Courtauld, Augustine, 1904-1959

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1904
Death 1959

Biographical notes:

Epithet: Arctic explorer

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000001186.0x000249

Augustine Courtauld was born on 26 August 1904 at Bocking, Essex. He was educated at Charterhouse and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied engineering and geography. Following his graduation in 1926, he joined the Cambridge East Greenland Expedition (leader James Wordie) as photographer. The party spent the summer surveying the coastline of the Franz Josefs Fjord area of east Greenland. In 1929, Courtauld returned north with the Cambridge East Greenland Expedition (leader James Wordie), assisting R C Wakefield in the survey of Nordenskilds Gletscher and Petermann Bjoerg.

Courtauld joined the British Arctic Air Route Expedition, 1930-1931 (leader Henry Watkins), organized to investigate the possibilities of an air route between Britain and Canada across Greenland. Sailing in Quest from London in July 1930, the expedition reached Angmagssalik in East Greenland, where a base camp was established. The following month a meteorological station was established on the ice cap from which continuous meteorological observations were conducted. Between December 1930 and May 1931, Courtauld spent five months alone at the station conducting meteorological observations. He was awarded the Polar Medal for his achievements in 1932. His final visit to Greenland was with the British East Greenland Expedition, 1935-1936 (leader Lawrence Wager), organized to explore the Watkins Bjerge in the Kangerdlugssuak district. During the Second World War, Courtauld served with the Royal Navy Voluntary Reserve and, in later years, became successively deputy lieutenant and High Sheriff of Essex. Between 1948 and 1951, he served as honorary secretary of the Royal Geographical Society. He died on 3 March 1959 in London.

Published work Man the ropes by Augustine Courtauld, Hodder and Stoughton London (1957) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Courtauld, A.] From the ends of the Earth, an anthology of polar writings by Augustine Courtauld, Oxford University Press London (1958) SPRI Library Shelf (2)91(091)[pub.1958]

From the guide to the Augustine Courtauld collection, 1926-1935, (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)

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  • Arctic regions Discovery and exploration (as recorded)