Sir James Mann Wordie


James Mann Wordie was born in Glasgow. He obtained a BSc in Geology in 1910 from Glasgow University and also later graduated with a BSc in Geology from St John’s College, Cambridge in 1914.

Wordie was recommended to Shackleton by Raymond Priestley who he met through his post university research and in 1914 he joined Shackleton’s expedition to the Antarctic. He was geologist and chief of scientific staff on the Endurance.

In 1920 he started his own series of arctic expeditions, which were to extend for nearly two decades. He was a founder-member of the Committee of Management of the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge, and was Chairman from 1937 to 1955. He was Director of Studies in Geography at Cambridge University for many years and was Master of St John’s College (1952-1959).

He was also President of the Royal Geographical Society (1951-1954), and Chairman of the British Mountaineering Council (1953-1956). He was appointed CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) by King George VI and Commander of the Order of St. Olaf of Norway by King Haakon. In 1957 he was knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He died at home in Cambridge on 16th January 1962, aged 72.

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