Life on board SY Aurora: the experience of Captain John King Davis’ crew 1911–1914
Able seaman Bert Lincoln and fireman Stanley Taylor sailed with Davis on the November 1912 to March 1913 voyage, tasked with retrieving all expeditioners. Six men remained at Main Base to search for Mawson’s missing sledging party. These expeditioners, with Mawson and the remaining Macquarie Island party, were collected by the November 1913 to February 1914 voyage, which included able seaman Thomas Liddiard and second steward Herbert Goddard among Davis’ crew.
Diaries and letters provide insights into the lives of Lincoln, Taylor, Liddiard and Goddard on board the Aurora, highlighting: the difficult working conditions; the challenging times of disharmony among the crew; courage required in times of extreme danger; their appreciation of Antarctica’s beauty; and the loneliness of life away from loved ones. The crew contributed to the success of the expedition by assisting as needed: helping to take soundings of the ocean floor in exploring the sea bed; assisting with trawling; and assisting in the erection of wireless masts at Main Base.
Few crew member accounts are available
Few records of crew experiences were kept, or have survived and been made available for public use. According to Lincoln, part of the crew’s work contract was the agreement not to take souvenirs, keep a diary or publicly relay information about the voyage for 12 months after the expeditions end. However, some crewmen did take items, photographs and keep a record, some of which have been donated and gratefully included in various artefacts collections across Australia. Diary writing was difficult due to the movement of the ship. Diarist Bert Lincoln wrote in pencil, while Stan Taylor experienced the difficulty of pen and ink:
“I had a serious mishap this afternoon when I was writing … the ship is very near turning over, well she give a good roll and sent me flying into my bunk with the Diary and ink following. The ink upset over the book, my face and the pillow, making a fine mess, so I have had to copy yesterday and today’s diary out again.”
The ship’s hierarchy
In the 1900’s, the social divide in Australia was marked, and the lack of recognition of lower ranking crew members on some voyages was a reflection of this. However, John King Davis demonstrated his respect for the contribution of all members, by inviting them to a Christmas Dinner at the Oriental Hotel before the Aurora departed Hobart on the 26 December 1913. His gratitude to all hands, regardless of their position, is reinforced in their inclusion in some photographs or cinematograph pictures, such as the crew pictured in front of a spectacular iceberg in February 1913. Davis’ written acknowledgement reinforces his appreciation of all hands:
“… whatever measure of success was achieved in the special work assigned to the Aurora is due to the loyal co-operation of officers and men, who did their best in the interests of the Expedition.” With the Aurora in the Antarctic 1911–1914
The hierarchy on board was functional to complete tasks, and men were paid per month according to the skills required of their position: First engineer, F. J. Gillies, received £20; First Officer £14; Second Officer, Second Engineer, and Boatswain £10; Third Officer, Cook and Chief Steward, £9; Sailmaker, James Forbes £7; Donkeyman (third engineer) £7/10; Second Steward, £6/10, while the lowest paid were the firemen, like Taylor, and able seamen, like Lincoln and Liddiard, on £5.
This chain of command was reinforced by mealtime arrangements: the officers, expeditioners and wireless operator ate in the dining room, separately from the lower ranks. However, Goddard notes that the same high quality meals were provided to all regardless of rank: including fruit, jam, pickles, tinned bully beef and seal meat. Goddard marvels at the ease of spreading butter and jam as the temperature rises on their journey to Adelaide. By this stage, Goddard has had enough of tinned food and is eagerly anticipating fresh produce.
Experience at sea ranged from none to over two decades. Sailmaker James Forbes, from Dundee, had 21 years of sailing experience: eight Arctic and four Antarctic voyages, including this 1912–13 voyage. Forbes was a crewman on the Polar Star’s 1892 Antarctic voyage in search of whales. Lincoln had spent the previous winter voyage in the subantarctic, but lacked Forbes’ experience, however, claims to be as good if not better than Forbes at many tasks.
With three to a cabin, Goddard shared with Chief Steward Gus Williams and Tas Kyme, the cook. Gus shared his experience with Goddard and Tas, who were having their first experience of working at sea. Overcoming sea sickness was Goddard’s first challenge.
