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ERNEST EDWARD MILLS JOYCE (1875-1940)

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ERNEST EDWARD MILLS JOYCE (1875-1940)

Prospectus for The South African Antarctic Expedition 1930-1932, typed document, 4 pages, 4to, stapeled at upper left corner (first page detached).

'Captain Joyce is organising an Expedition for the purpose of exploring the South African Quadrant of the Antarctic, and in particular, those regions... between Enderby Land and Coats Land'. Joyce appealed to South African patrons to fund an expedition which he viewed not only as one of scientific discovery, but as an 'urgent necessity', given the scientific and commercial benefits to be gained from exploring the Antarctic regions and the competitive interests of other nations. In this prospectus, Joyce lays out his five objectives: to survey mineral deposits, including gold; to 'thoroughly investigate the whaling question' and to track the migration of whales; to find guana and phosphates; 'to carry out a complete oceanographical survey', and to 'map and survey the whole of this Quadrant by means of aerial and land expeditions'.

A Polar veteran, Joyce had taken part in Scott's Discovery expedition of 1901-4 and on Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition of 1907-9 had been in charge of provisions and dogs on the Nimrod. Joyce's prospectus opens with a list of his credentials, including his last Antarctic expedition as part of the Ross Sea depot-laying party during the British Imperial Transantarctic Expedition of 1914-17; he was one of three depot-layers to survive. The proposed South African expedition apparently did not take place, surely a great disappointment to Joyce, who in 1939, at the age of 64, was still keen to explore, 'Given the chance to join an expedition, I'd be off like a shot... I suppose I shall have to be satisfied with my memories' (People, May 28, 1939, quoted in Kelly Tyler-Lewis, The Lost Men, London, 2006).
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