Clarence Hare

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Clarence H. Hare (1880–1967) was a native of New Zealand and explorer of Antarctica. He was part of the shore party at Hut Point in the Discovery Expedition of 1901–1903. In this service he narrowly escaped death on Ross Island on 11-13 March 1902.

Antarctica[edit]

Hare was born in December 1880 in Invercargill, the son of a banker.[1] He began his adult life as a clerk, and was employed in this position in November 1901 when the RRS Discovery made landfall in his then-home, Lyttelton. The ship dismissed its wardroom assistant and steward in this port, and Hare, who had befriended ship's officer Reginald Ford, was signed on the spot to fill the vacancy on the ship's roster. He soon learned that this assignment meant that he would be the personal steward of the ship's captain, Robert Falcon Scott. As a ship's captain on a vessel unofficially but firmly run along Royal Navy lines, Scott was rated to have a personal servant. Hare kept his own journal and counsel, observing at one point that his captain was "over sensitive and got worked up if things did not go as planned."[2][3]

Soon after the expedition landed on Ross Island in March 1902, Hare joined a sledging party who intended to probe the 80-km. length of the island, with their goal that of reaching the other end, Cape Crozier. Hare got physically lost on this icy journey and was in the field, without equipment to camp or build a fire, for forty-eight hours. Hare later confessed that, lonely and discouraged, he had sat down in the snow to die; his life had been saved by a sled dog, Kid, whom Hare (who had no Polar experience) had treated as a sort of pet dog. While this type of contact between humans and sled dogs is not generally recommended, it had encouraged Kid to become affectionate with the human, and in this crisis Kid revived the endangered explorer by licking his face.[4] Eventually, although completely alone, Hare managed to orient himself and return to base.[2]

Hare remained at Hut Point during the winter of 1902, but returned to New Zealand in February 1903 aboard a relief ship, the Morning. He again signed on to the Discovery in June 1904 to accompany the captain from New Zealand to London. This was his final Antarctic service; he returned to his native land, and the New Zealand Culture Ministry reports that in later life, the banker's son worked as a piano tuner. When he died in May 1967, he was the final survivor of the Discovery Expedition.[3]

Legacy[edit]

Hare Peak, a summit of the system of mountains that surmounts the eastern side of the Leigh Hunt Glacier, was named after Hare in 1962. It is located on the Dufek Coast within the Ross Dependency, a section of Antarctica that is under the nominal suzerainty of Hare's homeland of New Zealand.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Markham, Clements R. (April 1902). "The Discovery and the Relief Ship". The Geographical Journal. Retrieved 2011-09-15. 
  2. ^ a b Preston, Diana (1999). A First Rate Tragedy: Robert Falcon Scott and the Race to the South Pole. New York City, N.Y.: Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Company. 48, 57, 67. ISBN 0-618-00201-4. 
  3. ^ a b ""Clarence Hare on departure for Antarctica"". New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  4. ^ ""Diary of Clarence Hare, steward on Antarctic expedition"". New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 2011-09-12.