The Quest

Douglas George Jeffrey (1885-1972)
Biographical notes

Lieutenant commander, Navigator and Magnetician
Shackleton - Rowett Expedition Quest 1921-1922

Born 23 September 1885, son of Pastor R Foster Jeffrey, 'Ardlui', Cyprus Park, Bloomfield, (East) Belfast
Attended Campbell College, Belfast: Sept 1898 - Dec 1899
(brother: Leonard James Jeffrey)

Douglas Jeffrey had been recruited by Shackleton and was aboard the Endurance in preparation for the Imperial Trans Antarctica Expedition that was shortly to depart when war broke out. In August 1914, the Endurance was at Southend when Shackleton after consulting with all the men offered the services of the ship and its crew to the war effort. A telegram was received very quickly from the British Admiralty that consisted of the single word "Proceed".

Jeffrey however made the difficult decision to leave the Endurance and return to the Royal Navy where he served with distinction for the whole of the wartime period.

He returned to serve with Shackleton again for the Quest expedition from 1921-22 as Navigator and Magnetician.

Postcards of pictures taken on the Endurance in July 1914 prior to sailing in early August.
Pictures - courtesy of Scott Pittenger


Sept 1898 - Dec 1899
Attended Campbell College, Belfast.

Mercantile Marine - 6 years in square-rigged sail.
Master's Certificate - served in Passenger, General, Cargo & Tank Steamers.
Commanded merchant ships: SS Strathearn, SS Scottish Borderer, SS Scottish Bard, MS Pamir.

1914 - 1918 - Great War
Served with RN throughout WWI - Lieut-Commander, RNR.
Awarded DSO and Reserve Decoration; Croix de Guerre; Order of White Eagle of Serbia; Order of St George of Russia.

1924 - 1939
Served with New England Oil Corporation of Boston.
Marine Superintendent in USA, Venezuela and West Indies.
Lago Petroleum Corporation, Venezuela - Transportation Superintendent.
Pantepec Oil Company and Paraguana Maritime Company.
Hydrographic Survey of Paraguana Coast and Political Agent in Caracas.
On return from South America in March 1928 newspaper work for New York Times and North American Newspaper Alliance.
Representative of Mohawk Aircraft Corporation for Mid-Western States.
Technical Adviser (Navigation) and lectuirer to Aviation & Transportation Inc, Chicago.
Contributed to American magazine Aeronautics and Air Travel News.
Manager, Border Cities Aero Club and 'Dominion' School of Aeronautics, Windsor, Ontario.
Field Engineer and Toronto representative, Border Properties Ltd.
Editor, Canadian Air Review.
Staff of Canadian Power Boating.
Radio and newspaper freelance, Toronto.
Contributed to Sports Weekly, Toronto Saturday Night.
Radio talks on CBC network.
Columnist, Halifax Chronicle.
Columnist and Assistant Editor, Halifax Herald.
Department of Northern Development (Ontario), Trans-Canada Highway.
Department of National Defence, Canada.
Superintendent of Youth Labour Camps.

Organising Secretary, Lanark Constituency Unionist Association: Damhill Lodge, Corehouse, Lanark

1939 - 1945 - Second World War
Served in Royal Canadian Navy.
Commanded: HM Torpedo Boat 050, HMS Thorn, HMS Chagford (Q ship), HMS Gossamer, HMS Hollyhock, HMS Daffodil, HMCS Renard, HMCS Ville de Quebec, HMCS Hamilton, HMCS Tame, HMCS Lauzon.

1939 - 1947 - Staff appointments
Chief Examination Officer, Halifax, NS.
Deputy Senior Officer, Assault Group 'W.1'.
Assistant to Staff Officer, 'Q' to East Indies.
Naval Control Service Officer, Netherlands East Indies.
Canadian Naval Mission, London.

Placed on Retirement List RCN (R), March 1947.

Died 23 March 1972.

Biographical information - I am concentrating on the Polar experiences of the men involved. Any further information or pictures visitors may have will be gratefully received. Please email  - Paul Ward, webmaster.

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