Bagshawe, Thomas Wyatt
Thomas Wyatt Bagshawe was born on 18th April 1901, the younger son of Arthur Bagshawe. He was educated at Rugby, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.
Thomas took part in the John Lachlan Cope's Expedition to Graham Land 1920-22, which aimed to continue mapping the western coastline of the Weddell Sea in the Antarctic. Although the rest of the team decided not to overwinter, Bagshawe and his companion Lieutenant M. C. Lester R.N.R., stayed to continue the work and they carried out an effective programme of weather observations, before being picked up the following summer. He wrote an account of the expedition in his book "Two men in the Antarctic", published by Cambridge University Press.
Thomas Bagshawe was a director of the family firm Bagshawe & Co. Ltd Dunstable between 1925 and 1947. He took over and built up the large family collection of antiques and items of historical importance. He opened and ran the Dunstable Museum in his barn (1927-34), which was known as The Norman King Pub. This building was largely destroyed by fire on the night of Tuesday 9th August 2011. Between 1935 and 1939 the Dunstable Museum was housed at 40 High Street North. The premises were provided by the Borough Council and shared with the Bedfordshire County Council Library. His collection was donated to the Wardown Park Museum in Luton in 1939. He was honorary curator, later honorary director, of Luton Museum 1928-47, and also honorary curator of the Cambridge Folk Museum from 1940-1946.
During the Second World War he served with the R.A.F.V.R. and in Combined operations. He was High Sheriff of Bedfordshire in 1949. Bagshawe also wrote many articles, including for the Bedfordshire Magazine and the Dunstable Gazette.
He married Grace Gearing. They had two sons.
Thomas Bagshawe died in Worthing on January 28th 1976 at the age of 74. The Bagshawe Glacier is named after him.
- Dunstable in detail by Nigel C. Benson (Book Castle, 1986)
- The Times obituary 31st January 1976. Online at Times Digital Archive
Thomas Wyatt Bagshawe by Bedfordshire Libraries, 2011
Page last updated: 24th January 2014