Glasgow Digital Library Voyage of the Scotia BRUCE PEOPLE SHIP ANTARCTIC INDEX
Scotland and the Antarctic

Section 6: After the Scotia expedition

The Harvest of the Scotia

image from Voyage of the Scotia

The return of Scotia was only one stage in the dreams of Bruce in regard to polar work. He had hopes of a second Antarctic expedition, the publication of all the results of the Scotia Antarctic trip and the establishment of a Scottish Oceanographic Laboratory

No other Antarctic expedition of that time had brought home such a harvest of preserved specimens and observations. Top scientists were employed in the cataloguing and descriptions of the collection.

The equipment was stored in Edinburgh and surplus stores were sold. Lieutenant R F Peary bought Bruce's furs which were used by him on his expedition to the North Pole in 1908.

Bruce had numerous letters of congratulations after the Scotia voyage including one from Sir J D Hooker who had been on the Ross expedition of 1839.

Bruce never wrote a book on the expedition which may have been a mistake as it would have been a good source of money - Antarctic books were selling very well at the time. The Voyage of the Scotia was published in 1906, written by Rudmose Brown, Pirie and Mossman. The log of the Scotia, although ready for publication, was only printed in 1992.

After Bruce returned from the Antarctic he had a very bad case of 'flu over the winter 1904-05 and perhaps missed out on much needed publicity for the voyage - very important for raising cash for the publication of results. Bruce also returned about the same time as did Scott from the Discovery expedition.

Bruce was a reluctant lecturer but undertook a lecture tour of Scotland. He never really had a permanent job and would try his hand at most things to gain money for his laboratory and other enterprises. At one time he lectured on general geography at Heriot-Watt College. He was offered a lecturer's job in the geography department of Aberdeen University but turned it down. He also used to mark exam papers.

Meteorological station at Scotia Bay

Mossman returned to Europe in 1905 leaving the weather station in the hands of the Argentinians. At Bruce's instigation several of the Ben Nevis observers obtained work with the Argentinian meteorological service, who planned further stations in the Antarctic. Mossman returned to work for Argentinian meteorological service in 1908 and became an Argentinian citizen.

Aberdeen University
Aberdeen University was founded in 1495, but its quatercentenary celebration was delayed until 1906 when the new buildings at Marischal College were opened by King Edward VII. Bruce was at the opening ceremony when his friend the Prince of Monaco was capped as an LLB. Bruce met King Edward VII and greatly enjoyed his walks through Hazelhead Park with the prince. A few months later Bruce was made a LLD at Aberdeen University in recognition of his eminence as an oceanographer, explorer and naturalist. The ceremony was a great joy to the new Dr William Speirs Bruce, especially as during his entrance the students broke into song:
'Scots, wha ha'e wi' Wallace bled
Scots, wham Bruce has aften led'

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Glasgow Digital Library Voyage of the Scotia BRUCE PEOPLE SHIP ANTARCTIC INDEX