Quintin Theodore Petroc Molesworth Riley

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Quintin Theodore Petroc Molesworth Riley was born on 27 October 1905. He was educated at Lancing College, where he met Henry George [Gino] Watkins, and Pembroke College, Cambridge, graduating in 1927. In 1930, he was enlisted as meteorologist on the British Arctic Air Route Expedition, 1930-1931 (leader Henry George Watkins), spending a further year in Greenland during the course of which Watkins was drowned. He then joined the British Graham Land Expedition, 1934-1937 (leader John Rymill), serving as meteorologist and commissariat officer.

A year after his return from the Antarctic, Riley joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. During the Second World War, he served in Norway and Iceland, advancing to the rank of lieutenant commander in 1943, and commanded intelligence assault units throughout Europe.

After the war, he maintained his polar interests, acting as adviser to the producers of the film Scott of the Antarctic and giving demonstrations on polar work at the Festival of Britain in 1951. Retiring to Essex, he became involved in local government and served as a member of the Church Assembly and later of the General Synod. He died in a motor accident on 25 December 1980.

Biographical work From pole to pole, the life of Quentin Riley 1905-1980 by Jonathan P. Riley, Bluntisham Books, Bluntisham (1989) SPRI Library Shelf 92[Riley, Q.]

From the guide to the Quintin Riley collection, 1930-1937, (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Quintin Riley collection, 1930-1937 Scott Polar Research Institute
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith British Arctic Air Route Expedition 1930-1931 corporateBody
associatedWith British Graham Land Expedition Antarctica 1934-1937 corporateBody
associatedWith Riley Quintin 1905-1980 person
associatedWith Rymill John Riddoch 1905-1968 person
associatedWith Watkins Henry George 1907-1932 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Antarctic regions Discovery and exploration
Arctic regions Discovery and exploration


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