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Arctic 1875-6 HMS Alert 1 of 8 Sledgers

Arctic Medal 1875-6, Thomas Stubbs, Stoker and Blacksmith, HMS Alert, one of only 8 hand picked men of the Western Sledging Party who set a new record of Polar Exploration.

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SKU: J6198 Category:
Origin: United Kingdom
Nearly Extremely Fine


Arctic Medal 1875-6, the 2nd Issue Round Medal with milled rim, for the members of HMS Discovery and Alert, to Stoker and Blacksmith Thomas Stubbs, HMS Alert, who was one of only 8 men to go on the sledging journey under perilous circumstances to reach the highest latitude ever attained at the time (83*20’26” N), this record stood for 20 years.


It also appears that “Stubbs Point” in the far north of Ellesmere Island was named for him.


Thomas Stubbs was very well mentioned in the journal of Pelham Aldrich . Officially a Stoker, he also made himself most useful as the party’s blacksmith, a rate which he later served as for many years until his untimely death during his service on HMS Boadicea at the age of 37 off the coast of Zanzibar.


Officially engraved as issued in signature unique style for this medal: “Thos Stubbs. Stoker. H.M.S. Alert.”
This medal was issued to him on HMS Swallow on 16th May 1877.


During the expedition the “Challenger” Sledge Crew was led by Lt Pelham Aldrich and consisted of:
Sledge Capt – Josh Good, Acting Chief Boatswain’s Mate
William Wood, Sergeant Royal Marines.
Adam Ayles, 2nd Class Petty Officer.
David Mitchell, Able Seaman.
James Doidge, Captain of Foretop.
Henry Mann, Shipwright
Thomas Stubbs, Black Smith.


They rode with the motto “Fortitudo Vincet” which translates to “The strength will prevail”.


An entry from 29th April, Saturday:


“Some cooks are apt to play curious, but inconvenient, pranks at the beginning of a journey. Our kettle leaked today; on examining it I found a small hole, and further enquiry elicited information that the cocoa had given some trouble in dissolving and that the point of a knife had been used to overcome its scruples. Fortunately the Blacksmith