Wright, Charles S. (Charles Seymour), 1887-1975

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English Antarctic explorer.

From the description of Correspondence, with Prof. W.H. Hobbs, 1927-1949. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34369143

Sir Charles Seymour Wright, KCB, OBE, MC, MA, was born in Canada in 1887. He was educated at Upper Canada College and the University Toronto. He won a scholarship to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, England, undertaking research in cosmic rays at the Cavendish Laboratory. It was while studying in Cambridge that he met Douglas Mawson who had been part of the British Antarctic Expedition, 1907-1908 (leader Ernest Henry Shackleton). Wright applied to join the forthcoming British Antarctic Expedition, 1910-1913 (leader Robert Falcon Scott). He was accepted as physicist, and along with five other scientists spent the first winter at Cape Evans studying glacier ice, snow and sea ice. Magnetism, gravity and aurora were added to these studies the subsequent winter. Scott appointed Wright to be a member of the first supporting party on the polar journey with Edward Leicester Atkinson, Apsley Cherry-Garrard and Patrick Keohane. Wright was later part of the search party, which searched for Scott and the missing pole party. On 11 November 1912 he discovered the party's tent on the Ross Ice Shelf.

On returning to England, he lectured in cartography and surveying while also writing up his scientific work. In 1914, he joined the Royal Engineers as a second lieutenant and served in France. He rose to the position of General Staff Officer in wireless intelligence and was awarded the MC and OBE. Wright joined the Admiralty Research Department in 1919, becoming superintendent at Teddington ten years later. Between 1934 and 1936 he was director of scientific research at the Admiralty. He played an important part in the early development of radar and detection of magnetic mines and torpedoes. He received the KCB in 1946 and took the post of chief of the Royal Naval Scientific Service. He took up several positions in subsequent years, firstly as scientific advisor to the Admiral at the British Joint Services Mission, Washington DC, then in 1951, director of the Marine Physical Laboratory of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at La Jolla, California. He joined the staff at the Pacific Naval Laboratory at Esquimaault, Canada in 1955.

Wright revisited Antarctica in 1960 and 1965. In 1967, he joined the Institute of Earth Sciences, University of British Columbia and Royal Roads Military College, Victoria, British Columbia. In 1969, he retired to Saltspring Island near Victoria in British Columbia. He died on 1 November 1975.

From the guide to the Sir Charles Wright collection, 1910 - 1925, (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge)

Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith American Geographical Society of New York. corporateBody
associatedWith Apsley George Benet Cherry-Garrard person
associatedWith Atkinson Edward Leicester 1882-1929 person
associatedWith British Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913 corporateBody
associatedWith Campbell Victor L A 1875-1956 person
associatedWith Cherry-Garrard Apsley George Benet 1886-1959 person
associatedWith David Tannatt William Edgeworth 1858-1934 person
associatedWith Evans, Edgar person
associatedWith Evans Edward Ratcliffe Garth Russell 1881-1957 1st Baron Mountevans Admiral person
associatedWith Hobbs, William Herbert, 1864-1952. person
associatedWith Lady Edith Mary Wright person
associatedWith Mather John Hugh 1887-1957 person
associatedWith Pennell Harry Lewin Lee 1882-1916 person
associatedWith Quartermain Leslie Bowden 1895-1973 person
associatedWith Rennick Henry E De P d 1914 person
associatedWith Scott Robert Falcon 1868-1912 person
associatedWith Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Library. Archives. corporateBody
associatedWith Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Marine Physical Laboratory. corporateBody
associatedWith Stefansson, Vilhjalmur person
associatedWith Terra Nova (Steam yacht) corporateBody
associatedWith Wilson Edward Adrian 1872-1912 person
associatedWith Wright Charles Seymour 1887-1975 person
associatedWith Wright, Edith. person
associatedWith Wright, P. F. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
McMurdo Station (Antarctica)
Antarctica Discovery and exploration


Birth 1887-04-07

Death 1975-11-01


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