Wilkins, G. H. (George Hubert), (Sir) (1888-1958)

Also known as
Wilkins, George H. (George Hubert) (1888-1958)
Wilkins, George Hubert, (Sir) (1888-1958)
Wilkins, George Hubert (1888-1958)
Wilkins, Hubert, (Sir) (1888-1958)
Field of activity
war correspondent; adventurer; Antarctic explorer and Arctic explorer
Libraries Australia
http://nla.gov.au/anbd.aut-an36366262
NLA Persistent Identifier
http://nla.gov.au/nla.party-1251491

Biographies

Sir George Hubert Wilkins (1888-1958), war correspondent and photographer, polar explorer, naturalist, geographer, climatologist and aviator, was born on 31 October 1888 at Mount Bryan East, South Australia,...

View the full record at Australian Dictionary of Biography

Sir Hubert Wilkins had a very varied career as a war correspondent and photographer, polar explorer (both Arctic and Antarctic), naturalist, geographer, climatologist and aviator. In April 1928, with Carl Ben Eielson as pilot, he flew from Point Barrow, Alaska, eastward over the Arctic Sea to Spitsbergen, Norway. This was the world's first trans-Arctic flight and was described in his book Flying the Arctic (1928). This was only one of many works and photographs he had published. Wilkins was appointed a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Meteorological Society and was knighted in 1928.

After completing engineering studies at the South Australian School of Mines and Industries, then photography and cinematography training in Adelaide and Sydney, George Hubert Wilkins left for England. He worked for the Gaumont Film Co. and as a newspaper reporter and cameraman where he got to travel widely. He also took flying lessons and experimented with aerial photography. During World War I Wilkins worked as a war correspondent and photographer and covered the 1912 fighting between the Turks and Bulgarians.

The following year Wilkins set off to the Arctic as second-in-command of the Vilhjalmur Stefansson Canadian Arctic expedition. He returned to Australia in 1917 and was commissioned as second lieutenant in the Australian Flying Corps. By August he had been transferred to the general list and then to the Anzac Corps headquarters on the Western Front. In April 1918 Wilkins was appointed official army photographer and in July was promoted captain and head of the No.3 (Photographic) Sub-section of the Australian War Records unit.

From 1920 to 1922 George Wilkins was employed on expeditions to the Polar regions. He was then sent to the Soviet Union to film and survey the effects of famine on the local population. From 1923 Wilkins spent two years in tropical Australia collecting plants, birds, insects, fish, minerals, fossils and Aboriginal artefacts for the British Museum. By 1926 he was back in the Arctic, but this time carrying out aerial explorations, although in 1931 he did unsuccessfully attempt to reach the North Pole by submarine. From 1928 to 1938 he carried out several aerial expeditions to Antarctica, where he advanced techniques of flying by moonlight, made scientific observations and experimented with telepathy.

As World War II broke out Wilkins was commissioned by the US Army as a consultant and geographer to the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps. He also held other defence-related scientific posts and served in the U.S. Weather Bureau and the Arctic Institute of North America. The Australian and British military forces rejected his offers of help due to his age.

  • 1908 - 1912 Career position - Newspaper Reporter and Cameraman for the Gaumont Film Co in England and War Correspondent and Photographer throughout Europe
  • 1913 - 1916 Career position - Second-in-command of the Vilhjalmur Stefansson Canadian Arctic expedition
  • 1917 - 1920 Career position - War service with the Australian Imperial Force
  • 1918 Award - Military Cross (MC) and bar received
  • January 1919 Photographer on the C. E. W. Bean lead reconstruction of Australia's campaign on the Gallipoli Peninsula
  • 1920 - 1921 Career position - Member of J L Cope's unsuccessful voyage to Graham Land
  • 1921 - 1922 Career position - Naturalist (ornithological observer) on Sir Ernest Shackleton's "Quest" expedition to the Antarctic
  • 1922 - 1923 Career position - Surveyed and filmed the effects of famine in the Soviet Union
  • 1923 - 1925 Career position - Worked at the British Museum in tropical Australia
  • 1926 - 1928 Career position - Aerial Arctic explorations including the first trans-Arctic flight (1928)
  • 1928 Award - Patron's Medal received from the Royal Geographical Society of London
  • 1928 Award - Samuel Finley Breese Morse Medal received from the American Geographical Society
  • 1928 Award - Knight Bachelor (Kt cr)
  • 1928 - 1939 Career position - Aerial explorations of the Antarctic
  • 1931 Career position - First under-ice voyage by submarine in the Arctic Ocean with the goal to reach the North Pole
  • 1942 - ? Career position - Consultant and Geographer to the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps and advisor to the U.S. Weather Bureau and the Arctic Institute of North America
  • 1955 Education - Honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) received from the University of Alaska