Duties performed by able seamen, firemen and the second steward
Able seamen followed orders, performing all assigned duties required to maintain the ship, including: watching for hazards, obtaining snow and ice for water, caring for the sheep and huskies and steering the ship. It was mainly the able seamen, not the officers, who steered the ship, spending 4.5 hours out of 24 in this physically challenging task, as Lincoln notes:
“Every man while at the wheel gets innumerable sprays over him which freeze immediately so that when he comes from the wheel he is white all over and has to shake the ice off his clothes then dry them, but then the water does not get a chance to soak in much so it means that although the wheel is the heaviest work it is the driest job on board.”
Before departing Main Base in early 1913, the able seamen completed the infrastructure required for two-way communications. They prepared the wire; a difficult undertaking without gloves in the cold conditions because they needed bare hands for the task. They set the stays, erected the lower mast, topmast and top-gallant mast, providing height of 52 m which enabled wireless communication.
The firemen on the Aurora included Stan Taylor, Dick Bradley, and Alf Kohler. They shovelled the coal that fuelled the ship’s engine. Taylor described an accident caused by the rolling of the ship: he fell 5.5 metres, landing on his back in the coal bunker; during the fall the shovel blade pierced his forehead leaving a 5 cm gash above his left eye.
Second steward Goddard describes his day as providing the first mate with breakfast, tidying the officer’s bedrooms, laying the dining table for meals, clearing things away, and washing up. At sea, these tasks take longer when standing and walking are difficult.
The crew were at risk from natural hazards and man-made dangers. The wind gets so strong that it could blow a man off his feet, and waves engulfed the ship, covering the decks. Percival Gray, Second Officer and Navigating Officer, was saved by Lincoln when he was almost washed overboard during the tremendous winds of the 31 of December. Lincoln reports that the wind can blow, “water up like smoke and when one gets in an exposed place it is like getting a smack with a whitewashed wall.” While in Commonwealth Bay, the dangers included poor visibility due to: heavy snow; fog; and black smoke from the burning coal. As the compasses could not be relied upon, and the land could not be seen, Lincoln was relying on the wind and sea when he was at the wheel.
Lincoln describes two significant injuries enroute. “[An able seaman] got his foot hurt the other day, by getting a smack with the piston rod of the windlass, but he is able to get about again now and he turned to again yesterday.” Another crew member sustained a severe hand injury.
Disaster for the wooden ship, SY Aurora, was averted in January 1912, when the fire started by the bogey and its chimney was extinguished with difficulty. The burn hole through the main deck provided a reminder of the threat posed by fire.
Despite life-threatening situations, loneliness at sea, and the discomfort of physically demanding work in all weather, men brag about the attention they get from women when in port. As Lincoln writes:
“All the nice girls love a sailor … that must be the reason we stick at it.”
Aboard the Aurora was an incredibly noisy place to be day and night. Trying to sleep involved: ignoring the wailing wind engulfing the ship and the throaty howl of the huskies; the scrambling and complaints of the sheep; the rolling of the ship; and the amplified scraping noise of icebergs against the ship. Taylor’s bunk was level with the water, so the din he endured was exceptional and sometimes frightening. Goddard explains: ”… here in a wooden ship you hear every roar of the water on the side. How clear it sounds. You would think there is nothing between you at all.”
The rolling of the ship on the Southern Ocean increased the level of difficulty in all aspects of life, including trying to sleep, as the bunk occupant often ended up on the wet floor. Goddard describes having little sleep due to the rolling of the ship:
“Boat rolled absolutely rotten. I turned in at ten but boat rolled so much I did not sleep five minutes.”
In November 1913, Goddard notes that water was in their bunks, water was two inches deep in the dining room, and feet deep on deck. Lincoln describes nearly flying out of his bunk when the Aurora hit pack ice. He then became used to the jarring effects as the ship continued forcing its way through.
Shift work was hard; staying awake during hours when one would normally be asleep was difficult, as Lincoln describes:
“[He] who relieved the wheel this morning at four o’clock was only there about 10 minutes when he fell asleep and allowed the ship to go eight points off the course and the mate who was on watch flew to the compass like a paper man in a gale of wind, and then he called for another man to take the wheel.”
Captain Davis had periods of little or no sleep during particularly harrowing periods of navigation in treacherous waters. He had no sleep for about a week when he was searching the coast-line for the missing Mawson sledging party. There were times the wind, fog and pack ice made navigation dangerous, and Davis would remain on the bridge all night. Such windy conditions tested the engines and worried the engineers, who had little sleep during such times.
