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9 September 1968 John Rymill

 9 September 1968 John Rymill

On 9 September 1968 an obituary in The Advertiser recounted the achievements of John Rymill, an important but possibly less well known Antarctic explorer. He was born in Penola in 1905 and educated at Melbourne Grammar School. He continued his tertiary education in London studying surveying and navigation at the Royal Geographic Society and anthropology at London University. After some experience in polar expeditions to the Arctic in 1934 he headed a British expedition to the Antarctic to survey and map Graham Land, since re-named the Antarctic Peninsula. Rymill bought a Brittany-built fishing boat which he re-fitted and named Penola after his birthplace. After a successful, though hazardous at times, journey of exploration and scientific work, the party returned to England in 1937 to acclaim from colleagues and recognition from the Royal Geographic Society and American Geographic Society. His book Southern Lights: The Official Account of the British Graham Land Expedition 1934-37 chronicles the adventures and achievements of the group. On the death of his mother in 1938 Rymill and his English wife returned to the family estate near Penola where with similar dedication and enthusiasm he re-established the under-developed property. After serving in the Navy in World War Two he continued work at Penola where he bred horses, Angus cattle and Corriedale sheep. He died on 7 September 1968, four months after a car accident near Tailem Bend on 16 May as he was following an ambulance taking his sick wife to hospital.

Trevor Gill and Ray Titus, South Australia: Profiles of People and Places, Wakefield Press, 1986, pp.75-80.

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