Frank Plumley Collection
In 1901, led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott on board the SY Discovery, the British National Antarctic Expedition spent four years in pursuit of scientific and geographic discovery. At Discovery Point Museum, Dundee they aim to tell the story of this voyage along with the 48 men on board. However, due to the nature of collecting, their narrative can often focus on just 11- the officers and scientists as much more material relating to these higher ranked men has been recorded and preserved.
With the support of the UKAHT Dundee Heritage Trust, have been able to somewhat readdress this by securing a collection of 35 pieces belonging to Frank Plumley, one of the five stokers. Material include personal notebooks, poems and letters, service and polar medals, photographs and personal items, such as an Expedition Royal Doulton mug, snow goggles and pipe. The collection, preserved by his grandson, also includes many newspaper cuttings and articles relating to Frank’s later life allowing Dundee Heritage Trust to build up a fascinating history.
Born in 1876 Frank joined the Royal Navy at the age of 20, joining Discovery 5 years later from H.M.S. Gibraltar at Capetown, South Africa. During the expedition he was part of Lieutenant Barne’s first attempt to reach Cape Crozier in March 1902, this journey struck trouble when a blizzard swept over the Hut Point Peninsula sending George Vince to his death. He later played a part in Captain Scott’s Western Attempt in October 1903. After Discovery Plumley served on a number of ships and saw active service with the Navy during World War I. He returned to civilian life in 1919 where he was employed as a blacksmith at Gun Wharf in Portsmouth. Frank died in 1971, aged 95, in Newport on the Isle of Wight.
For more details on these objects or to see other highlights of their fantastic collection please visit Collections Online http://www.dhtcollections.com/