Louis C Bernacchi

Physicist

Originally from Tasmania, Bernacchi studied at the Melbourne Observatory where he gained a specialist knowledge in magnetism that led to his being appointed as magnetic and meteorological observer during the Southern Cross Expedition in 1898- 1900.

He was a very late recruit to the Discovery expedition, being appointed as physicist only after the original candidate had been rejected on medical grounds, and joined the ship in New Zealand.His physical and magnetic observations made during the expedition were published by the
Royal Society in 1908 and 1909 along with the other scientific results.

During the First World War, he served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. After the war he focused on publicising Antarctic exploration publishing two books; a biography of Captain L.E.G Oates in 1933 called ‘A Very Gallant Gentleman’ and the‘Saga of the Discovery’ in 1938. He returned to the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve at the outbreak of the Second World War, but was in poor health and died in London on 24thApril 1942.