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Billings, Joseph (1758–1806), explorer and hydrographer in Russia, was born in 1758 at Turnham Green, Middlesex, according to ship musters; parish church registers confirm the birth of Joseph, son of Thomas and Mary Billing, on 6 September 1758. Billings's signed Russian service record, however, gives 1761 as the year of his birth. Other sources indicate that ...

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Frank Debenham (1883–1965) by Herbert George Ponting, 1911 © Popperfoto

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J. A. Steers

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Debenham, Frank (1883–1965), geographer and polar scientist, was born at Bowral, New South Wales, on 26 December 1883, the second son of the Revd John Willmott Debenham, vicar of Bowral and schoolmaster, and his wife, Edith Cleveland. He attended the school run by his father and, after his death in 1898, by his mother, and from there went to the ...

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Joseph Charles Farman (1930–2013) by Anita Corbin and John O'Grady, 1989 © Anita Corbin and John O'Grady; National Portrait Gallery, London

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Farman, Joseph Charles [Joe] (1930–2013), Antarctic geophysicist, was born on 7 August 1930 at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Norwich, the only son and younger child of Joseph John Farman (1894–1970), a self-employed builder, and his wife, Hannah Ellen, née Ribbons (1892–1962), a primary school teacher. At the time of his birth registration the family lived at ...

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Koerner, Roy Martindale [Fritz] (1932–2008), glaciologist and polar explorer, was born at 40 Kimbolton Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, on 3 July 1932, the youngest of three sons of Bernard William Koerner (1898–1974), an electrical wireman at Portsmouth Dockyard, and his wife, Minnie, née Martindale (1897–1984)...

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Smith, Geoffrey Francis Hattersley- (1923–2012), polar scientist and historian, was born on 22 April 1923 at 12 Lansdowne Crescent, Kensington, London, the son of Major Wilfrid Percy Ashley Hattersley-Smith (1881–1968), Royal Artillery officer, and his wife, Ethel Mary, née Willcocks (1892–1937). He had a younger brother, ...