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Day, Bernard C.

Day, Bernard C.

Alias: None

Dates: 1884-1934

Nationality: British, Australian

Awards: Polar Medal (silver)

Day was born on 18 August 1884 in Wymondham, Leicestershire. He was educated at Wellingborough Grammar School and joined the New Arrol-Johnson Motor Car Company.
Day served as motor expert on the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-09 (Nimrod). He was seconded to the expedition as part of the sponsorship package by Sir William Beardmore, the expedition's main sponsor and owner of the Arroll-Johnston Motor Car Company, who saw the opportunity to gain publicity for his motor car. Although the motor car did receive the desired press coverage, it did not play a great role in the expedition.
Day took part in many of the early stages of the sledging trips, using the motor car to assist in the initial hauling. For example, Day drove the Western party 16 miles (25 kms) with 1,200 pounds (544 kg) of equipment across the sea ice to lay a depot at Butter Point; he also laid depots for the Northern party 10 (16 kms) and 15 miles (24 kms) from the base. Day was also part of the four-man production team of the first book to be printed in the Antarctic, the Aurora Australis, and was responsible for binding the copies.
Day was the only man in the world with experience in Antarctic motor transport, and was quickly hired for the British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13 (Terra Nova). He returned home in 1911 after the first year, having laid depots at latitude 80°30' S, hauling 740 pounds (336 kg) of supplies for 200 miles (241 km). A competent amateur artist, he made the covers for The South Polar Times in his spare time on the expedition.
Following active service in World War I, Day settled in Australia, moving to Sydney after the war and continuing to work as an engineer. He died in 1952 in Queensland Australia. Day's contribution to Antarctic exploration is commemorated by Cape Day 76°16' S 162°37' E, and he was awarded the polar medal for his part in the expeditions.


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