On this day: September 30

John Rae from Orkney was one of Britain's greatest Arctic explorers.
John Rae from Orkney was one of Britain's greatest Arctic explorers.
Share this article
0
Have your say

1813

John Rae, from Orkney, one of Britain’s greatest Arctic explorers is born.

Rae was sent to discover the fate of Sir John Franklin and his crew who had disappeared in 1846 while trying to find the fabled North West passage in the Arctic.

He caused outrage after suggesting the British Royal Navy sailors had resorted to cannibalism in an attempt to survive.

Novelist Charles Dickens led a campaign to discredit Rae, but the explorer was finally proved right - more than a century after his death - when in 1997 human bones were discovered on King William Island, some of which had blade cuts on them.