Southern Ocean to the Somme

Leslie Russell Blake
Leslie Russell Blake was a geologist and cartographer for the Macquarie Island Party during Mawson’s 1911–1914 Australasian Antarctic Expedition. In 1916 he was awarded the Military Cross, for conspicuous and continual gallantry in the field during the Battle of the Somme. (Photo: Charles A. Sandell)
Map of Macquarie IslandMap of north Macquarie IslandBlake with survey instrumentblack and white photo of Macquarie Island and isthmus in 1911

Today as the sun rises over Antarctica, dawn services at Mawson, Casey, Davis and Macquarie Island research stations commemorate Anzac Day.

In particular, we reflect on the contribution by many Antarctic expeditioners to wartime service. We honour the sacrifice of Antarcticans in war, and remember their talent and bravery.

To mark the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign, in 2015 the ANARE Club commissioned a plaque listing the Australians and New Zealanders who served in the ‘Heroic Age’ of Antarctic expeditions, and lost their lives in the First World War.

Some of their stories are told by the State Library of NSW.

The Memorial Board is on display in the Australian Antarctic Division headquarters in Kingston.

Lest we forget.