French Antarctic Division MemorialPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland

The memorial and rose garden commemorate sailors who died in French Antarctic division led by Captain Dumont d`Urville. During the 1837-1840 voyage of Dumont d`Urville, many lives were lost. At least 19 officers, petty officers and seamen died of scurvy or dysentery and the boats resembled floating hospitals.

An additional plaque has been placed on the memorial to commemorate the victims of a helicopter crash at Adelie Land, Antarctica in 1999. 

D`Urville made two attempts to find land and the south magnetic pole in Antarctic waters. In his first attempt in 1838 he followed the route taken by James Weddell south along the coast of Tierra del Fuego, only to find that instead of clear seas there was barrier of pack ice. D`Urville tried to push his way into a break in the ice and the two ships became trapped. It was only the efforts of the crew who took five days to cut through the ice, and a favourable wind, that saved the expedition from disaster.

The second attempt was two years later and was much more successful. The Astrolabe and the  La Zelee sailed from Hobart on 1 January 1840 and this time d`Urville decided to sail directly south from Tasmania. By the 19 January several men claimed to have seen land and by the next day it was plain that the two ships had found the coast of the Antarctic continent.

Paris (AFP), 8 February 1999.  Three people were killed Monday in Adélie Land in the accident of a helicopter which made the connection between the polar ship the Astrolabe and the base of Dumont D'Urville, announced the secretariat State Overseas.

The victims are the pilot of the Lama from the Héliunion company, the chief engineer of the Astrolabe and the manager of logistics for the French institute for research on polar techniques, headquartered in Brest. [resp. Bruno Fiorèse , Dario Lattanzi and Pascal LeMauguen ]

The accident occurred when the helicopter had just taken off from the base after depositing cargo there to return to the boat, said Brigitte Girardin, administrator of French Southern and Antarctic Lands. Weather conditions in this southern summer period were not bad, she said, and the causes of the morning disaster are unknown. She said the black box of the aircraft had been found. The bodies of the victims will have to wait for the arrival of a new helicopter before they can be flown to Hobart in Tasmania (Australia), at the end of next week, and from there repatriated to France, said Ms. Girardin.



Address:Queens Walk, Cornelian Bay Cemetery, New Town, 7008
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -42.85119
Long: 147.316994
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Landscape
Approx. Event Start Date:1838
Approx. Event End Date:1840


Front Inscription

Des Corvettes
Sous Le Commandement
De M J Dumont D`Urville
Capitaine de Vaisseau

[ Names ]

Morts en mer
[ Names ]

Morts a Hobart
[ Names ]

Left Side Inscription


Morts accidentellement dans l`exercise
de leur mission le 8 Fevrier 1999
en Terre Adelie

(Territoire de Terres Australes et Antartiques Francaises)


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design