The Lost Franklin Expedition

Sir John Franklin

In 1845, Sir John Franklin lead two ships into the Arctic in search of the fabled Northwest Passage. The ships and crew were the finest England had to offer. However, after heading into Lancaster Sound – the entrance to the Passage – neither ship would be seen again.


The Lost Franklin Expedition – Part 1
In part 1 of 2 of the Lost Franklin Expedition, we find out about Franklin, his crew, and the preparations for his historic journey. We then take the expedition to the Arctic – and into a morass of islands, ice, snow and danger.

Download this episode or listen online.

The Lost Franklin Expedition – Part 1
Part 2 in our series examines the tragic fate of Franklin, his men and their ships – and the 170+ years of searching for clues to the expedition’s ultimate end.

Download this episode or listen online.


Map showing the general route that Franklin and his ships – Erebus and Terror – took on their journey into the Arctic.

Map courtesy of Smurftrooper – Own work, CC BY 4.0,


The image below displays the note left in the cairn at Victory Point. The original note was written by Lt. Graham Gore. The notes in the margins were then added the following year by Captain Fitzjames. It is the last communication from the expedition.

Images courtesy of Wikipedia.

Select Resources

There are many books and sites devoted to the Franklin Expedition. I’ve included a few here.

Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition – by Owen Beattie and John Geiger (1987) – While there have been quite a recent books about the Franklin Expedition, this was the best. Also, the book has been updated to reflect some more recent findings regarding the expedition.

The Terror – by Dan Simmons (2007) – This is a riveting fictionalized version of the Franklin Expedition, incorporating elements of fantasy and horror. Be warned, the book is pretty intense, so it is definitely not for children.