In 1845, Captain Sir John Franklin and his two ships sailed from England with hopes of uncovering the final stretch of the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic. Few could have predicted that the voyage would see both his crews - 129 men - perish in some of the most inhospitable conditions on earth after a bitter fight for survival. Despite numerous search expeditions and the promise of a substantial reward for anyone who recovered the crews, the reason for the catastrophe has remained a mystery for 170 years, with stories surfacing of the men having endured lead poisoning, starvation, madness and even cannibalism.
But after the discovery of Franklin’s ships HMS Erebus and Terror in 2014 and 2016, Royal Museums Greenwich are able to present a world-first exhibition that offers insight into how the tragedy unfolded. Divers are still undertaking extensive searches on the wrecks in order to uncover more clues, while mummified bodies of some of the crew members are undergoing DNA testing.
The personal items and archaeological finds in the exhibition – many of them on display for the first time ever – will paint a vivid picture of what humans are capable of when pushed to extremes.
Nearest Tube: Cutty Sark DLR
Directions from Nearest Tube: Follow directional signage to the National Maritime Museum. The main entrance is a ten minute walk from the station.
Vouchers are only valid for the date booked.
Please take your voucher to the admissions desk to enter the exhibition.