Newfoundland, BSES - August & September 1955- Trevor Powell

British Schools Exploration Society to Newfoundland


Some notes on the British Schools Exploring Society (B.S.E.S.)

The B.S.E.S. was founded in 1932 by Surgeon Commander G. Murray Levick to promote the spirit of exploration amongst the youth of the Nation and facilitate the possibility of them taking part in organised and rigorously controlled expeditions to some of the wilder and more remote parts of the earth. Initially the expeditions were open to students of Britain’s elite Public Schools but the passage of time saw the possibilities extended to the Grammar and other State schools and, in 1955 also accepted the first apprentices from the Army Apprentices School at Harrogate.

Surgeon Commander G. Murray Levick, born in 1877, was trained in the medical profession. After experience in several hospitals he joined the Royal Navy and in 1910÷1912 took part in the ill-fated Captain Scott expedition to the Antarctic as medical officer and zoologist. He returned to active duty in 1914 and took part in the Gallipoli campaign in the first World War, rising to the position of Fleet Surgeon in 1916. He was a keen rugby player in his youth and founded the Royal Navy Rugby Union. On retirement from the Navy he dedicated much of his time to studying the problems of rehabilitation, filling important positions in various hospitals. He founded the B.S.E.S. in 1932 and organised and took part in the first nine expeditions (1932 to 1939 inclusive and the first post-war one in 1947) as expedition leader. He was actively engaged in the organisation of the following expeditions up until his death on 30th May 1956.

B.S.E.S. expeditions from 1932 to 1955:

1932 Finland
1933 Lapland
1934 Newfoundland
1935 Newfoundland
1936 Lapland
1937 Newfoundland
1938 Newfoundland
1939 Newfoundland
1947 Newfoundland
1948 Northern Quebec
1949 Northern Norway
1950 Northern Norway
1951 Central Iceland
1952 Central Iceland
1953 British Columbia
1954 Northern Quebec
1955 Newfoundland 
42. Map of Newfoundland in 1955

24. Arrival at Goobies station.

27. Survey Fire sub-base camp.  
25. The Survey Fire group photograph. 29. At the Survey Fire sub-base camp, the surveyors pretend to be working whilst  some of the 8mm colour film is shot. 33. Bill Powell carrying out  triangulation observations with a theodolite. 34. Bill Powell carrying out  triangulation observations with a theodolite.
32. The survey parties start observations with the theodolite and detailing with the plane-table. 39. The survey fire cookhouse. The boys on the expedition took it in turns to cook. Some were good, some were mediocre and some just plain lousy! Rations      

Survey Fire long march down the Paradise River valley
and back up the Sandy Harbour River valley to base camp

38. The Paradise River. 35. The Paradise River. 41. Bill Powell with a glorious sunset as backdrop.Pity we didn't have colour film (too expensive)
(To tell the truth, I didn't even have a camera)
37. The Sandy Harbour River.
28. Arriving back at base camp after a five day march.