4 February, 2021 News stories

Three British Antarctic Survey (BAS) staff have been awarded the Polar Medal. The announcement was published last week (Friday 29 January) in the London Gazette.

Polar Medal: Dr Jeremy Wilkinson

Polar Oceanography

Arctic and Antarctic to 2019

Photo of Jeremy Wilkinson

Dr Jeremy Wilkinson is an expert on sea ice dynamics within the Atmosphere, Ice and Climate Team. His scientific fieldwork, both in the Arctic and Antarctic, has been performed from ships and on the ice and he has organised and participated in over 20 polar campaigns. Dr Wilkinson represents the UK on the Arctic Ocean Science Board (AOSB)/ International Arctic Science Committee’s (ISAC) Marine Science Working Group and is a member of the Programme Advisory Board for Arctic Science for NERC.


Polar Medal: Paul Anker

Drilling Engineer

Antarctic to 2020

Photo of Paul Anker

Paul Anker is a drilling engineer specialising in hot water drilling and oceanographic mooring within the Antarctic Marine Engineering team. Having joined BAS in 2009, he works on designing and operating systems to monitor Arctic and Antarctic ice shelves. He has extensive experience of Antarctic fieldwork and the diverse technical requirements of operating in extreme environments.


Polar Medal: Mr Albert Martin Bowen

CPO Science Operations, (Science Bosun JCR)

Arctic and Antarctic to 2020

Photo of Martin Bowen

Albert ‘Martin’ Bowen is the Science Bosun for the RRS James Clark Ross and has had an established maritime career, previously working in the Royal Navy in the 1960s and later the Merchant Navy. He joined British Antarctic Survey in 1991 and is the longest serving crew member of the RRS James Clark Ross. As Science Bosun he is responsible for deploying scientific equipment and is currently working on preparing the new polar ship for Great Britain, the RRS Sir David Attenborough ready for its first trip to the Antarctic in November 2021.


The Polar Medal is awarded by HM The Queen to personnel who have given valued service in the Polar Regions.

The first polar award was called the Arctic Medal, which was presented twice in the 19th century. First to the men who engaged in a search expedition to discover the fate of Sir John Franklin and his crew who were lost while looking for the Northwest Passage in 1847. The second presentation of the Arctic Medal was to the crews of three ships exploring the Arctic in 1875–76.

In 1904, the Polar Medal was inaugurated for members of Captain Scott’s first expedition to Antarctica. Subsequent medals were awarded to members of Ernest Shackleton’s expeditions in 1907–09 and 1914–17.