View the full record at Encyclopedia of Australian Science

Resources for G. H. Wilkins

Selected resources (8)

Encyclopedia of Australian Science

  1. Wilkins, Sir George Hubert (1888-1958), War Correspondent and Photographer, Polar Explorer, Naturalist, Geographer, Climatologist and AviatorAustralian Dictionary of Biography John Ritchie 12 488-490 : Wilkins, Sir George Hubert (1888-1958), War Correspondent and Photographer, Polar Explorer, Naturalist, Geographer, Climatologist and Aviator
    Swan, R. A.
    [1990]
    Published: Melbourne University Press
  2. Our unkown Aussie heroThe Canberra Times - Panorama section 8 : Our unkown Aussie hero
    Lord, Gillian
    [2005]
  3. Sir Hubert's Life CelebratedAustralian Geographic Society Members Newsletter July 2001 1 : Sir Hubert's Life Celebrated
    [2001]
  4. The Papers of Sir George Hubert Wilkins
    Byrd Polar Research Center
    [2001]
    Series: http://library.osu.edu/sites/archives/polar/wilkins/wilkins.php
  5. Australia's unknown adventurer
    Sexton, Mike
    [2001]
    Series: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2001/s286920.htm
  6. Federation and Meteorology
    Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre
    [2001]
    Series: http://www.austehc.unimelb.edu.au/fam/
  7. Technology in Australia 1788-1988
    Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
    [2000]
    Published: Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre
    Series: http://www.austehc.unimelb.edu.au/tia/
  8. Byrd Polar Research Center: The Papers of Sir George Hubert Wilkins (c. 1908 - 1987)
    Correspondence, reports, photographs, newspaper clippings, and artefacts documenting Wilkins' career as a photographer, polar explorer, aviator, and consultant to the United States military. Included in the collection is: a scrapbook concerning the Graf Zeppelin historic flight around the world; motion picture films documenting Wilkins' expeditions; correspondence and biographical material of Suzanne Wilkins; files concerning Wilkins' interest in telepathy and extra sensory perception; and files of the Wilkins Memorial Foundation.

Resources by G. H. Wilkins (16)

  1. Undiscovered Australia, being an account of an expedition to tropical Australia to collect specimens of the rarer native fauna for the British Museum, 1923-1925 / by ... Sir G.H. Wilkins
    Wilkins, George H. Sir, (George Hubert) 1888-1958
    [ Book : 1928-1929 ]
    At 43 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 30.306)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 30.306)

  2. Sir Hubert Wilkins : his world of adventure / an autobiography recounted by Lowell Thomas
    Wilkins, G. H. Sir, (George Hubert) 1888-1958
    [ Book : 1961-1963 ]
    At 24 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 27.302)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 27.302)

  3. Voyage of the Nautilus / directed by Trond Eliassen & Simon Nasht ; narration Robyn Williams, Sam Neill ; producers Kjell Eriksen and Simon Nasht
    Gabriel Films (Firm)
    [ Video : 2002 ]
    At 24 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 21.155)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 21.155)

  4. Under the North Pole : the Wilkins-Ellsworth submarine expedition / by Sir Hubert Wilkins
    Wilkins, G. H. Sir, (George Hubert) 1888-1958
    [ Book : 1931 ]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 10 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 16.84)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 16.84)

  5. Australian war photographs : a pictorial record from November, 1917 to the end of the war / edited by Captain Geo. H. Wilkins
    Wilkins, G. H. Sir, (George Hubert) 1888-1958
    [ Book : 1919-2009 ]
    Possibly online
    At 31 libraries
    Australian war photographs : a pictorial record from November, 1917 to the end of the war / edited by Captain Geo. H. Wilkins
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 12.522)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 12.522)

  6. Series 06: Negatives of Shackleton-Rowett expedition, 1921-1922 aboard the Quest, including miscellaneous negatives of Shackleton's other expeditions and of Worsley's Arctic expedition, 1925
    Wilkins, G. H. (George Hubert), Sir, 1888-1958
    [ Photograph : 1921-1925 ]
    View online
    At State Library of NSW
    Series 06: Negatives of Shackleton-Rowett expedition, 1921-1922 aboard the Quest, including miscellaneous negatives of Shackleton's other expeditions and of Worsley's Arctic expedition, 1925
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.477)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.477)

  7. Papers of Jorma Pohjanpalo
    Pohjanpalo, Jorma, 1905-1991
    [ Unpublished : 1928-1977 ]
    Languages: English;Finnish, [1 other]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.321)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 8.321)

