Biography of William Speir Bruce (1867-1921)

Naturalist and British Explorer, born in Scotland in 1867 and died in the same place in 1921 after a long illness, which stood out for its oceanographic explorations of the Weddell Sea.

Already at a young age her impassioned adventure and exploration. His first trip took place between the years 1892-1893, when he/she was part of the whaling expedition that went to the islas Malvinas (Falkland current) and surrounding areas. This expedition is formed of four ships: Active, commanded by Thomas Robertson; the Diana, commanded Robert Davidson; the Polar Star, commanded by James Davidson and, finally, the Balaena, commanded by Alexander Fairweather. Bruce, meanwhile, took advantage of this trip to make a large number of scientific observations in Joinville island and NE of the Trinity peninsula. From this moment on, the passion of Bruce by Oceanography was increasing, that is accentuated even more after meeting in 1900 Robert f.Scott. This offered to take part, as naturalist, of the Discovery Expedition, but Bruce finally rejected his offer and began preparing her own journey.

Bruce, expedition to the Weddell Sea Oceanographic exploration, thus became the fourth after Germany and England. He/She accompanied him with a crew of 25 men among zoologists, botanists, meteorologists, geologists, physicians, etc. Bruce went out with the Troon Scotland on November 2, 1902 and arrived at the Falkland Islands in January 1903. After a journey of more than a month and a half they reached 70 ° 25' S. little latitude then, and as a result of the weather, the expedition left the course S and turned to the N. In search of a place to spend the winter, they reached a small bay located in the Laurie Island, belonging to the Group of the South Orkney Islands. Finally, and after being nearly paralyzed by ice, the Scotland arrived in the port of Buenos Aires, where they could fill the pantries of new provisions.

At the beginning of the year 1904 resumed the tasks of scientific research so the Scotland left again for the Laurie island; There they made a whole set of meteorological and magnetic observations. A new land located in the vicinity of a great ice barrier, which they called "Conts", in honor to the brothers who ran the cost of the expedition were located in his explorations in the surrounding area. Bruce could not overcome the barrier of the 74 ° S latitude and, after landing on Gough Island, the expedition returned to his country through the Cape of good hope; they arrived in Scotland on 21 July 1904. His most important discoveries focused on the Weddell Sea: Bruce showed that both its depth and its extension were not which is attributed.

After his return, he/she established the Scottish Oceanographic Laboratory (1907) and made new trips, now focusing on Spitsbergen island. In addition, between 1915 and 1916 managed a whaling station in the Seychelles after which returned back to Scotland where he, until shortly before his death, to various scientific tasks. Finally, he/she died in 1921 following a long illness, and his ashes were scattered over the waters of the Southern Ocean.