The End of The War

On 14 January 1946, after a frustrating and ill-informed wait, the men were unexpectedly relieved and, after loading up themselves and their supplies, and leaving members of the new team to settle in, arrived at Deception Island the next day. By 16 January they were back at Port Lockroy to relieve the team there, and left the next day with stores including penguins bound for London Zoo. On 21 January 1946 the men arrived back in the Falkland Islands, and by 11 February were on their way back to Britain. On arrival in London on 9 March 1946, and with their request for a salary advance ignored, three of the men with no friends or family in London were forced to sleep rough that first night. With little mention made of their return, the men submitted their reports and then went their separate ways.

Science and Exploration - A new mission

At the end of the Second World War in 1945, all British Antarctic activity was taken on by the Colonial Office (now the Foreign and Commonwealth Office). Four bases had been built, with Base C at Sandefjord Bay in the South Orkney Islands built in February 1945 but never occupied due to insufficient personnel, and replaced by a new hut at Cape Geddes in 1946. The three bases still occupied were to form the basis of the new mission in Antarctica, whose focus would be science and exploration. This mission was renamed the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey (FIDS), later to become the British Antarctic Survey in 1962.


The legacy of Operation Tabarin was substantial: as well as the large amount of scientific work carried out during the two seasons, this mission launched the beginnings of Britain’s continuous presence in Antarctica for the next seventy years, and formed the basis for Britain’s prominent position in Antarctic affairs and science during this time.

Port Lockroy

Find out more about Port Lockroy and the work carried out there.

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