Beechey Island Grave Marker - John Torrington - Terror

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Beechey Island Grave Marker - John Torrington - Terror

Day 1 of the cruise proper saw us arrive at Beechey Island the first wintering site of Sir John Franklin's "lost" expedition of 1845 to find a route through the fabled "Northwest Passage" to the East Indies. The expedition was last seen by whalers in August 1845 in Baffin Bay, they were never seen again, their story taking some 150 years to be pieced together.

This is the grave of John Torrington of the Terror, the first man to die. An exhumation and autopsy was carried out in 1984, his corpse having been well preserved by permafrost. He was found to have died of pneumonia with a contributing factor of lead poisoning. The lead may have come from the solder of the food cans or from a novel water purification plant on the ship.

Air temp: +3ºC Latitude: 74º43'N Longitude: 91º48'W

Photo; © Paul Ward - These are pictures from a cruise to the High Arctic in high summer, from Resolute Bay, Canada to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland.