Davis, John King

Alternative names
Birth 1884-02-19
Death 1967-05-08

Biographical notes:

Author, sailor, navigator, Antarctic explorer. John King Davis was born at Kew, London, in 1884. He took part in seven voyages to the Antarctic, served with the Australian Navy in World War I and became Commonwealth Director of Navigation, 1920-49. His publications include works about sailing, the Antarctic, the voyages and his autobiography.

From the description of Papers [manuscript]. 1962-1965. (Libraries Australia). WorldCat record id: 222950167

The Australasian Antarctic Expedition was an Australian scientific team that explored part of Antarctica between 1911 and 1914. It was led by the Australian geologist Douglas Mawson, who was knighted for his achievements in leading the expedition. In 1910 he began to plan an expedition to chart the 2000-mile long coastline of Antarctica to the south of Australia. The Aurora departed for Macquarie Island on December 2, 1911, arriving on December 11 after surviving stormy weather during the crossing. A second vessel, the Toroa, followed with supplies and passengers. Departing Macquarie Island on December 23, the Aurora began exploring the coastal areas, during which they discovered and named King George V Land and Queen Mary Land.

From the description of Carte générale bathymétrique des océans. Feuille B'iii [cartographic material]. : [showing the track of the S. Y. Aurora, navigated by Capt. John King Davis] [1913?] (Libraries Australia). WorldCat record id: 754683855

John King Davis was born at Kew, Surrey, England in 1884. He went to sea in 1900 and was appointed Chief Officer of S.Y. Nimrod in 1907, navigating Ernest Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition of 1907-1909. He was second in command and Master of S.Y. Aurora for Sir Douglas Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914, commanded the Ross Sea Relief Expedition, 1916-1917, and the Discovery for Mawson's British Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition, 1929-1930. From 1920-1949 he was Commonwealth Director of Navigation. In retirement he was involved with the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions. He published several books about his experiences. He never married and died in Melbourne in 1967.

From the description of Papers [manuscript]. 1840-1967. (Libraries Australia). WorldCat record id: 222755492


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  • Antarctica (as recorded)
  • Antarctica (as recorded)
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