A bust in Ballarat.

Episode: 22. Site Number: 109. Date Posted: 8 September 1996. Location: School of Mines, Ballarat, Vic, Australia. Type: Art.

Last year Elizabeth Chipman (author, Women on the Ice, Australians in the Frozen South) mentioned to me that "there is a bust of R. W. Richards at the School of Mines in Ballarat where he taught for many years." [In Victoria, west of Melbourne, Ballarat became famous as a gold mining center when the 2217 oz nugget, Welcome Stranger, was discovered in 1858.] Exactly where the bust resides and related details are unknown to me; perhaps others can lend some light.
      'Dick' Richards was an Australian physicist and a member of the Ross Sea Party during Shackleton's British Imperial Transantarctic Expedition of 1914-17. While Sir Ernest and his men were in the Weddell Sea, never to land, Richards and his colleagues were laying depots southward on the Barrier to support the polar party on its never-to-be journey northward to Ross Island. They had ship troubles, too: Their's--the Aurora, which had been prepared for wintering over--succumbed to a furious blizzard, broke its moorings (an anchor is still at Cape Evans) and drifted, ice-held, for ten months. But unlike the Endurance, she broke out, returned to New Zealand, was refitted in Lyttelton and returned to relieve the survivors on Ross Island (who had made use of Scott's Cape Evans hut and left-behind rations and equipment). Of the original party of ten, three perished--Mackintosh, Spencer-Smith and Hayward.
      The Scott Polar Research Institute published Richard's The Ross Sea Shore Party 1914-17 as Special Publication No. 2 in 1962.