Michael Barne

Michael Barne[1] (15 October 1877 – 31 May 1961)[2] was an officer of the 1901-04 Discovery Expedition and was the last survivor of the expedition.[3]

Early life

Barne was born at Sotterley Park, Suffolk, the son of Frederick Barne and his wife, Lady Constance Adelaide Seymour, daughter of Francis Seymour, 5th Marquess of Hertford. His father was Member of Parliament for East Suffolk.[4] He entered the Navy as a Midshipman in 1893. In 1898 he was commissioned to serve aboard HMS Porcupine.[5]

Selected for "Discovery"

In 1901 he was appointed by Scott as Second Lieutenant to the Polar Expedition.[6] Despite suffering frostbite[7] Barne made copious notes[8] throughout his three years with the expedition,[9] both about general conditions and his specialist fields( magnetronemy and Soundings). Scott rated his ability to calm possible tensions highly.[10] Barne Inlet,[11] a 17-mile-wide (27 km) feature on the western side of the Ross Ice Shelf that he discovered,[12] is named after him. He was awarded the Polar Medal for his contribution to the expedition.[13]

Post-Antarctic career

Marrying on his return from the Antarctic,[7] Barne returned to active service with command of the Coquette,[14] but still corresponded with Scott about modes of transport for future expeditions. During the First World War, he was awarded the DSO[4] while commanding Monitor M27,[15] finally retiring in 1919 with the rank of Captain. During the next war Barne came out of retirement to command an anti-submarine patrol ship.[9]


  1. ^ Known informally as Mik
  2. ^ Capt. Michael Barne. The Times (London, England), Monday, Jun 05, 1961; pg. 24; Issue 55099
  3. ^ Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration Polar Record (19 March 2001, Cambridge, Scott Polar Research Institute, 19 March 2001 Vol 38, No 204, Page 69
  4. ^ a b Description of his love of country pursuits, Obituary, The Times, Monday, 5 Jun 1961; pg. 24; Issue 55099; col D
  5. ^ HMS Porcupine profile, battleships-cruisers.co.uk; accessed 6 May 2017.
  6. ^ 3 Naval officers appointed
  7. ^ a b Antarctic history on-line
  8. ^ See Bibliography below
  9. ^ a b Archived material Archived 23 December 2012 at archive.today
  10. ^ Fiennes,2003
  11. ^ Latitude 80°15′S (−80.25°) Longitude 160°15′E (160.25°)
  12. ^ with Sub-Lt. George F.A. Mulock, RN Archived 22 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Notable Antarcticans
  14. ^ Ship details
  15. ^ History of Class(inc M27’s fate) Archived 4 December 2003 at the Wayback Machine


  • Barne, M. Need for Continuity in the Conduct of Antarctic Discovery The Geographical Journal, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Feb., 1906), p. 206 doi:10.2307/1776683
  • Barne, M The National Antarctic Expedition The Geographical Journal, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Sep., 1901), pp. 275–279 doi:10.2307/1775133
  • Barne, M MS 366 1902-03: Papers relating to Discovery Expedition GB/NNAF/P160000 (Former ISAAR ref: GB/NNAF/P1579) 1982 Cambridge University: Scott Polar Research Institute
  • Fiennes, R Scott (Coronet, London,2003)ISBN 0-340-82699-1
  • Headland R.K.Journal of Polar Studies (1985) volume 2 part 1 p357-359 SPRI Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989)ISBN 0-521-30903-4
  • Holland, C. Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue. (Garland Publishing New York and London 1982)ISBN 0-8240-9394-1.
  • Stonehouse, B (Ed) Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002)ISBN 0-471-98665-8