ALEXANDER HEPBURNE MACKLIN (1889-1967)
A collection of autograph manuscript notes and an autograph draft paper on the 'Health of a Polar Expedition', drawing on the experience of the Endurance party, n.p., n.d. [?September 1916 and later], including sketches of designs for mittens, a 'Sledging Medical Case' and a sledge, in pen and pencil, the drafts mainly on paper with printed heading of William Cooper & Nephews, Punta Arenas, Chile, one leaf with heading of 'S.Y. Endurance', two with heading of I.T.A.E., two leaves with stamp of 'Medical officer, "C" Battalion, Heavy Branch M.G.C.', one leaf bearing Macklin signature, altogether approximately 42 pages, 8vo and 4to, notes, approximately 45 pages, 4to, draft.
Alexander Hepburne Macklin (1889-1967), and thence by descent to the present owners.
Medical notes and advice for Polar travel: Macklin notes that the medical aspect of Antarctic travel 'has not been sufficiently investigated. Only in rare cases has a surgeon who has visited Polar Regions on an Expedition returned on another, with the result that medical equipment has tended to follow the original lines ... I recall my own feelings when I was called upon to prepare a Medical Equipment of an Expedition -- not having had any previous experience'; Macklin's paper aims to correct this defect for the benefit of future expeditions. Divided into two parts, 'Prevention of Disease' and 'Polar Ailments & Treatment', it considers first the ideal conditions for polar travel, including food, clothing, entertainment (books, music), cleanliness, and second the particular health problems that typically arise: constipation, rheumatic pains, septic conditions, frostbite and scurvy. Separate sections consider at length the varieties of clothing necessary and the size and composition of a suitable medical kit. Macklin's medical notes and recommendations are at all times closely based upon his experiences with the Endurance party, and make frequent references to particular incidents, for example the dangers of frostbite when gloves are impregnated with oil after flensing seals, the 'distressing' effect of haemorrhoids ('Imagine the condition of a man performing the same necessary act in a blizzard with the temperature about 0°F if he has haemorrhoids'), memories of performing the amputation of Blackbarrow's gangrened toes in the boat-hut at Elephant Island ('An operating table was made by putting 8 small packing cases together. The hut was warmed by burning penguin skins...')
Macklin was one of two surgeons with the Ross Sea Party -- the other was Dr J.A. McIlroy. From the use of paper acquired at Punta Arenas, it is evident that Macklin began working on the present notes shortly after the Elephant Island party's arrival there on 3 September 1916, though he clearly continued to work on the paper during his active service in France the following year.