James William Slesser Marr

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James William Slesser Marr was born on 9 December 1902 in Aberdeen. He was reading classics at Aberdeen University and was a patrol leader in the 1st Aberdeen Scout troop when he was selected along with Norman Mooney for the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition, 1921-1922 (leader Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton), serving as cabin-boy in Quest . Resuming his studies on his return to Aberdeen, he graduated with an MA in classics in 1924 and a BSc in zoology in 1925.

In 1925, he participated in the British Arctic Expedition to Franz Josef Land (leaders Frank Worsley and Grettir Algarsson), and two years later joined the Discovery Investigations, 1928-1929, as marine biologist in RRS William Scoresby .

In 1929 he was seconded to the British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition, 1929-1931 (leader Sir Douglas Mawson), returning to complete two further expeditions in RRS Discovery II between 1931 and 1933, and between 1935 and 1937, during which he made a major study of krill.

On the outbreak of the Second World War Marr conducted research in the Antarctic into the feasibility of whale meat for human consumption, and on his return in 1940 was commissioned in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, serving in Iceland, the Far East and South Africa. In 1943 Marr was selected to take command of all shore staff in the British Naval Expedition, 1943-1944, also known as 'Operation Tabarin', organized to establish permanent bases in the Falkland Island Dependencies. Returning to the Discovery Investigations after the war, he was appointed principal scientific officer in the National Institute of Oceanography at Godalming in 1949, publishing The natural history and geography of the Antarctic krill in 1962.

He died on 29 April 1965.

Published work, In to the frozen south published by Cassell and Company, London (1923) The natural history and geography of the Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba Dana), Discovery Reports Volume 32 (1962)

From the guide to the James Marr collection, 1922-1940, (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of cambridge)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf James Marr collection, 1922-1940 Scott Polar Research Institute
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Antarctic Whaling Industry corporateBody
associatedWith British Arctic Expedition Zemlya Frantsa-Iosifa 1926 corporateBody
associatedWith British Australian New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition 1929-1930 corporateBody
associatedWith Davis John King 1884-1967 person
associatedWith Discovery (Ship) corporateBody
associatedWith Island (Ship) corporateBody
associatedWith Marr James William Slesser 1902-1965 person
associatedWith Mawson Douglas 1882-1958 person
associatedWith Mill Hugh Robert 1861-1950 person
associatedWith Mooney Norman Erlend person
associatedWith Quest (Ship) corporateBody
associatedWith Rudmose-Brown Robert Neal 1879-1954 person
associatedWith Shackleton Ernest Henry 1874-1922 person
associatedWith Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic Expedition 1921-1922 corporateBody
associatedWith Terje Viken (Whale factory ship) corporateBody
associatedWith Wild John Robert Francis 1873-1939 person
associatedWith William Scoresby (Ship) corporateBody
associatedWith Worsley Frank Arthur 1872-1943 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Franz Josef Land
Arctic regions Discovery and exploration
Kerguelen Islands
Antarctica Discovery and exploration
Tristan da Cunha


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