Southend Timeline

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Exploring the Northwest Passage - In May 1845 many excited locals watched as two ships the Erebus and Terror were boarded by  expedition crews who were heading out to discover the Northwest Passage.  Leading the expedition was Sir John Franklin who was partly leading a Royal Naval trip although other monies were provided by private sponsorship, including financial help from Sir Bernard Sparrow the Squire of Leigh.  Not all went to plan with this expedition as the people who waved them off had expected them back within a couple of months.  However, nearly two years later and there was no sign of either ship and rescue expeditions were launched to try and discover them with some high rewards in place.  The ships had simply vanished off the face of the earth; many years later stories emerged and finally a narrative from a couple of th ships officers indicated both vessels became trapped in the ice.  Some of the crew perished aboard, others decided to abandon the ships and make there way south across the ice on foot.  It was here that the story became gruesome as it became very apparent the shipmates resorted to cannabalism.  Read more about this fascinating story here:  The Lost Expedition

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