The durability of the Aurora
Like James Forbes, the Aurora came from Dundee, where it was built by the same shipbuilders that constructed the Terra Nova and Nimrod. Bert describes the Aurora’s progress through pack ice:
“We are pounding smashing and grinding away now at the huge lumps to ‘beat the band’ making the old ship have a rough time of it. It is marvellous how she stands it without getting holes knocked in her.”
Similarly, Goddard notes the Aurora’s durability among the pack ice: “Boat got some nasty smacks that would have crippled our iron boat.”
Three men to a cabin
Cabins were about 2.4 m long, 1.8 m wide and 1.8 m from the floor to the ceiling. The bunks, sleeping three men, were 46 cm apart. Bert Lincoln, Able Bodied Ordinary Seaman, was 179 cm tall, but he may still have hit his head on the ceiling while wearing his boots! Goddard and James Forbes, at 169 cm and 162 cm tall respectively, would have been more comfortable!
Although they had a fold-up table and some storage space, conditions were cramped. Fireman Stan Taylor’s gramophone records formed his pillow. Occupants felt cold and damp, as the ice from the deck would melt and drip onto the bunks. They had no window or skylight.
At night the crew enjoyed both gramophone and live music: Lincoln’s accordion playing, Tas on the mouth organ, and others on piano was accompanied by enthusiastic singing. Crib was also a welcome distraction.
Goddard describes having fun on the ice in January 1914, while obtaining snow for filling the water tanks.
Celebrating special occasions
Goddard misses home more than ever on the 17 December 1913, his 25th birthday: ”… I never thought I should spend [a birthday] … out in an outlandish place like this, with no prospect of going home for months and months and months.” On Harold Hamilton’s birthday all hands sang to mark the occasion for the Macquarie Island biologist.
The crew’s Christmas celebrations of 1913 were postponed due to extremely dangerous weather conditions, but they had their Christmas Dinner sailing amongst the ice on New Year’s Day. The menu included boiled hams, fish, curry soup, ginger biscuits, cheese, apples and plum pudding. Christmas cake was enthusiastically devoured at tea time. All crew saw in the New Year of 1914: some celebrated by beating tin cans and making a dreadful noise. During the raucous behaviour accompanying the singing of Auld Lang Syne, the Captain’s chair was broken.
The anniversary of the expedition’s landing at Commonwealth Bay, Thursday 8 January 1912, was celebrated with a feast. They also celebrated being close to home; their concert of 23 February 1914 included an item performed by Davis and Mawson, and the consumption of cakes and chocolate.
Both freezing temperatures and warmer weather made work difficult
Lincoln highlights the impact of the wind on ones feeling of comfort: temperatures of −12°C did not feel as cold in calm weather as −6°C felt when a strong wind blew.
For Lincoln, working in the weather conditions of Commonwealth Bay was hard:
“I had to break the ice out of the scupper holes which were all frozen up, as the maindeck had eight inches of water washing around it that could not escape, I had to wade in the water with a crowbar, and as soon as my seaboots went in the water I felt the cold through although the boots did not leak and when I cleared the scuppers and the water drained away I stamped my feet and a coating of ice fell off my boots so you can see how quick the water will freeze unless there is a big quantity of it.”
When the sun melted the ice, which covered everything, large pieces of ice would dangerously fall from above. The soft ice and water had to be swept overboard, and the crew was soaked through and uncomfortable.
Times of harmony and conflict
Passengers and crew
The secretary of the Australian Antarctic Exploring Expedition, Mr. Eitel; the Wireless Operator, Mr. Jeffryes; and the two whaling experts, Captain James Davis and his assistant George Taylor, were idle, while the crew were working hard under difficult circumstances. This was resented by the crew, who considered the passengers capable of at least caring for the sheep and dogs. Lincoln states:
“[The passengers] are down in the cabin lazing and having a good time and leaving their work to us six sailors and the boatswain and they will go back to Australia and boast of the work they have done…”
The crews’ respect for the expeditioners was evident in their response to the news of Mawson’s lone survival on his sledging journey; Mertz and Ninnis had died. Taylor writes: “This sad news cast a gloom over the ship, in fact over the whole expedition. It was deadly [quiet], everyone walked around the ship on tiptoe and spoke in whispers.” This news was shocking for the muscular crew members, who considered Mertz and Ninnis to be the most physically hardy of the expeditioners.
Lincoln is complementary about the expeditioners collected from Main Base, who help out as they can, trimming the coal and keeping watch:
“[The expeditioners] have been divided into two watches and are keeping six hour watches each to give us a hand with the sails, braces etc … we are glad to have them pulling on the topsail halyards.”
