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The memorials on Beechey Island, Nunavut, Canada: an historical and pictorial survey

  • Brian D. Powell (a1)

This paper describes observations made on visits to Beechey Island in 1999, 2002, and 2005. These visits were made in order to examine the memorials on this very important site for Arctic exploration and to make an extensive photographic record of them. Their history and present condition are described. There are some inconsistencies and confusion in the scattered literature concerning their history and this paper seeks to resolve these matters. It is hoped that further investigations to resolve the few remaining problems, will be conducted and that a systematic nomenclature, which is suggested in the paper, will be adopted for the memorials. Restoration, repair, and regular maintenance of the memorials are becoming necessary and appropriate funding for this is required before it is too late. Close regulation of the erection of more modern memorials and burials, some of which, in the author's view, detract from the significance, solemnity, and appearance of the island is desirable. With the growing number of airborne and ship borne travellers and tourists visiting Beechey Island, a degree of supervision may become necessary in order to ensure that the memorials remain intact. Beechey Island is one of the most important heritage locations in Canada and in the history of Arctic exploration by the Royal Navy in the nineteenth century.

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Polar Record
  • ISSN: 0032-2474
  • EISSN: 1475-3057
  • URL: /core/journals/polar-record
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