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Biographical entry Rymill, John Riddoch (1905 - 1968)

13 March 1905
Penola, South Australia, Australia
7 September 1968
Penola, South Australia, Australia


John Rymill was a highly decorated polar explorer. In 1927 he moved to England to study surveying and navigation, and he also got his pilot license. Rymill's first major polar expedition was to Greenland in 1930 as surveyor and pilot with the British Arctic Air Route Expedition. He returned to Greenland several times after this and headed the 1934 British Graham Land Expedition. This proved to be one of the most successful and best organised polar expeditions of the time. The party discovered King George VI Sound (a frozen channel) and explored new areas around the Weddell Sea. The British Antarctic Territory has several places named in Rymill's honour.



1930 - 1931
Award - British Service Polar Medal with Arctic bar received
1930 - 1931
Career position - Surveyor and Pilot for the British Arctic Air Route Expedition to Greenland
1932 - 1933
Career position - Second-in-command of an expedition to Greenland
1934 - 1937
Award - British Service Polar Medal with Antarctic bar received
1934 - 1937
Career position - British Graham Land Expedition to South Graham Land and the Weddell Sea
Award - The Founders Medal received from the Royal Geographical Society
Award - David Livingstone Centenary Gold Medal received from the American Geographical Society of New York

Published resources


  • Bechervaise, John, Arctic and Antarctic - the Will and the Way of John Riddoch Rymill, Bluntisham Books, Bluntisham, Huntingdon, 1995, 240 pp. Details

Book Sections


McCarthy, G.J.