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Harry Goodsir – A Family Skeleton
8 October 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
By Dr Iain MacIntyre
Goodsir, whose family came from Largo & Anstruther, was part of the Sir John Franklin Expedition which tried to find a way through the North West Passage in 1845-48, and died with the rest of the men. There were two ships in the Expedition, HMS Erebus & HMS Terror. Goodsir was Assistant Surgeon on the Erebus. The ships were stuck in the ice, and both ships were abandoned in 1848, as the men tried to walk to safety, but they all died.
All contact with the two ships was then lost, and it was not until 2014 that the wreck of the Erebus was found, followed by the Terror 2 years later, in 2016. Both ships were in a remarkable state of preservation, and both were then 100 miles apart, and it is believed that the Erebus moved with the floating ice to its present position.
On Saturday past there was a Documentary on Channel 4 regarding HMS Erebus, “the Ghost ship of the Arctic;” while several years ago SKY brought out a mini-series called rather appropriately the Terror, which features the crew of HMS Erebus, with the names of the captain and crew being retained; but the Terror was a giant polar bear lurking in the bowels off the ship, which killed off the crew one by one
It may be mentioned that the Surgeon on board the Terror also came from Fife – John Smart Peddie, from Inverkeithing, son of James Peddie, architect