Medals Awarded to Bertram Armytage

60 Objects Como Collection
Antarctic explorer, animal handler and soldier Bertram Armytage lived a life of high adventure

After a life of adventure and adrenaline seeking, Bertram Armytage ended his life in his room at the Melbourne Club wearing the medals he was awarded for bravery and exploration.

These included the Queen’s medal with three clasps from the South African campaign of the Boer War,  the King’s Medal with two clasps, the silver Polar Medal for the British Antarctic Expedition 1907 – 1909, awarded at Buckingham Palace by King Edward VII, and a medallion from the King of the Belgians.

Bertram had been part of  Sir Ernest Shackelton’s second expedition (1907 -1909) to the Antarctic, where he was assigned the task of looking after the animals.

Mr. Armytage was a wealthy man. He was 41 years of age, and married, his wife being a sister of Mrs. George Chirnside. She is at present in London. He had a daughter, four years of age. He has always been a most energetic man and was proud of his great muscular strength. One of the aims of his life was "to keep fit." He seems to have longed for something definite to do. He was a splendid shot, and has roamed the world in search of sport. It was this that drew him from a deer-stalking expedition in New Zealand to join the Shackleton Antarctic expedition three years ago. He was a great success with the expedition, earning the praises and confidence both of his chief and his comrades. He was however, a most reticent man, shy and diffident and subject to all kinds of varying moods.

Argus (Melbourne), 14 March 1910, p 6