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Dell, James William

Dell, James William

Alias: None

Title: Mr

Rank: Chief Petty Officer (Royal Navy)

Dates: 1880-1968

Nationality: British

Awards: Polar Medal (silver)

James William Dell was born circa 1880 in Worthing. In 1895, he joined the Royal Navy and served with the British National Antarctic Expedition 1901-04 (Discovery), led by Robert Falcon Scott, as an able seaman. He participated in two sledging journeys and his skills as a sailmaker were employed in producing canvas ration bags and sleeping bags.

On his return from the expedition, he was invalided out of the Navy for two years and then rejoined, serving in the Dardanelles and the North Sea during the First World War, before his retirement as chief petty officer in 1921. Shortly afterwards he joined the Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic Expedition 1921-22 (Quest), led by Ernest Henry Shackleton, as boatswain and electrician in Quest. After the expedition, Dell was employed as an engineer and electrician on a country estate, and during the Second World War served in the Coastguard Service. He lived in Somerset in his retirement and became a founder member of the Antarctic Club. He died on 21 January 1968 in his 88th year.


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