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Royal Collection © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Polar Medal 1904, George V
Acquired by King George VI
The Polar Medal was instituted by King Edward VII following the return of Captain Scott’s Discovery expedition. Ernest Gillick designed the image of Discovery with the sledging party in the foreground, and the effigy of King George V was by Bertram Mackennal. The medal can be silver or bronze, and is awarded for distinguished work in the Arctic or Antarctic. A bar is added for each separate expedition. Shackleton’s lieutenant Frank Wild was awarded four bars to his medal, the most of any polar explorer. This example has three clasps: ANTARCTIC 1910-13; ANTARCTIC 1912-14; ANTARCTIC 1914-16.