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John Henry Collinson
Close F.R.G.S. (40)
"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
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?
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