks, Brum
Ritter


You're welcome Ritter,
Looking at my spreadsheet I was surprised to see that Walter Hornby was a Private in the Australian Army. It allways strikes me as funny that a lot of men from the middle classes were content to serve in the ranks in WW1.
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ritter
Maj
Maj


Number of posts : 265
Age : 87
Localisation : North Huron Township, ON,Canada
Cap Badge : Royal Canadian Artillery
Places Served : CFB Valcartier, CFB Borden, AFVR Meaford, Ipperwash, CAN; Hannover, Putlos; 21 Fd Regt RCA(M)
Registration date : 2011-07-09

PostSubject: Re: Lost Ships - The Franklin Expedition   19/2/2013, 21:47

BAOR


Final Installment- Epitaph for the John Hornby Tragic Tale
Part A
The finale to this fascinating story takes place along a stretch of the Thelon River in the NWT of Canada in 1927/28. The Thelon River is 900 Km long having its source from White Fish Lake and travelling northwest where it empties into Hudson's Bay at Chesterfield Inlet in the Polar North. The site which Hornby selected to overwinter is an idyllic section of the Thelon which is located on the tree line in the NWT. The tree line which is shown on maps is not really a line; think of it as a band possibly as wide as a 100 miles or more. It is an area where nature is perpetually at war trying to establish a no man's land between the permafrost on the northern side and the global warming forces of the tree line in the south.

When one studies the selected site in the picture above one can understand how this tranquil and seemingly benign place in the tree line could mesmerize one into believing that there could be no danger lurking here. However, further study of this picture reveals that the spruce trees shown are sparse and stunted, characteristics of the tree line. Furthermore, Hornby was familiar with the site from earlier visits and convinced himself that it was just the right site to defend his thesis that one could overwinter here by resorting to hunting and fishing to supplement their stockpile of provisions which he deemed to be adequate. He was, of course, counting on the annual migration of the caribou which he knew passed through this location regularly. The reader should also be aware that Hornby was no novice in survival skills. Many years of polar experience had earned him the title as the , "Wild man of the North" and he was arrogant enough to believe it.
However, when Hornby and his young nephew, Edgar Christian, left England in April 1926 they were already late in attempting to prove his overwintering hypothesis.

John Hornby

Edgar Christian
By the time the three explorers reached Edmonton they still had over 1000km of travel with fully laden canoes via rivers and lakes involving portaging before reaching the Thelon River site. Their supplies included a wood stove shown below.

Hornby had directed his nephew to keep a journal of their adventure. A journal entry indicates that they arrived at the site in late Sep or early Oct 1927. The party spent the first two months building a rudimentary cabin along with a small storehouse for their provisions.
Part B to follow, The Journal
Ritter
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ritter
Maj
Maj


Number of posts : 265
Age : 87
Localisation : North Huron Township, ON,Canada
Cap Badge : Royal Canadian Artillery
Places Served : CFB Valcartier, CFB Borden, AFVR Meaford, Ipperwash, CAN; Hannover, Putlos; 21 Fd Regt RCA(M)
Registration date : 2011-07-09

PostSubject: Re: Lost Ships - The Franklin Expedition   19/2/2013, 23:24

BAOR

Part B The Journal
The journal which recorded the chilling and gruesome details of the next eight months from Nov 1927-Jun 1928 serves to complete this legacy far better than a narration of the climax. Only the most significant details of the entries are recorded here.
25 Oct 1927 " 1st blizzard, lasted 4 days"
Nov -Dec 1927 entries reveal that they were already short of food
Jan 1927 " temperature dropped to -54 degrees F "
11 Feb 1928 "Hope to God we get caribou soon as nothing seems to get in traps
and flour is nearly gone and we are grovlling around for rotten fish"
16 Feb 1928 "We have 12 cups of flour and 20 lbs of sugar and hides for food"
Mar 1928 "Killed one more Caribou"
17 Apr 1928 "At 6:45 last evening poor Jack passed peacefully away. Until that
minute I remained the same but then I was a wreck. Harold good pal was a
Marvel in Helping me and things a little straight for the night. We both are very
weak but were more cheery and determined tp pull through and go out to let the
World know of the last days of the finest Man I have Ever known"
4 May 1928 " Harold Adlard took to his bed to never rise again"
18 May 1928 " Saw three robins and a swan sign of spring"
1 Jun 1928 " Got out- too weak and all in now. Let Things Late"
End of Journal
Just prior to his death, Edgar wrote four words on a piece of paper which he left on
the cold stove. "Who Look In Stove". He then placed his journal on the
cold ashes in the stove, covered himself up with his red Hudson Bay
blanket and waited to die. It was almost a year later in the summer of 1929 that
a party of prospectors investigated the cabin. The skeletal remains of two adults wrapped in blankets and canvass were found outside the cabin and a third body inside.
On 8 Aug 1929 Sergeant C. Trundle an inspector for the Great Slave Lake Region
of the NWT reported a grisly scene in a rundown cabin on the banks of the Thelon
River. An ironic observation was made in the report that the ground outside the
cabin was full of tunnels and warrens. Excrement of caribou was also found on the
site.

