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 John Hartnell

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John Hartnell

  • Birth 1820
  • Death 4 Jan 1846
  • Burial Beechey Island, Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada
  • Memorial ID 7841255

Explorer. Hartnell served as an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy. He was later part of Sir John Franklin's last expedition to the Arctic in search of the Northwest Passage. In 1845 a crew of 129 men including Franklin boarded two ships, the 'HMS Erebus' and the 'HMS Terror' which set sail for the Arctic. The ships and the men later disappeared. After 3 years of being missing, several search parties were sent all over the Arctic landscape, but only a few relics of the expedition were found. In 1853 to 1854, and 1856 to 1857, several more prominent pieces were found including some notes. It was shown that Franklin had died on June 11, 1847, while the surviving men abandoned there ships and continued on foot to locate civilization, but all perished. In 1976 3 graves from the Franklin expedition were located on Beechey Island, Northwest Territories, Canada, by marine surveyors. The graves belonged to Hartnell, and 2 others. The team exumed the bodies in 1984 and found them to be perfectly preserved, later determining that they had died of lead poisoning. This story gained national media coverage including the book, "Buried In Ice: The Mystery of A Lost Arctic Expedition" (1992), which was written by John Geiger and Owen Beattie, and several science television shows and films.

Bio by: Peterborough "K"


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 6 Sep 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7841255
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Hartnell (1820–4 Jan 1846), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7841255, citing Beechey Island, Beechey Island, Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada ; Maintained by Find A Grave .