Knight, Errol Lorne, 1893-1923



Lorne Knight (born Errol Lorne Knight) was second-in-command on the 1921 Wrangel Island Expedition; he was age 28 at its start. Of all the members, he had the most experience in the North, and served as the “unofficial authority.” From McMinnville, Oregon, Knight met Stefansson in late 1915 while traveling on the Polar Bear with Captain Louis Lane. While the Polar Bear was anchored a few miles off of Canada’s Cape Kellet, its crew spotted Stefansson, who had been traveling on foot in the Arctic. For the next four years, Knight was educated by Stefansson in Arctic survival. Later, he joined Stefansson and Maurer on the 1921 spring Chautauqua circuit. That year, Stefansson also asked Knight to be a member of his second Wrangel Island expedition. 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. After returning from a short solo trip in July 1922, Knight steadily grew weaker and more ill. He died June 23, 1923, while the other men were traveling to get help.

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