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Jeffryes was capable, even within his mental dysfunction, of drawing on his identity as a radio artisan, and using his professional skills to engage in quiet resistance to what he believed was happening to him. In early September, Mawson recorded that Jeffryes sat at the wireless sending out a message repeatedly but so quickly that its content in Morse could not be discerned , entry for 3 September ; he later admitted to his leader that the message was to alert the Macquarie Island operator that five of the AAE men were unwell, and he Jeffryes and Mawson would need to leave the hut.

By mid-September, Mawson had handed responsibility for radio communications to Bickerton. For them, Jeffryes seems to have become an impediment to be dealt with. Madigan commented in his diary that the number of men allowed to participate in the last iconically heroic activity of the expedition—the final sledging journey—was restricted by the need to leave three behind to watch over Jeffryes Madigan , entry for 18 October In the eyes of the other expedition members, Jeffryes proved anathema to the heroic tradition—something only exacerbated by the events that unfolded on his return to Australia.

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Jeffryes later claimed he had attempted suicide via an overdose of opium during the voyage Letter to Maisie Eckford. Shortly after arriving in Adelaide in late February , Jeffryes sent a letter home to his older sister Norma that set off alarm bells Norma Jeffryes, Letter to Douglas Mawson, 21 March She sent Mawson an urgent telegram in early March, expressing her worry and asking that Mawson have someone accompany her brother home, or alternatively await her arrival Telegram to Douglas Mawson, 4 March But by the time this was received, Jeffryes had boarded a train, presumably heading for Toowoomba.

The next that was heard of him were media reports—wired around the country—that he had been found wandering in the bush near Stawell in regional Victoria, not having eaten for six days, despite the money in his pocket, and claiming that Mawson had hypnotised him.

He was quickly committed to the nearby Ararat Hospital for the Insane. The incident not only had the potential to bring his leadership into question, but also associated the expedition with a highly stigmatised condition. Mental illness in men, by contrast, was associated with degeneracy, laziness and weakness Coleborne If insanity was connected in specific ways with working-class masculinity, it also had a particular relationship with colonial masculinity.

In her detailed analysis of asylum populations in colonial Victoria, Coleborne argues that insanity in white male settlers troubled ideas of racial superiority These concerns were in turn connected to anxieties that hot colonial climates were physically and mentally enervating to the white subject The flipside of these supposedly debilitating colonial environments were polar climates, which were seen as energising and rejuvenating.

From his own men, he expected ceaseless energy and purposeful occupation. That one of his expeditioners should, in this most invigorating of environments, suffer a full-scale mental collapse that rendered him incapable of useful work put all of these beliefs about the character of the polar explorer into question.

These comments were included in reports of the incident in numerous papers across the country. The Jeffryes family did not appreciate the insinuations. His sister Norma did the same in stronger terms in private correspondence with Mawson. Meanwhile, Jeffryes had disappeared into the asylum network. With medical staff thinking that a change of scenery might help Philpott, Letter to Dorothea Denny , he was shunted between Ararat, Royal Park and Sunbury asylums before ending up back in Ararat in late This may have been due to his violence towards a staff member while at Sunbury, or perhaps a subsequent incident Shaw.


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  7. Not much more than a year after he returned to Australia, all signs of his profession and contribution to wireless and Antarctic history had disappeared. While Jeffryes was being shuffled from one asylum to another, his erstwhile companions became involved in the war effort, with some of them killed in action—most prominently Bob Bage, who died at Gallipoli.

    The heroic mythology of Antarctic exploration thus dovetailed with the version of Australian masculinity built around war and the emerging ANZAC story. Mawson and McLean both combined their war work—in munitions and the medical corps respectively—with writing and editing the official AAE narrative, The Home of the Blizzard. Despite these attempts at distancing Jeffryes from the expedition, Mawson never publicly called his professional competency into question.

    And when he submitted his list of recommendations for the Polar Medal to the British Admiralty, Jeffryes was included where the Macquarie Island operator Arthur Sawyer, who departed abruptly after less than a year, was not Mawson, Six-page note. Heroic masculinity is not a game in which men like Jeffryes can compete, or even participate.

    This vanishment is only now beginning to be rectified. Prior to that, the site was completely unadorned, a grassy patch with no gravestone or slab and only a numbered marker peg to connect it to the man whose bodily remains are buried below.

    The south-east coast of Macquarie Island is the location of the metre-high Mount Jeffryes. Officially approved in , the name can be traced back to Mawson, Macquarie Island See also , A plaque and the name of a remote mountain, however, do relatively little if the story to which they are attached is unremembered and untold in the Australian public sphere.

    If our early Antarctic history tells only stories of heroic adventure and forgets those of tension, overwork, social difference, stress and illness, then our relationship with this place will continue to be one determined by the figure of the manly imperial hero. With degrees in physics and literary studies, she is interested in building bridges between disciplines, and particularly in bringing the insights of the humanities to the study of the Antarctic. Ben Maddison received his doctorate in labour history at the University of Wollongong in He currently lives on Bruny Island in southern Tasmania.

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    Beyond the Heroic Stereotype: Sidney Jeffryes and the Mythologising of Australian Antarctic History

    His research interests include the subaltern histories of Antarctica, working class and colonial history, and the history of the commons in Australia. He is currently writing a social and political history of the Southern Ocean. Her overarching research interests focus on human adaptation, health, behaviour and performance in both normal and extreme environments. See Glasberg xx; Roberts Amateur Radio Victoria. Ararat Hospital for the Insane. Administration Outward Letter Books, Australasian Antarctic Expedition. Barczewski, Stephanie L. London: Hambledon Continuum, Bloom, Lisa.

    Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, Coleborne, Catharine.

    Will Bridget Find Her Irish Funny Man? - First Dates Australia

    Manchester: Manchester UP, Collis, Christy. Cormick, Craig. Sydney: New Holland, Darian-Smith, Kate, and Penelope Edmonds, eds. New York: Routledge, David, Edgeworth. Davis, John King. Louise Crossley. Dodds, Klaus, and Christy Collis. Klaus Dodds, Alan D. Hemmings and Peder Roberts. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, Eckford, Maisie. Flannery, Nancy Robinson, ed. Carlton: Melbourne UP, Glasberg, Elena.

    Critical Studies in Gender, Sexuality, and Culture.

    Twelve Days of Savings - Ulster Historical Foundation

    Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, Gray, Percival. Griffiths, Tom. Occasional Paper 2. Julia Jabour, Marcus G. Haward and Tony Press. Hobart: Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Ed Michelle Hetherington. Canberra: National Museum of Australia Press, Martin Thomas. New York and Abingdon: Routledge, Guly, H. Hains, Brigid. Melbourne: Melbourne UP, Hannam, Walter Henry. Ireland, Tracey. Jeffryes, Norma. Correspondence with Douglas Mawson.

    Jeffryes, Sidney. Letter to Douglas Mawson, 19 July Letter to Douglas Mawson, 27 July Letter to Mrs Fox, 13 July Jensen, David. Sydney: Allen and Unwin, Jones, Max. Leane, Elizabeth. Maddison, Ben. Class and Colonialism in Antarctic Exploration, London: Pickering and Chatto, Madigan, Cecil.