  8. Undiscovered Australia : being an account of an expedition to tropical Australia to collect specimens of the rarer native fauna for the British Museum, 1923-1925 : y Sir G.H. Wilkins
    Wilkins, G. H. Sir, (George Hubert) 1888-1958
    [ Book : 1928 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 6.775)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 6.775)

  9. Thoughts through space / [by] Sir Hubert Wilkins and Harold M. Sherman
    Wilkins, G. H. Sir, (George Hubert) 1888-1958
    [ Book : 1942-1971 ]
    At 5 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.703)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.703)

  10. Thoughts through space, a remarkable adventure in the realm of mind / by Sir Hubert Wilkins and Harold M. Sherman
    Wilkins, G. H. Sir, (George Hubert) 1888-1958
    [ Book : 1942-2004 ]
    At 6 libraries
    Thoughts through space, a remarkable adventure in the realm of mind / by Sir Hubert Wilkins and Harold M. Sherman
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.314)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.314)

More...

Resources about G. H. Wilkins (1)

  1. [Portrait and signature of Sir George Hubert Wilkins] / Underwood & Underwood Studios, Washington DC
    Underwood & Underwood Studios
    [ Photograph : 1930 ]
    View online
    At State Library of NSW
    [Portrait and signature of Sir George Hubert Wilkins] / Underwood & Underwood Studios, Washington DC
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 12.212)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 12.212)

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  1. Sir George Hubert Wilkins
    Sir George Hubert Wilkins
    Created by asearchinglibrarian, 36 items.

    A list of resources available via Trove, and other resources, about the life of George Hubert Wilkins. Information is in date order.

    Keywords: aviation
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  2. Wilkins Hubert husband of Susanne
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    Lincoln Ellsworth
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  1. La Divina commedia
    Dante Alighieri 1265-1321
    [ Book, Microform, Audio book, Article : 1472-2010 ]
    Languages: English;Italian;German;French, [29 others]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
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    At 169 libraries
    La Divina commedia
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  2. Sir Hubert Wilkins: a remarkable Australian
    Betts, Martin
    Anare News
    [ Article : 1988 ]
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  3. An adventurous life: [The life of explorer Sir Hubert Wilkins]
    Glover, Ian
    Outback (Sydney, NSW)
    [ Article : 2008 ]
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  4. Unsung hero: [South Australian Sir Hubert Wilkins led one of the most extraordinary, daredevil lives of the 20th century]
    Nasht, Simon
    Weekend Australian Magazine
    [ Article : 15-16 ]
    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.162)

    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.162)

  1. [Portrait and signature of Sir Geor...
    Underwood & Und...
    [ Photograph : 1930 ]
    [Portrait and signature of Sir George Hubert Wilkins] / Underwood & Underwood Studios, Washington DC
  2. Series 06: Negatives of Shackleton-...
    Wilkins, G. H. ...
    [ Photograph : 1921-1925 ]
    Series 06: Negatives of Shackleton-Rowett expedition, 1921-1922 aboard the Quest, including miscellaneous negatives of Shackleton's other expeditions and of Worsley's Arctic expedition, 1925
  3. Australian soldiers in Belgium
    Wilkins, G. H. ...
    [ Photograph : 1917 ]
    Australian soldiers in Belgium
  1. The last explorer : Hubert Wilkins Australia's unknown hero / Simon Nasht
    Nasht, Simon
    [ Book, Audio book : 2005-2007 ]
    At 110 libraries
    The last explorer : Hubert Wilkins Australia's unknown hero / Simon Nasht
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 9.876)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 9.876)

  2. Hubert who? : war hero, polar explorer, spy : the incredible life of unsung adventurer Hubert Wilkins / Malcolm Andrews
    Andrews, Malcolm, 1944-
    [ Book : 2011 ]
    At 70 libraries
    Hubert who? : war hero, polar explorer, spy : the incredible life of unsung adventurer Hubert Wilkins / Malcolm Andrews
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.831)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.831)

  3. Sir Hubert Wilkins : enigma of exploration / by John Grierson
    Grierson, John, 1909-1971
    [ Book : 1960 ]
    At 28 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.05)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 5.05)

  4. Wings of Ice / Jeff Maynard
    Maynard, Jeff
    [ Book : 2010 ]
    At 71 libraries
    Wings of Ice / Jeff Maynard
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2.949)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 2.949)

  1. Wilkins-Hearst Antarctic Expedition, 1928-1929 : map of the Antarctic / compiled by the American Geographical Society of New York
    American Geographical Society of New York
    [ Map : 1929 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 1.038)

    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 1.038)

  2. Polar pioneers, Australians in the Antarctic
    Elliott, Doug
    Australian Heritage
    [ Map, Article : 2007 ]
    This resource may only be vaguely related to your query: matching terms may only have been found in the full text contents of the resource (score: 0.085)