However, Lincoln finds some of the Main Base expeditioners of little help, despite their good intentions:
“Several of the men belonging to the party to go aloft to the fore-yard with us chaps and although they are more in our way than of any use to us, still we tolerate them because it is a great event for them and helps them to pass the time. When they are going aloft, they are slow as snails as they have to hold on so carefully, and tight, whereas we run aloft being used to it.”
Goddard is impressed with the Macquarie Island Party, collected in November of 1913:
“Our four new mates who had been there for above two years were all jolly decent fellows. Three had been doing exploring and scientific work, weather conditions, sun, rain, snow, and anything of value to the scientific world generally and all seemed jolly glad to leave it.”
Goddard empathises with the expeditioners, understanding the trials for those on sledging journeys in blizzard conditions with no shelter, and especially has the utmost regard for the charismatic Mawson and capable Madigan:
“Noticing Dr. Mawson closely one can read leader on his face … Speaks firm but nice … One cannot help but like him.” and “Mr Madigan, second in charge is very nice man…”
Goddard considered that the scientific achievements made were due to the efforts of all: expeditioners and crew, as all were involved in soundings, taking deep water temperatures, and trawling. “We are practically as far south west as any ship has been and are doing good scientific work and we shall be able to give the people a true coastline.”
Getting along with fellow crew members
There was tension between the firemen and sailors. Bert Lincoln describes an altercation he had with Alf Kohler: Bert made the boiling water into tea, which outraged Alf, who wanted some water for his cocoa. The fight was resolved by Chief Officer Frank Fletcher.
Fletcher also stopped the fight between “the Dane” and the boatswain, E. Adams. Lincoln explains that Adams verbally abused the Dane and attempted to hit him for stopping work. The Dane ceased working to obtain paper to place on his injured nose when it was cut by a falling shard of ice. According to Lincoln, Adams was not popular among the crew.
During the voyage from Main Base to the Western Base, Lincoln complains that the firemen do not work as hard as the able seamen. The firemen had complained to Fletcher that they needed assistance trimming the coal, so one of the sailors was allocated the task:
“… while they [the firemen] sit in the stokehold reading and amusing themselves, they have four hours on duty and eight off, working only eight hours out of twenty-four while our side work twelve out of twenty-four and then has to do their work while they have a right good sort of time of it.”
A different mix of men made up the 1913–14 voyage, providing Goddard with a different experience to Lincoln. Goddard formed strong friendships among the crew, evidenced by New Year’s celebrations spent with Jack Doherty (Boatswain) and Gus Williams (Chief Steward).
Crew grievances with senior officers
On reaching Hobart, crew members including able bodied ordinary seamen, firemen, the donkeyman, sailmaker and boatswain were dissatisfied with First Officer, Frank Fletcher and all requested their discharges. Davis resolved this grievance and managed to keep the crew, however, Lincoln’s negative opinion of Fletcher appears continuous throughout the voyage.
Lincoln considers some of the officers to be “mutton-headed” and “ignorant”; he accused Frank Fletcher of failing to secure the brake of the windlass, so the cable eventually disappeared over the side, causing the loss of the anchor. The seamen spent much time and energy in the unsuccessful attempt to retrieve it.
Lincoln laments the officer’s lack of knowledge of using the steam winches to reposition the motor launch:
“[the officers] have not the slightest idea of the use of steam for anything but the engines, oh they are a queer lot. To join this ship a sailor must be a sailor and used to square rigged sailing vessels, so when we see our passenger steamer officers la-de-da-ing around making us a lot of unnecessary work we naturally curse steamboats and their officers up-hill and down dale.”
Lincoln alleges that Fletcher was also disliked by the second and third officers, Percival Gray and Clarence De La Motte. Having achieved his Certificate of Competence First Mate in the Merchant Service in Hobart on 24 December 1912, De La Motte was working at a lower level than he was capable of in the position of third officer, and perhaps competitiveness or jealousy drove any disharmony.
The antics of officers
Between the officers, an ongoing “game” was the awarding of the Jonah medal. Whoever was on watch when there was a head wind or inclement weather was the Jonah, and was therefore given the medal to wear. Bert described how De La Motte did not inform the captain of the change in the weather as he did not want to wear the medal, Gray taking over from De La Motte said nothing to the captain either, leaving Fletcher to make fast the sails on his watch, becoming the Jonah. Presumably, Davis would have been angry if he was aware of De La Motte and Gray’s inaction, which would have slowed the ship.
