Dr John Rae

I read, with some interest, the editor’s remarks on page 28 of the November 2016 issue of Sea Breezes, concerning the finding of the wreck of Admiral Sir John Franklin’s vessel HMS Terror, off King William Island in northern Canada.

Information that is available on the website; www.orkneyjar.com/history/historicalfigures/johnrae, gives stark details of the fate of the last members of the expedition, and the drastic measures they resorted to in their attempts to stay alive. Unfortunately, when Dr John Rea made known his discoveries, he was vilified by the establishment of the day, as you will read.

However, his report of cannibalism resorted to by the last few members of the expedition, have been vindicated in recent years by Canadian scientific expeditions. It is not surprising that the Franklin expedition, the names of Lady Franklin and Charles Dickens are not favourite topics of conversation in the Orkney Isles.

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