On 29 December 1947 the H.M.S.A.S. Transvaal makes a landing at Marion Island.
Lieutenant-Commander John Fairbairn (o/c H.M.S.A.S. Transvaal) and Petty Officer Steward Henry Schott go ashore on Boulder Beach, Marion Island from the ship’s motor boat at 11h32 on 29 December 1947.
After building a small rock cairn with a metal Union of South Africa flag planted in it on Gunner’s Point, Lt-Cmdr Fairbairn reads out the Deed of Sovereignty occupying the island for South Africa. He then signs the document and deposits it in the cairn in a 40-mm Bofors cartridge case. By 12h21 they had left the island for the ship.
Marsh, J.H. 1948. No Pathway Here. Cape Town: Howard B. Timmins. 200 pp.
the H.M.S.A.S. Transvaal off Marion Island in November 1954; all photographs courtesy of the South African Naval Museum.
text by John Cooper (2016), Principal Investigator of Antarctic Legacy of South Africa at the time.