George Francis Arthur Mulock
(1882 - 1963) - Biographical notes

Third lieutenant in charge of holds, stores, provisions and deep sea water analysis Discovery 1901-04

George Mulock took over from Ernest Shackleton on the event of the latter's early departure from the Discovery expedition in 1903. Mulock was a sub-lieutenant in the Navy and only 21 at the time of joining the expedition from HMS Triton where he had been surveyor.

    The following biographical sketch is kindly provided by Mr. R.B.D. Hughes Chairman of the Mulock Heritage Council:

    Captain GEORGE FRANCIS ARTHUR MULOCK, FRGS, DSO, RN, RD, RNR was born in Fleetwood, Lancashire in February 1882 and educated at Stanmore Park and HMS Britannia (BRNC Dartmouth). Of an Anglo-Irish family Mulock was a cousin to Sir William Mulock KCMG, PC (1843 - 1944) Canadian Postmaster-General, Air Commodore Redford H "Red" Mulock CBE, DSO & bar, RNAS, RCAF, Canada's WWI Air Ace and Mr Richard Mullock, first manager of the Welsh Rugby Team and "Father of the Welsh Rugby Union".

    As a sub-lieutenant he was appointed to the relief ship Morning, attached to Scott's National Antarctic Expedition, 1901 - 04, transferring to the shore party in March 1903 in exchange for Ernest H Shackleton, many reasons for this change of personnel have been muted, but Mulock had qualified in marine surveying while serving in HMS Triton and was a more competent Cartographer & Surveyor. In addition to survey work, Mulock was given primary responsibility for holds, stores, provisions and deep-sea water analysis.

    Mulock was just 21 when he transferred to Discovery, although her Chief Engineer, Lt Reginald Skelton was less than impressed. "Mulock is distinctly peculiar for such a youngster, a mixture of sulkiness, attempts at sarcasm, great readiness to take offence where none is meant, a little conceit." In September 1903 he accompanied Lt Michael Barne on what was to be a ten-week southern journey to explore an inlet of the Western Mountains; weather and surface conditions drove them back soon after they had reached Barne Glacier. The temperature fell to -67.7 Fahrenheit and Seaman Ernest E. Joyce got badly frost-bitten feet. The situation grew so serious that Barne and Mulock took turns to hold them against the pits of their stomachs and knead the ankles for several hours, saving his feet from certain amputation.

    Scott had a very high opinion of Mulock's abilities and initiative, frequently recording praise of him in his diaries. In his written account of the expedition, Captain R F Scott wrote "Mulock was then only twenty-one years of age but...having a natural bent for his work, his services proved invaluable". On the return of the expedition, King Edward VII awarded the Silver Polar Medal Mulock and the Admiralty lent him to the Royal Geographical Society for a year to complete the compilation of the survey. His results were published by the society in 1908 as The Charts of the Discovery expedition and in the same year he received the coveted Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society

    In 1907, Scott approached Mulock, Barne and Skelton about the possibility of another expedition. Then on the 12th February, Shackleton announced that he had secured £30,000 and was to attempt to go south. Shackleton wrote to Mulock asking him to become expedition surveyor & cartographer, although flattered to be asked, Mulock declined on account of a gentleman's agreement with Captain Scott. Correspondence between Mulock and Shackleton is held at the Scott Polar Research Institute

    During the First World War, he served with distinction in the Gallipoli campaign, as Beach Master at Cape Helles and Sulva Bay, receiving the Distinguished Service Order for his gallantry. By late 1916, Mulock had been advanced to Commander and was made Captain of HMS Bee, a river gunboat of the Aphis-Class in the China Squadron. In 1920 he retired from the Royal Navy after 25 years service and joined the Asiatic Petroleum Co. as Marine Superintendent at Shanghai.

    At the outbreak of the Second World War, Mulock was re-activated and advanced to Captain. Due to his experience Captain Mulock was appointed XDO S'Pore - Extended Defences Officer for the British Crown Colony of Singapore. It was Mulock who was charged with the evacuation of the civilian population as Japanese forces closed in. Mulock and other officers were captured in February 1942 following the fall of Singapore to Imperial Japanese Forces under General Yamashita. The Japanese took over 100,000 prisoners at Singapore following the surrender. Many would later die building the infamous Burma-Thailand railway and endure the appalling treatment of POW Camps.

    The most senior naval officer to be captured at Singapore, Mulock was also one of the oldest officers (he was 63 when released in 1945) to be transported to Taiwan and held at the Karenko and Shirakawa POW Camps.

    After the Second World War, Captain Mulock retired to Gibraltar where he died at the age of 81, on the 26th December 1963. Mulock's lasting contribution to the study of the Antarctic continent was his charts of the region, later used by many expeditions. His obvious talent for surveying and cartography led to the production of accurate and highly detailed works. The Mulock Inlet and the Mulock Glacier were discovered by the British National Antarctic Expedition and were later named in Mulock's honour by the NZAPC.

Landmarks named after George Mulock

Feature Name: Mulock Inlet
Type: Ice stream
Latitude: 79°08'S
Longitude: 160°40'E
Description: A re-entrant about 10 mi wide between Capes Teall and Lankester. The feature is occupied by lower Mulock Glacier which drains through it to the Ross Ice Shelf. Discovered by the BrNAE (1901-04).

Feature Name: Mulock Glacier
Type: Glacier
Latitude: 79°00'S
Longitude: 160°00'E
Description: A large glacier draining ESE into Mulock Inlet in the NW corner of the Ross Ice Shelf. Named by the NZAPC in association with Mulock Inlet.

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