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Evans, Frederick Pryce

Evans, Frederick Pryce

Alias: None

Dates: 1874-1959

Nationality: British, Australian

Awards: Polar Medal (bronze)

Frederick Pryce Evans was born in Newtown, Wales on 14 April 1874. He was apprenticed into the Merchant Navy when he was eighteen, and sailed on board Pentwyn Castle. He sailed with the Union Steam Ship Company on numerous boats, collecting his various sailing certificates and finally gaining his extra master certificate. He was given his first command in January 1905 on board Cumberland.

Appointed as master on Shackleton’s Nimrod Expedition, Evans soon realised that the vessel could not carry enough coal to steam all the way to the Antarctic. A tow-ship, the Koonya, was made available and Evans was appointed captain. In January 1908, the Koonya towed the Nimrod 2700 kilometres from Lyttelton to the edge of the ice. In early 1908 Shackleton had a major falling-out with the captain of the Nimrod, Rupert England, which eventually led to England’s forced resignation. Evans was asked by Shackleton to replace him as captain on the return journey.

After the expedition, Evans returned to the Union Steam Ship Company, commanding the R.M.S Aorangi and then the Tahiti. During World War I he commanded numerous troop ship voyages to Europe. After the war Evans gave up sailing to become a lawyer in Sydney, specialising in maritime law. He retired in 1950 and died on 9 July 1959 in Sydney at the age of 86.

For his services, Evans became a Younger Brother of Trinity House, the main award for anyone involved in maritime activities. Evans Cove 74°53' S 163°48' E, first charted by the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-09 was probably named by Ernest Shackleton for Frederick Pryce Evans.

The Institute archives hold a narrative and correspondence written by Evans regarding the expedition.


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