    This resource may only be vaguely related to your query: matching terms may only have been found in the full text contents of the resource (score: 0.085)

  3. Annual report of the American Historical Association
    American Historical Association; Smithsonian Institution. Press; American Historical Association. Annual report
    [ Article, Microform, Map : 1885-2014 ]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 14 libraries
    This resource may only be vaguely related to your query: matching terms may only have been found in the full text contents of the resource (score: 0.003)

    This resource may only be vaguely related to your query: matching terms may only have been found in the full text contents of the resource (score: 0.003)

  1. MESSAGE FROM SIR G. H. WILKINS.
    The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933) Saturday 1 December 1928 p 4 Article
    ... MESSAGE FROM SIR G. H. WILKINS. The Vacuum Oil Company Pty., Ltd., advises having received the ... following wireless message from Sir George Hubert Wilkins, who now is proceeding with his survey of the ... 99 words
    • Text last corrected on 6 May 2011 by tbfrank
    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.277)

    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.277)

  2. Unknown Australia AS SEEN BY SIR. G. H. WILKINS.
    The Scone Advocate (NSW : 1887 - 1954) Friday 21 December 1928 p 4 Article
    ... Unknown Australia .in. in AS. SEEN JEY 3IB. G. H. WILK1NS. 'Herald's Review' Captain Sir George ... extraordinarily rich in fossils. On one basalt hillock Sir Hubert Wilkins traced the outline of a huge ichthyosaur ... 1087 words
    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.23)

    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.23)

  3. AT THE WAR. AUSTRALIAN BIOGRAPH OPERATION. BEATS WAR CORRESPONDENTS. UNDER SHRAPNEL FIRE.
    The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) Wednesday 12 February 1913 p 17 Article
    ... FIRE. Mr. G. H. Wilkins, a South Australian biograph photographer, who is a son of Mr. Wilkins, an old ... ), and Admiral Sir Henry Woods Pasha. Since the last English mail was received in Adelaide Mr. Wilkins ... 1006 words
    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.187)

    This resource may have relevance to your query (score: 0.187)

  1. Website: Bright sparcs
    www.eoas.info
    Matching pages:
    View 55 matching archived pages
    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.115)

    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.115)

  2. Website: Tablelands Regional Council
    www.library.trc.qld.gov.au
    Matching pages:
    View 4 matching archived pages
    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.066)

    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.066)

  3. Website: Random House Australia
    www.randomhouse.com.au
    Matching pages:
    View 3 matching archived pages
    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.009)

    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.009)

  1. The last explorer : Hubert Wilkins Australia's unknown hero / Simon Nasht
    Nasht, Simon
    [ Book, Audio book : 2005-2007 ]
    At 110 libraries
    The last explorer : Hubert Wilkins Australia's unknown hero / Simon Nasht
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 9.876)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 9.876)

  2. La Divina commedia
    Dante Alighieri 1265-1321
    [ Book, Microform, Audio book, Article : 1472-2010 ]
    Languages: English;Italian;German;French, [29 others]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 169 libraries
    La Divina commedia
    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.466)

    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.466)

  3. The last explorer : Hubert Wilkins Australia's unknown hero / Simon Nasht
    Nasht, Simon
    [ Audio book : 2006 ]
    At 2 libraries
    The last explorer : Hubert Wilkins Australia's unknown hero / Simon Nasht
    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.289)

    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.289)

  4. Wings of ice : the mystery of the Polar Air Race / Jeff Maynard
    Maynard, Jeff
    [ Book, Audio book : 2010 ]
    At 2 libraries
    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.214)

    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.214)

  1. Papers of Elizabeth Chipman
    Chipman, Elizabeth, 1934-
    [ Unpublished : 1904-2010 ]
    At National Library
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    This resource may be of limited relevance to your query (score: 0.142)

  2. Papers
    Ellison, Norman
    [ Unpublished : 1900-1971 ]
    At National Library
    This resource may only be vaguely related to your query: matching terms may only have been found in the full text contents of the resource (score: 0.017)

    This resource may only be vaguely related to your query: matching terms may only have been found in the full text contents of the resource (score: 0.017)

  3. Papers of William Morris Hughes
    Hughes, W. M. (William Morris), 1862-1952
    [ Unpublished : 1865-1958 ]
    View online
    At National Library
    Papers of William Morris Hughes
    This resource may only be vaguely related to your query: matching terms may only have been found in the full text contents of the resource (score: 0.001)

    This resource may only be vaguely related to your query: matching terms may only have been found in the full text contents of the resource (score: 0.001)