Charles Turnbull Harrisson

Charles Turnbull Harrisson with an albatross on deck of Aurora
Charles Turnbull Harrisson with an albatross on deck of Aurora (Stillwell left, Hunter right). (Photo: Frank Hurley)

AAE position: Biologist, artist

The only married member of the Western Party, Harrisson was born in 1866 in Hobart, Tasmania. Having been an illustrator and a botanical observer in his younger life, he was able to combine both interests in his work with the AAT.

Serving as a biologist and artist, Harrisson accompanied Wild on his main eastern journey, and undertook several other sledging journeys during an active year with the Western Party.

On his return to Tasmania he travelled to Macquarie Island aboard the Australian Government’s fisheries research vessel, Endeavour. The voyage was partly to re-supply a meteorological station established by the AAE, the summer following the departure of the AAE’s original Macquarie party.

But on Endeavour’s return journey late in 1914, with Harrisson aboard, something went horribly wrong. The ship failed to arrive at Hobart. Despite a great effort to find it by Aurora under J.K. Davis, on its way to the Ross Sea for Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctic Expedition, no trace of the ship or its people was ever found.

This page was last modified on July 3, 2014.