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John Henry Collinson Close (1871 - 1942) - Biographical notes

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John Henry Collinson Close F.R.G.S. (40)
 Mawson 1911-1914 Assistant Collector

"His service history has become somewhat garbled on some websites, here is a better synopsis:

Enlisted in BSAP (British South Africa Police - Rhodes own private army for control of Rhodesia) during the Matabele revolt 1896 awarded British South African Co medal with  clasp Rhodesia 1896

He was possibly a Jamieson raider?

Enlisted Kitchener’s Fighting Scouts during the Boer war as a Squadron Sergeant Major

CLOSE, John Henry 120 Sqn. Sergeant Major 1st Kitchener's Fighting Scouts WO127/12 Extract (Colin Roe) Roll Images

Awarded Queens South African Medal (QSA) and clasps Tvl, OFS and CC

 After the Boer War he was teaching physical culture in Sydney.

An Antarctic expeditioner with Sir Douglas Mawson from 1912-1914, Close was a member of the Main Base Party (Adelie Land) and several sledging parties.

He spent two summers and one winter in the Antarctic.

In one of the sledging journeys, Close was instrumental in saving his own life and that of his two companions, Frank Stillwell and Charles Laseron. The group were about to enjoy a hot breakfast at 'Aladdin's Cave' - a shelter dug out of the snow on the plateau above Cape Denison - when Stillwell and Laseron suddenly collapsed unconscious. Realising that accumulating carbon monoxide was threatening their lives, Close thrust an ice axe through the snow blocking the cave's entrance before blacking out himself. The deadly gas escaped through the small hole, allowing the three men to regain consciousness and make a slow recovery.

Polar Medal – clasp  ANTARCTIC 1912 – 14 The Museum of Victoria holds his medals and Memorabilia."

With thanks to David Deasey

Landmarks named after John H. Close

Feature Name: Close Islands
Feature Type: island
Latitude: 6701S
Longitude: 14427E
Description: A cluster of about three small islands lying in the western part of the entrance to Buchanan Bay. Discovered by the AAE (1911-l4) under Douglas Mawson.

John Close (left) on deck with an albatross and Charles Harrisson

Biographical information - This is a difficult area to research, I am concentrating on the Polar experiences of the men involved. Any further information or pictures visitors may have is gratefully received. Please email  - Paul Ward, webmaster.
What are the chances that my ancestor was an unsung part of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration?
Douglas Mawson Books and Print

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Mawson's Will : The Greatest Polar Survival Story Ever Written Lennard Bickel
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The Home of the Blizzard Being the Story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914
Home of the Blizzard
Douglas Mawson
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Racing with Death: Douglas Mawson - Antarctic Explorer
Racing with Death: Douglas Mawson - Antarctic Explorer - Beau Riffenburgh
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This Everlasting Silence: The Love Letters of Paquita Delprat and Douglas Mawson, 1911-1914
This Everlasting Silence
The Love Letters of Paquita Delprat and Douglas Mawson
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Portrait of Sir Douglas Mawson
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Shackleton's 1914-17 Trans-Antarctica Expedition on Twitter - follow us now to get the story 100 years to the day later. @danthewhaler

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Lonely Planet travel guide Antarctica
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Frozen Planet
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The Endurance - Shackleton's Legendary Expedition
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