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, Kt cr, FRGS, FRMS (1888-1958)
Wilkins, George Hubert (1888-1958)
Wilkins, Hubert, (Sir) (1888-1958)
Field of activity
War Correspondent; Adventurer; Antarctic explorer; 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 (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.

  • Career position - Newspaper Reporter and Cameraman for the Gaumont Film Co in England and War Correspondent and Photographer throughout Europe
  • Career position - Second-in-command of the Vilhjalmur Stefansson Canadian Arctic expedition
  • Career position - War service with the Australian Imperial Force
  • Award - Military Cross (MC) and bar received
  • Photographer on the C. E. W. Bean lead reconstruction of Australia's campaign on the Gallipoli Peninsula
  • Career position - Member of J L Cope's unsuccessful voyage to Graham Land
  • Career position - Naturalist (ornithological observer) on Sir Ernest Shackleton's "Quest" expedition to the Antarctic
  • Career position - Surveyed and filmed the effects of famine in the Soviet Union
  • Career position - Worked at the British Museum in tropical Australia
  • Career position - Aerial Arctic explorations including the first trans-Arctic flight (1928)
  • Award - Patron's Medal received from the Royal Geographical Society of London
  • Award - Samuel Finley Breese Morse Medal received from the American Geographical Society
  • Award - Knight Bachelor (Kt cr)
  • Career position - Aerial explorations of the Antarctic
  • Career position - First under-ice voyage by submarine in the Arctic Ocean with the goal to reach the North Pole
  • 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
  • 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 (9)

Encyclopedia of Australian Science

  1. Wilkins, George Hubert
    Published: The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre
    Series: Encyclopedia of Australian Science
  2. Wilkins, Sir George Hubert (1888-1958), War Correspondent and Photographer, Polar Explorer, Naturalist, Geographer, Climatologist and Aviator
    Swan, R. A.
    Published: Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1990
    Series: Australian Dictionary of Biography, 12, 488-490
  3. Our unkown Aussie hero
    Lord, Gillian
    Published: 2005
    Series: The Canberra Times - Panorama section, 8
  4. Sir Hubert's Life Celebrated
    Published: 2001
    Series: Australian Geographic Society Members Newsletter, July 2001, 1
  5. The Papers of Sir George Hubert Wilkins
    Byrd Polar Research Center
    Published: 2001
  6. Australia's unknown adventurer
    Sexton, Mike
    Published: 2001
  7. The Last Explorer: Hubert Wilkins Australia's Unknown Hero
    Nasht, Simon
    Published: Hodder Australia, Sydney, 2006
  8. Federation and Meteorology
    Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre
    Published: 2001
  9. Technology in Australia 1788-1988
    Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
    Published: Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, Melbourne, 2000

Resources by G. H. Wilkins (19)

  1. 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: 36.883)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 36.883)

  2. 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 : 1928-2016 ]
    At 44 libraries
    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
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 36.72)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 36.72)

  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 22 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 28.51)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 28.51)

  4. Letters of Sir George Hubert Wilkins
    Wilkins, G. H. Sir, (George Hubert) 1888-1958
    [ Unpublished : 1913-1958 ]
    At National Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 26.928)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 26.928)

  5. Under the North Pole : the Wilkins-Ellsworth submarine expedition / by Sir Hubert Wilkins
    Wilkins, G. H. Sir, (George Hubert) 1888-1958
    [ Book, Map : 1931 ]
    Read online at Open Library/Internet Archive
    View online
    At 12 libraries
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 22.957)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 22.957)

  6. Australian war photographs : a pictorial record from November, 1917 to the end of the war / edited by Captain Geo. H. Wilkins
    Wilkins, George H. Sir, (George Hubert), 1888-1958
    [ Book : 1919-2009 ]
    Possibly online
    At 32 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: 11.769)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 11.769)

  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: 9.961)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 9.961)

  8. 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: 9.733)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 9.733)

  9. George Hubert Wilkins Collecting Expedition to North Queensland
    Wilkins, G. H. Sir, (George Hubert), 1888-1958
    [ Photograph : 1923-1925 ]
    At State Library of QLD
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 7.405)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 7.405)

  10. 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 UQ Library
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 6.544)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 6.544)

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Resources about G. H. Wilkins (3)

  1. Bust of Sir Hubert Wilkins
    [ Article : 2001 ]
    View online
    At State Library S Aust
    Bust of Sir Hubert Wilkins
    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 21.844)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 21.844)

  2. [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: 14.23)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 14.23)

