Celebrating Catford’s Antarctic Explorer


On Saturday 10th September, a Lewisham Council plaque will be unveiled to mark the Catford residence of Captain William Colbeck (1871–1930). Captain Colbeck moved to 51 Inchmery Road in 1913, following an adventurous career at sea, which included
• being a member of the first expedition to spend a whole year on the Antarctic continent (The Southern Cross expedition, 1898–1900)
• travelling further south than anyone previously (to 78° 50’, on 17 February 1900), with the Norwegian leader of the expedition, Carsten Borchgrevink
• bringing food and fuel supplies to Captain Scott and his men on the ice-bound Discovery in 1903, and again in 1904
• helping to release the Discovery from the ice, by blasting open an 18-mile passage to the open sea
The plaque has been funded by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT) and the Culverley Green Residents’ Association. It will be unveiled by Dr Kevin Fewster, Director of the National Maritime Museum. Also present will be Camilla Nichol, Chief Executive of the UKAHT, and Heidi Alexander, MP, along with descendants of Captain Colbeck and other figures from the Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration.
This will be the third plaque in Lewisham to an Antarctic explorer, joining Sir James Clark Ross in Blackheath and Sir Ernest Shackleton in Sydenham. The borough can thus boast a record three of the six Antarctic plaques in London.
Official unveiling:
51 Inchmery Road, Catford, SE6 2NA
Saturday 10 September 2016


About Author

I am a retired carer with nine years of experience as layout editor of a local magazine in Somerset. I now live in Catford with my partner.

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