The rundown cabin and the three crosses over the graves are all that remain in the oasis of tranquility on the Thelon River.
Research sources: "Unflinching: A diary of Tragic Adventure"
" Thelon: A River Sanctuary" by David F. Pelly.


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ritter
Maj
Maj


Number of posts : 265
Age : 87
Localisation : North Huron Township, ON,Canada
Cap Badge : Royal Canadian Artillery
Places Served : CFB Valcartier, CFB Borden, AFVR Meaford, Ipperwash, CAN; Hannover, Putlos; 21 Fd Regt RCA(M)
Registration date : 2011-07-09

PostSubject: Re: Lost Ships - The Franklin Expedition   20/2/2013, 14:19

BAOR(27CIB)
Postscript to Part A The Final Installment to the Hornby Legend
Oops, The Thelon River runs northeast into Hudson's Bay at Chesterfield Inlet
Ritter
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brum
FM
FM


Number of posts : 2808
Age : 75
Localisation : Sandbach Cheshire
Cap Badge : RA/QOH
Places Served : JLRRA (Hereford) Nienburg Paderborn Colchester Munster Maresfield (Cyprus) Hohne Hemer Op Banner x4 Woolwich
Registration date : 2010-03-02

PostSubject: Re: Lost Ships - The Franklin Expedition   22/2/2013, 07:49


I've enjoyed reading that Ritter.
So much, from just a few words on a gravestone !
Thanks.
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ritter
Maj
Maj


Number of posts : 265
Age : 87
Localisation : North Huron Township, ON,Canada
Cap Badge : Royal Canadian Artillery
Places Served : CFB Valcartier, CFB Borden, AFVR Meaford, Ipperwash, CAN; Hannover, Putlos; 21 Fd Regt RCA(M)
Registration date : 2011-07-09

PostSubject: Re: Lost Ships - The Franklin Expedition   22/8/2013, 23:00

BAOR(27CIB)
   Attention Brum  et al,
   Resurrection of the  Lee Enfield Rifle by the Canadian Rangers
   Continuing Searches for the lost RN ships, HMS Erebus &  HMS Terror (the Franklin Story)
The following news story by the Canadian Press on 21 Aug 2013 about PM  Harper's recent visit to    Nunavut in the Canadian  Arctic will be of interest as  deals with the resurrection of a famed British Rifle from antiquity by the Canadian Rangers.   As well,  PM Harper  promises continuing searches for the two ships lost on the  ill fated Franklin Expedition.
 photo d38d89b5-f304-466d-89d9-7949c7fc3f6a.jpg
RitterEmblemNewcolour_zpsafbf9b0e-1 photo RitterEmblemNewcolour_zpsafbf9b0e-1-1_zpsb0fe0c2c.jpg
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Hardrations
Let Gen
Let Gen


Number of posts : 1017
Localisation : Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Cap Badge : RC Sigs (RTG Op) / CF Logistics (Cook)
Places Served : Germany, Egypt, Cyprus, CFS Alert and some other strange places
Registration date : 2007-12-16

PostSubject: Re: Lost Ships - The Franklin Expedition   23/8/2013, 04:47

The bugger was using a modified .303. The covering fore stock had been removed, making it a floating barrel. Stupid gint is busy hiding in the north from all his problems in Ottawa. Typical conservative P.M. Sooner sell out than stand up for anything Canadian.
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PostSubject: Re: Lost Ships - The Franklin Expedition   Today at 05:43

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