John Lachlan Cope, standing on deck of ship
Keith Jack notes John King Davis as the compiler of this photograph. Davis (1884-1967) was a notable Antarctic navigator and Captain of the Aurora on the January 1917 relief mission that rescued the Ross Sea Party.
John Lachlan Cope was born in 1893 died in 1947. He was appointed to the Ross Sea Party as biologist and acted as medical officer. He struggled with the isolation of the party and spent much time in bed, described in Jack's diaries:
March 14th 1916
Cope still remains in his bunk the greater part of his time… he says he is not ill and if this is so it seems a most unnatural existence.
June 18th 1916
Cope too only gets up for dinner each day – wonder what can be wrong with him.
Cope later tried to organise the British Imperial Expedition to Graham Land 1920-1922. Despite grand aims the expedition set out with only 4 men and no ship (they hitched a ride with a whaler) and landed on the west side of Graham Land.
Exasperated Hubert Wilkins abandoned the expedition and Cope also returned almost immediately to South America. Max Charles Lester and Thomas Bagshawe stayed for a year in an abandoned boat completing a scientific program before being transported back by a whaler.
Cope qualified as a doctor in 1933 in Britain and went on to work as a GP.