Edward Bransfield, an Irishman born of the village of Ballinacurra circa 1785, within the parish of
Midleton, Co Cork, was leader of the first expedition to see and chart mainland Antarctica. Bransfield, a Ship’s
Master in the Royal Navy, made his historic discovery, 30th January 1820, while in command of the brig,
Williams of Blyth.
The first confirmed sighting by Bransfield began a 100 year quest to explore Antarctica and to reach the
South Pole. It was an era which created legendary explorers such as; Amundsen, Crean, Scott and Shackleton,
and featured many heroic exploits of other men and a lady of Cork.
First Committee Meeting
In 2016 a number of local enthusiasts of all walks of life came together to form an association known as
“Remembering Edward Bransfield”. In 2017 a committee was formed to commemorate his historic feats and to
erect a monument in his hometown to coincide with the 200th anniversary of his first sighting
The minutes of this meeting are published here to outline the constitution of this committee.
To commemorate Edward Bransfield’s historic feat of national and international importance, by raising a
monument at his home village, 30th January 2020, commemorating the bicentennial of his
masterful contribution to science and the art of Cartography.
We shall elsewhere illustrate Edward's skills required to calculate his Royal Naval charts submitted to the Admiralty.
At a meeting held in J. J. Coppingers Lounge Bar Main Street Midleton on Thursday 22th June 2017, a
committee was formed to seek ways to raise awareness of Edward Bransfield and funding for a proposed
monument to him.
The following officers were elected and assigned roles to further the objectives of the Committee;
Chair: Jim Wilson
Secretary & Treasurer: Liam P. O’Riordan
Press Officer: Eugene Furlong
John Ahern (Ballinacurra Historian),
Ursula O'Mahony (Ballinacurra Historian),
Michael Smith (Polar Historian & Author),
David Stanton TD (Government Minister of State for Equality, Immigration