Crew opinion of Captain John King Davis
While in Commonwealth Bay, the Aurora lost three anchors and 366 metres of cable, and sustained a smashed windlass in the crew’s unsuccessful attempt to retrieve a lost anchor. Lincoln is critical of Davis and the senior officers, as he believed that without the anchors, the ship needed to steam slowly to relieve the weight on the remaining cable:
“It is a wonder that our captain does not steam ahead slowly when the squalls come, and take some of the ship’s weight off her cable but I suppose he is too much of a numb skull to know that and of course if he does know it, we can’t tell him as he is captain and thinks he knows everything and his fellow officers are Jackie know-alls too in their own estimations.”
However, after Lincoln penned this, Davis did decide to move the Aurora up and down the bay.
Lincoln is impressed by Davis’ receptiveness to crew grievances, and the action he takes to solve problems:
“… the serious complaints of the A.B.’s are always paid heed to by the captain and rectified where possible.”
Despite the division between crew and officers, all enjoyed the antics of the able seamen during the snowball fight of 17 February 1913. The “big Dane” started the snowball fight by hitting Lincoln, who returned volley. One of Lincoln’s shots narrowly missed Davis, who took it with good humour. Fletcher enjoyed the antics, observing from the bridge, and was almost hit by a snowball as well.
“… one of my stray shots just missed the captain’s head by about three inches but he took it as a joke for a wonder. The mate on the bridge was watching the fun and enjoying it immensely his face was like a water-melon with a big slice cut out of it, although he had some narrow escapes from snowballs that had been thrown at one sailor by another. These strays were not all accidental either. One chap got me square on the back of the neck, it was a bit cold down my back for a minute or two afterwards.”
Second steward duties made Goddard privy to dining room conversations, and so his observations of Davis maybe more accurate than other commentators. Goddard notes Davis’ concern for Mawson, having endured another Antarctic winter: “Captain Davis is much worried out course, it is only natural considering he was compelled to leave him here for the winter months…” Davis’s relief at having successfully retrieved Mawson’s party was noted by Goddard: “Captain seems lighter hearted now.”
Goddard describes Davis’ anxiety at the possibility of becoming stuck as they have spent 11 days trying to get through the pack ice: “Captain had hard time of it and consequently rather cross. Never speaking at all when he does come to table.” However, as he finds a way through the pack ice, Davis’ mood returns to normal.
The crew appreciated nature’s beauty in the subantarctic and in Antarctica
Macquarie Island wildlife listed by Goddard include: penguins, different kinds of seals, and the introduced rabbits. Goddard is impressed with the spectacular landscape, but not the climate: “The island itself contains beautiful rugged scenery, some fine fresh water lakes, some fine deep water beautifully clear, in fact sea itself is also quite clear but climate of the place is rotten.”
Lay recordings of wildlife were made by Lincoln, Taylor, and Goddard, indicating their awe at the beauty of nature. Taylor included drawings of a trawling net, an octopus, and a “queer shaped fish”. Birds identified by Lincoln include Albatross, blue-billies, nightbirds, penguins, Antarctic Petrels and Mother Carey’s chickens. He saw seals, blue whales and fin-backs. About 130 km from the Main Base he reports seeing “scores of blue whales, finbacks and killers around us.” Lincoln was especially moved by one encounter: a whale spouting under the bow almost made contact with the Aurora. Likewise, Goddard had a moving encounter with whales about 10.7 m in length.
Goddard’s lay observations of Emperor Penguins are fairly accurate, and he notices the claws that grip the ice:
“Emperor Penguins are fine big birds about 3ft 6inches (92.9cm) high and very broad … the beautiful colours, white, yellow, and spotty brown and grey, while their claws are just like animals.”
The stunning Antarctic landscape is passionately described by Goddard and Lincoln.
Goddard notes: “When one sees the great and glorious fields of ice and snow one soon forgets the discomfort one have to put up with … the old scenery is so beautiful and strange to describe.”
Goddard’s vivid description of Rookery Island demonstrates his natural eloquence:
“It was sunset and the sight of seeing ship right in the ice and the colours of the sunset on the starboard side and beautiful blues on the port side reflecting on the snow. On the port side it was one mass of flat ice fields it’s all one could see, while on starboard side see the ragged rocks covered all white with sky for background. I never wish to see a fairer scene. It was more a dream, the finished work of a great master.”
