William Bruce

1867 – 1921

Nationality: Scottish
Place of Birth: unknown
Grave: The Southern Ocean


In 1892, Bruce, leaving from Dundee, accompanied a whaling voyage down to the Antarctic. In 1901, he turned down a proposal to join Scott on his expedition – Bruce was planning his own “National Antarctic Expedition”. On 2 November 1902, Bruce sailed from Troon on the “Scotia” down south. After being iced in at 70°S, the “Scotia” sailed north to spend winter at Laurie Island in the South Orkneys, to observe and research wildlife. On arrival they built a meteorological station and named it Omond House. In January 1904, Bruce discovered Coats Land, and named after Andrew and James Coats (supporters of the expedition). The Scottish expedition was the first to produce moving pictures, and also recorded the first use of bagpipes in the Antarctic.

On 15 July 1904 they arrived back in Kingstown Harbour, Northern Ireland – William S. Bruce died 17 years later, in 1921. His ashes were taken down south and scattered over the Southern Ocean.