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Edward Leicester Atkinson

2 of 2 portraits of Edward Leicester Atkinson

Edward Leicester Atkinson, by Herbert George Ponting, 15 September 1911 - NPG P1364 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Edward Leicester Atkinson

by Herbert George Ponting
gelatin silver print, 15 September 1911
12 1/8 in. x 15 in. (308 mm x 381 mm)
Purchased, 2010
Primary Collection
NPG P1364


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  • Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935), Photographer; antarctic explorer. Artist of 10 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

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The Royal Navy surgeon Atkinson joined Captain Scott 's Terra Nova expedition as medical officer and parasitologist. He travelled to within 293 miles of the Pole as part of the support party for the final push. On his return to the base-camp at Cape Evans leadership fell to him as sole remaining officer. He led the search party that found the bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers on 12 November 1912.
Scott enthusiastically described his scientific studies: 'Atkinson is quietly pursuing the subject of parasites. Already he is in a new world…Constantly he comes to me to ask me if I would like to see some new form, and I am taken to see some protozoon or ascidian isolated on the slide plate of his microscope.'

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