According to Lincoln: “It was the prettiest sight I have ever seen. The blue sea with the white lumps of ice shining in the sunlight and some of the larger pieces showing a bright blue.”
The night sky was eloquently described by Goddard and Lincoln
Goddard writes, “It looks an enchanting scene and one can highly appreciate… the midnight sun, when one sees the midnight sun shining here. We all went to bed in daylight which is so funny with usual watches on duty…”
Lincoln also notes how strange it is to have light, as bright as day at midnight and be able to read on deck. He explains that nights are getting darker as they travel further west, and writes of steering the ship by the light of the Aurora Australis.
“We had another fine ‘Aurora’ tonight showing the arc of a circle for about six points long across the sky with the stream shooting up from it and flickering in all directions. It started in the S.E. and spread over the S.W. before the streamers started out from it.”
Returning to port
At the end of the 1912–1913 voyage, Lincoln relays:
“Our beards greatly amused the girls etc. in Hobart until we got shaved. While walking up the street to the barbers our faces and beards proclaimed us as belonging to the Aurora, and everyone would give us a smile or a nod and some would come and talk to us and altogether we were made much of, after our voyage to the Antarctic.”
All on board the Aurora received a hero’s welcome upon arrival in Port Adelaide on the 26 February, 1914. Tom was included in invitations and felt included as part of the successful expedition. The wharf, amass with people, must have come as a shock, for the ships occupants who were used to just their number as company. Another dramatic difference was the weather: Tom estimates Adelaide temperature to be 44°C, which was also a difficult adjustment for the huskies. Tom cared for the huskies during the voyage and admired their strength. Twenty-nine year old Tom eagerly anticipated his return home to see his sickly Father, and share souvenirs such as explorers clothing.
Courageous, adventurous, and resilient, the Aurora’s unsung heroes made Mawson’s expedition possible and greatly contributed to its success. Scant information exists on the further experiences of the crew. With Australia at war with Germany, one can only assume that life was difficult for the German 2nd Engineer, Max Fritzte. It is highly likely that many followed a path involving acts of danger and risk-taking, which may have contributed to Lincoln and Goddard’s enlistments in the Australian Imperial Force.
Bert Lincoln, 1888–1918, Able seaman
Born into a South Australian Presbyterian family, Bert Clive Lincoln was the eldest of Henry and Fanny’s four children. Attractive and strong with a tattoo on his right upper arm and left hand, Bert fitted the Able seaman stereotype: he found eager female company in every port. Thoughts of women sustained him during those dangerous and physically gruelling times as a 25 year old on the Aurora’s second Antarctic voyage.
Enlisting with the Australian Imperial Force in August of 1915, Bert departed Melbourne with the 11th reinforcements, 3rd Light Horse Regiment. Promoted to Corporal, he was transferred to the 4th Battalion, Imperial Camel Corps at Abbassia, Egypt in 1916. Although hospitalised twice, Bert returned to his infantry position. Despite not being formally identified, he was declared killed in action when fighting in the Jordan Campaign on 30 March 1918. Bert’s body is thought to have been buried 2.5 km outside the village of Amman. Fanny received Bert’s effects in February of 1919, which included a pair of mittens: possibly a reminder of his days sailing the Southern Ocean.
Herbert Victor Goddard, 1888–1960, Second Steward
Migrating to Australia a qualified coach builder at the age of 24, Herbert Goddard worked for the Melbourne Motor Company and Globe Motor Company before joining Vout Chisolm in Hobart. The Aurora’s third Antarctic voyage, November 1913 to February 1914, was Herbert’s first experience as a Second Steward. Like fellow crew member Thomas Liddiard, Goddard remained with the Aurora until he was discharged from Davis’s employ in Hobart. The beauty and danger of the Antarctic environment is well captured in Goddard’s eloquent diary.
The courage Goddard demonstrated in the Antarctic was required of a member of the Australian Infantry Forces in World War 1, and his enlistment as a private was a logical progression. His service in Egypt and France ended when he was wounded in action. Although a worrying time for his mother, Eva Goddard, the flesh wound to his right thigh was successfully treated in England, enabling him to return to Hobart.
Goddard created his own automotive factory and repair company, City Bodyworks Pty Ltd in 1928 which was the largest in Tasmania by the end of World War 2. A successful businessman, Goddard was also active in his Community and church, making significant contributions to the Returned Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen Imperial League of Australia, Legacy, and Hobart Rotary. Goddard died in 1960, survived by his two children.
Written by Kylie Quinn