National Records of Scotland

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Harry Bowers (1883-1912)

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Harry Bowers (1883-1912)

Polar explorer

Harry Bowers (also known as Birdie Bowers) joined Captain Robert Falcon Scott's second expedition to Antarctica on the "Terra Nova" in 1909. He was the junior officer in charge of supplies but also made contributions to the scientific work and was one of the team of five which reached the South Pole on 18 January 1912 (as described in Scott's diary entries now available on the Scott Polar Research Institute website). He died alongside Scott during the return journey.

Birth in 1883

Henry Robertson Bowers was born on 29 July 1883, the son of Alexander Bowers, master seaman and Emily Webb. The entry in the statutory register of births for the district of Greenock Old or West in the county of Renfrew shows that his parents were married in Singapore.

Birth entry for Harry Bowers

Birth entry for Harry Bowers (34 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1883/564-3/805

Death in 1912

Henry R Bowers died on 29 March 1912 aged 29. The entry in the Marine Returns (part of the Minor Records of births, deaths and marriages overseas) includes the name of the ship (Terra Nova) and his official number (89090), rank (lieutenant Royal Indian Marine), nationality British (Renfew) and last place of abode (Ardbeg on Bute). The place of death is Antarctic and the cause of death exposure, etc.

Death entry for Harry Bowers

Death entry for Harry Bowers (10 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1912/MR28/228