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  1. Chisholm, Alec H., (Alec Hugh) (1890-1977)
    Journalist; Ornithologist; Encyclopaedist; Naturalist
    ... Chisholm, Alec H ... compilation of The Australian Encyclopaedia (1958). As a young man he joined the poet Mary Gilmore in a ...
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    www.eoas.info
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    www.library.trc.qld.gov.au
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    • ... Inspector (Fictitious character) -- Fiction   1   Wilkins, G. H. (George Hubert), Sir, 1888-1958   2...
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  1. [Portrait and signature of Sir Geor...
    Underwood & Und...
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    [Portrait and signature of Sir George Hubert Wilkins] / Underwood & Underwood Studios, Washington DC
  2. George Hubert Wilkins Collecting Ex...
    Wilkins, G. H. ...
    [ Photograph : 1923-1925 ]
  3. 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
  4. Australian soldiers in Belgium
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  1. The unseen Anzac : how an enigmatic polar explorer created Australia's World War I photographs / Jeff Maynard
    Maynard, Jeff
    [ Book, Map : 2015 ]
    At 63 libraries
    The unseen Anzac : how an enigmatic polar explorer created Australia's World War I photographs / Jeff Maynard
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  2. Map of the Antarctic Archipelago
    American Geographical Society of New York
    [ Map : 1938 ]
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  3. 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
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  1. The last explorer : Hubert Wilkins Australia's unknown hero / Simon Nasht
    Nasht, Simon
    [ Book, Audio book : 1900-2007 ]
    Languages: English;lis;Undetermined, [2 others]
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  2. Sir Hubert Wilkins : enigma of exploration / by John Grierson
    Grierson, John, 1909-1971
    [ Book : 1960 ]
    At 28 libraries
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  3. Wings of Ice / Jeff Maynard
    Maynard, Jeff
    [ Book : 2010 ]
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    Wings of Ice / Jeff Maynard
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    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 7.342)

  4. Hubert who? : war hero, polar explorer, spy : the incredible life of unsung adventurer Hubert Wilkins / Malcolm Andrews
    Andrews, Malcolm, 1944-
    [ Book : 2011 ]
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    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: 7.184)

    This resource is very relevant to your query (score: 7.184)

  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
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    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.343)

  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
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    This resource is likely to be relevant to your query (score: 0.285)

  3. SIR G. H. WILKINS MISSING MYSTERIOUS SILENCE LONDON, February 6.
    The Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 - 1934) Friday 14 February 1930 p 12 Article
    ... SIR G, H. WILKINS MISSING MYSTERIOUS SILENCE LONDON, February 6. The following wireless message has ... silence, - and cannot imagine a , wireless breakdown which would keep Sir George Wilkins silent for so ... 432 words
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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.

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  2. Wilkins Hubert husband of Susanne
    Wilkins Hubert husband of Susanne
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  3. LINCOLN ELLSWORTH - RELIEF EXPEDITION - 1935/36 - Eric Douglas's notes
    LINCOLN ELLSWORTH  - RELIEF EXPEDITION - 1935/36 - Eric Douglas's notes
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    Antarctic Flying Times & Remarks - Jan 1936 - Flight Lt G E DouglasDH 60X Gipsy Moth Seaplane A7-5512/1/36 Self Solo - 30 minsEngine Satisfactory in Air, oil pressure normal,...

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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]
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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]
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    Outback (Sydney, NSW)
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  4. Unsung hero: [South Australian Sir Hubert Wilkins led one of the most extraordinary, daredevil lives of the 20th century]
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    Weekend Australian Magazine
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  1. Papers of Elizabeth Chipman
    Chipman, Elizabeth, 1934-
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  2. Papers of Norman Ellison
    Ellison, Norman, 1896-1971
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  3. Dow collection
    Dow, David M
    [ Unpublished : 1869-1986 ]
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  1. The last explorer : Hubert Wilkins Australia's unknown hero / Simon Nasht
    Nasht, Simon
    [ Book, Audio book : 1900-2007 ]
    Languages: English;lis;Undetermined, [2 others]
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  3. Wings of ice : the mystery of the Polar Air Race / Jeff Maynard
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  1. Government Gazette Notices
    New South Wales Government Gazette (Sydney, NSW : 1832 - 1900) Friday 1 September 1871 [Issue No.217 (SUPPLEMENT)] p 1951

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  3. RENEWAL OF OCCUPATION LICENSES FOR 1899.
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    ... Wales ... Edward Whitney, Robert Bruce Romld, and Edward Keep Jane Wild and George Woods ... Hubert Hugh ... ). Robert G-eorge Higgins Arthur Palmer Blake and Henry Palmer Blake Ebenezer Vickery Albert Austin John ... 26188 words
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