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Alias: None

Title: Sir

Rank: Commander (Royal Naval Reserve)

Dates: 1880-1962

Nationality: British

Awards: Polar Medal (silver)

Jameson Boyd Adams was born on 6 March 1880, in Rippingale, Lincolnshire. In 1893, at the age of 13, he joined the Merchant Navy, and in 1902 became a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve.

Adams was the first man to volunteer for the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-09 (Nimrod) after meeting Shackleton one evening. He served as second-in-command of the shore party and led the three-man support party for the Mount Erebus climb, reaching the top along with the main party on 10 March 1908 and becoming the first people to successful summit Erebus. He was also a member of the Southern Party, led by Shackleton, which set out on 29 October 1908 with the aim of reaching the South Pole, getting as far as 88°23’ S.

On returning from the Antarctic, Adams entered the Civil Service and was appointed head of the North-Eastern Division of the Employment Exchanges the following year. During World War I, Adams was recalled to the Navy and served as a flag lieutenant, undertook a period of special work at the Ministry of Munitions, and commanded a battery of naval siege guns in Flanders. A bad wound in the head necessitated his return in 1917. He received both a Distinguish Service Order and the Croix de Guerre for his services.

After the war Adams returned to the Ministry of Labour as Controller for the North-Eastern Division, and such spare time as he had was largely devoted to helping boys' clubs. He left the service in 1935 to become Secretary of King George's Jubilee Trust for Youth. The trust was set up to raise money for relieving cases of need, hardship or distress. Adams remained in this post, apart from further distinguished service in World War II, until his retirement in 1948, when he was knighted.

Adams remained active in his retirement by working for the King Edward VII's Hospital for Officers, where he died on 30 April 1962 at the age of 82. Sadly, Adams’ diaries were destroyed by fire in World War II and he never published his own account of the Nimrod Expedition. Adams is commemorated in the Antarctic by Adams Glacier (78°7′ S 163°38′ E) named in his honour by the New Zealand Northern Survey Party of the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1956–58).

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