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Bertram Armytage, son of a wealthy squatter, a popular sportsman who rowed for Cambridge, was the first Australian-born member of an Antarctic expedition. An expert horseman, he was given charge of the ponies in Ernest Shackleton's great 1907-1909 expedition, narrowly escaping the jaws of killer whales. In London he was decorated by royalty, but on coming home to Australia he went to his part-time city residence, the exclusive Melbourne Club, put on his dinner suit and polar medals and, at the age of 41, shot himself. This mystery-cum-biography provides a new perspective on one of Shackleton's greatest expeditions.

David Burke author, published by the Wakefield Press 2009, 170pp, s/c, b&w photos. A very good clean copy.

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  • Seller location: Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, NZ

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