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Marr, James William Slessor

Marr, James William Slessor

Alias: None

Rank: Lieutenant-Commander (Royal Naval Reserve)

Dates: 1902-1965

Nationality: Unknown

Awards: Polar Medal (silver); Polar Medal (bronze)

James William Slessor Mar was born on 9 December 1902 in Auchterless, Turriff, Aberdeenshire. He was one of two boy scouts selected for the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition 1921-22 (Quest), led by Ernest Henry Shackleton, to serve as cabin-boy in Quest. He published his diary from the expedition, 'Into the Frozen South: the story of the Quest' in five parts in 1923.

Marr returned to the Antarctic 1927-29 as zoologist on William Scoresby, and again in 1929-30 as planktonologist on Disvoery during the British Australian New Zealnad Antarctic Expedition 1929-31 under Douglas Mawson. He conducted a large-scale study of krill on Discovery II 1931-33 and 1933-37, and served as a whaling inspector in the Antarctic 1939-40.

Marr as lieutenant commander in the Royal Naval Reserve during the Second World War, and commanded Operation Tabarin 1943-46, a secret wartime naval operation to safeguard British sovereignty in the area south of the Falkland Islands. Marr served as base leader at Base A (Port Lockroy) for the first season in 1944 but returned home on the grounds of ill health in 1945.

After the war, Marr headed the National Institute of Oceanography at Godalming, Surrey until his retirement. He died on 29 April 1965.


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