Crawford, Allan R., 1901-1923



Born Allan Rudyard Crawford in Toronto, Crawford was aged 20 at the start of the 1921 Wrangel Island expedition. He was in official command of the expedition, partly because of his status as a Canadian citizen and British subject. At the time he was hired for the expedition, he was studying geology, paleontology, chemistry, and mineralogy at the University of Toronto. One of Crawford’s professors had given him a letter from Stefansson, who had written to the university present searching for another member for the expedition. Crawford wrote to Stefansson introducing himself in April 1921, and Stefansson eventually hired him for his strong background in the sciences. The team arrived on Wrangel Island on September 15, 1921, and over the following years suffered immensely, facing harsh Arctic conditions as resources ran dangerously low. On January 28, 1923, Crawford, along with Milton and Galle, tried to cross the frozen Chukchi Sea to Siberia and travel some 90 miles to get help. They were never seen again. Because he was a Canadian Citizen, Crawford was the only member of the expedition to be officially honored by the Canadian government.

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