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George Back, British explorer

George Back, British explorer

C006/6163

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Credit

ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Admiral Sir George Back (1796-1878), British explorer. Back went to sea as a boy, and was a career officer. He fought in the Napoleonic Wars, and spent some time as a prisoner. After the peace he returned to service, and in 1818 served with John Franklin in his expeditions to North America. By 1834 Back was conducting his own expeditions, and in 1836 was given his own ship, HMS Terror, with which he was to explore the Hudson Bay. The ship was ice-bound for ten months, and later received more damage that very nearly sank it. Back retired from active service due to ill health, was knighted in 1839, and was made president of the Royal Geographical Society.

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