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Significant Scots
William Speirs Bruce


William Speirs Bruce (1867-1921) led the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition of 1902-1904, along with many other scientific expeditions to both Polar Regions of the world.

The observations made by this expedition completely changed the way Antarctica was seen, from a geographical point of view, as well as the way the surrounding islands were seen from a zoological perspective. During this trip, a base was set up on South Georgia, a new area, Coats Land (named in honour of the Coats brothers, who had bankrolled the enterprise) was discovered and 1100 species of animal were catalogued, 212 of them previously unknown to science. The seas around the Antarctic were explored in the yacht 'Scotia'.

"The 'Scotia' stone was unveiled at Millport (on Great Cumbrae Island on Firth of Clyde) by HRH The Princess Royal in June 2004 to celebrate the safe return to Scotland in July 1904 of the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition led by William S Bruce. The expedition left Troon in November 1902 made an epic voyage of over 30,000 nautical miles and discovered Coats Land on the south east part of the Weddell Sea. Sailing past is the research vessel 'Arora' of the University Marine Biological Research Station, Millport"


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