Talk:Douglas Mawson

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I think this page needs more detailed information.. especially on his knighthood and his expeditions. You Should Tell us More About Mawson!! Bold textWhen and were did he (Sir Douglas mawson) die ??????

Feel free to add it. - Diceman 13:48, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Additional Information about 1911-13 Expedition[edit]

The current entry does not do justice to the remarkable survival of Mawson and the hardships he faced.

Mawson's party set out on 5 November 1912.

Ninnis fell into the crevasse on 14 December, some 320 miles from the Main Base.

Because most of their provisions were lost, Mawson and Mertz had to resort to eating the livers of the Greenland huskies. As a result, both suffered a toxic overdose Vitamin A. It was this that caused the death of Mertz and rapid deterioration in Mawson's physical condition. (When Mawson died in 1958, he was unaware of this factor.)

Mertz died on 9 January, about 100 miles from Main Base.

Mawson was confined to his tent for another three days because of severe weather. By this stage he had to ration himself to 8 ounces of food per day allowing for 20 days subsistence.

A search party set out on 25 January but failed to find Mawson. On 28 January they built a cairn and left provisions.

On the afternoon of 28 January, about 5 hours later, Mawson discovered the cairn.

Mawson continued for another three days before reaching an ice-hole called Aladdin's Cave, which the explorers used as a camp. More bad weather forced him to spend another 7 nights at this camp.

He made it back to the main camp on 8 February. The ship, Aurora, had been unable to wait and had left six hours before, leaving a volunteer party to stay behind in case there were any survivors. The Aurora returned on 10 February but was unable to pick up Mawson and the party, who then had to stay at Commonwealth Bay until mid-December 1913.

--MUpcher 14:36, 10 May 2006 (UTC)


This page needs a serious addition of information. As previously mentioned, there is nothing of his most notable expidition and NOTHING ABOUT HOW HE DISCOVERED URANIUM!!! This is shocking, and is a true insult to Wikipedia's reliability. --Will James 07:50, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

P.S. Mawson died back home of vitamin A poisoning that he got from eating his Huskeys due to a lack of food. One of his partners died of this too.

Thank you for your suggestion! When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the Edit this page link at the top. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes — they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. -- Chuq 08:02, 13 September 2006 (UTC)


I read somewhere that there were suspicions that Mawson survived mainly because he ate Mertz's body after his death. Has anyone else seen or heard anything about this and can they be documented? Dabbler 17:09, 31 October 2007 (UTC) Malicious rumour only, he carefully buried Metz in a cairn of stones and left after 3 days. He would not have preserved body if it was evidence of canibalism and his delay was understandably due to greif not eating corpse.

This is still being debated. Mawson was smart enough to know that eating Mertz would have been risky because he did not know what Mertz had died of. On the other hand, eating dog livers was a big enough risk. Have a look at this: Flanker235 (talk) 23:55, 23 October 2013 (UTC)


Chambers Biographical Dictionary (published in Edinburgh, 1990) says he was born in Bradford; the online Australian Dictionary of Biography says Shipley. They are near to each other and both in Yorkshire, England - but which is correct? NinetyCharacters (talk) 06:30, 25 September 2008 (UTC) says: Robert Mawson and Margaret Ann (nee Moor) married in 1879. They met while Robert was on a holiday in the Isle of Man, where Margaret lived. Her home town of Douglas gave its name to young Douglas, their son, born on 5 May 1882, in Shipley, Yorkshire, England. ( seems quite comprehensive.)
Also, his wife ought to know - Mawson, Paquita, Mawson of the Antarctic : the Life of Sir Douglas Mawson, F.R.S., O.B.E., Longmans, London, 1964. ( - it shouldn't be too hard to find a copy of her book, but I expect I won't be able to do it until next week.
Cheers--Pdfpdf (talk) 11:17, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for prompt response. Shipley & Bradford are today more or less merged into one - S is within the City of B - but in 1882 they would have been separate entities. On his birth is *registered* in Bradford, but it might well have occurred in Shipley. (population of Shipley in an 1882 Gazetteer I have was 11,757, so it may/may not have had its own place for registering a birth). Ideally we need the exact birth address. Please could you also check that he died in Brighton, *South Australia* - I assumed, almost certain wrongly, that it was Brighton, Vic - in fact, I've already "corrected" it. NinetyCharacters (talk) 12:53, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Frozen in time: Douglas Mawson's Antarctic base – in pictures[edit]

[1]. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:41, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Denise Carrington-Smith's hypothesis[edit]

I removed the following paragraph:

Another theory has suggested the reason he suffered worse was because he had been a vegetarian. A 2005 article in The Medical Journal of Australia by Denise Carrington-Smith, noting that Mertz was essentially a vegetarian, suggested that the sudden change to a predominantly meat diet could have triggered Mertz's illness. Combined with "the psychological stresses related to the death of a close friend [Ninnis] and the deaths of the dogs he had cared for, as well as the need to kill and eat his remaining dogs," this may have killed Mertz.

which is from the following reference:

  • Carrington-Smith, Denise (2005). "Mawson and Mertz: a re-evaluation of their ill-fated mapping journey during the 1911–1914 Australasian Antarctic Expedition". The Medical Journal of Australia. 183 (11–12). pp. 638–41. PMID 16336159. 

Carrington-Smith is a questionable source (a homeopath rather than a scientist or doctor) and as far as I can see no historian or medical expert has taken her article seriously. Therefore, her hypothesis probably doesn't merit being included in the main article -- a footnote at best! --Levana Taylor (talk) 00:43, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Support. Thank you, Levana Taylor.
With kind regards,
Patrick. ツ Pdebee.(talk)(guestbook) 07:23, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Oppose The article appeared in The Medical Journal of Australia, the official journal of the Australian Medical Association, which is peer-reviewed, so it can't just be dismissed as a fringe theory. Bahudhara (talk) 00:38, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

  • Just because something is in a journal doesn't make it significant. Where is the evidence that anyone else took it seriously? The Drover's Wife (talk) 01:08, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

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