Header image of Antartica with signature of Louis Bernacchi
Louis Bernacchi photo

Louis Charles Bernacchi

Louis Bernacchi, son of an Italian father and Belgian mother, was born in Belgium in 1876 and brought up on Maria Island, off the coast of Tasmania, and is regarded as the first Australian Antarctic explorer.

He first visited Antarctica as the Physicist and Photographer for Carsten Borchgrevink's Southern Cross Antarctic Expedition of 1898 to 1900. On his return he published an account of the expedition, To the South Polar Region, in 1901.

Bernacchi was appointed as Physicist to the National Antarctic Expedition of 1901 to 1904, led by Captain Scott.

He later settled in London, becoming a lieutenant commander in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during the First World War. His name became well known in naval circles for his work on anti-submarine devices. France made him Chevalier d'Honor for his polar work and in Britain he received the Polar medal. He was a Member of the Council of the Royal Geographical Society and died in 1942.

For a full biography click here.

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