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    Naturevolume 18pages227228 (1878) | Download Citation



    ADMIRAL SIR GEORGE BACK, F.R.S., died on Sunday at the age of eighty-one years. He entered the Royal Navy when twelve years old as a midshipman on board the Arethusa, and in 1818 joined a vessel under the command of Sir John Franklin, whom he accompanied on his expedition overland from Hudson's Bay to the Coppermine River, having already taken part under Capt. Buchan in his perilous voyage of discovery made to the neighbourhood of Spitzbergen. In the spring of 1825 Lieut. Back again accompanied Sir John Franklin on his second expedition to the Arctic regions for the purpose of co-operating with Capt. Beechy and Capt. Parry in their simultaneous efforts to ascertain from opposite quarters the existence of a north-west passage. Full details of this voyage will be found in Franklin's “Narrative of a Second Expedition to the Shores of the Polar Sea.” Back was again appointed in the spring of 1833 to conduct the expedition fitted out for the purpose of seeking and relieving Sir John Ross, who had gone out nearly four years previously in quest of the north-west passage. A full account of the results of that hazardous enterprise, in the course of which he discovered the river which has since borne his name, Capt. Back gave to the world in his “Narrative of the Arctic Land Expedition to the Mouth of the Great Fish River and along the Shores of the Arctic Ocean in 1833-35.” In 1836 Capt. Back sailed in command of another expedition to the frigid zone. The details of this expedition, in the course of which he reached Frozen Strait, almost within sight of Repulse Bay, were published by Capt. Back in his “Narrative of the Expedition in Her Majesty's Ship Terror, Undertaken with a view to Geographical Discovery, in 1836-37.” In 1857 he obtained flag rank, but had not been afloat since that date. In 1837 Back had awarded to him the gold and silver medals of the Geographical Society. He also was honoured by the gold medal of the Geographical Society of Paris, of which he was made a corresponding member. He was knighted in 1839, and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1847.

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