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Biography & Autobiography Personal Memoirs

Adrift on an Ice Pan

by (author) Wilfred Grenfell

foreword by Edward Roberts

Flanker Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2022
Personal Memoirs, Medical
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2022
    List Price

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On Easter Sunday, 1908, Dr. Wilfred Grenfell was summoned to treat a boy with osteomyelitis who had been operated on two weeks earlier. The young man needed immediate attention to save not only his leg but his life, so the doctor set out from St. Anthony, Newfoundland, with his komatik and his eight best dogs.
To save a few miles, Dr. Grenfell took a shortcut across a bay, but the ice broke up beneath him, his komatik sank, and one dog drowned. He and the other dogs climbed out of the water onto an ice pan, which drifted out to sea in an offshore wind. In the cold and solitude of a day and a night on the ice, the doctor was now in peril. Frostbitten and snow-blind, he turned to his remaining dogs and performed one final, desperate act in an attempt to save his life.
Adrift on an Ice Pan is the best known of the autobiographical accounts of Sir Wilfred Thomason Grenfell, the famous Labrador doctor. Originally published in 1909, it has sparked much discussion over Dr. Grenfell's character: his legendary ingenuity, evangelical faith, and love of adventure.

About the authors

Wilfred Grenfell was born in Parkgate, England, in 1865. He studied medicine and later volunteered to go to Newfoundland and Labrador, where he quickly gained great respect among the people. He established a mission, an orphanage, and a school at St. Anthony, Labrador. His tale Adrift on an Ice Pan (1908, 1992) is an account of how he was stranded overnight on the ice. He died in 1941.

Wilfred Grenfell's profile page

Edward Roberts has been involved in public life in Newfoundland and Labrador for fifty-five years, as a journalist, lawyer, and politician. He was a member of the House of Assembly for twenty-three years and served as Newfoundland and Labrador’s lieutenant governor between 2002 and 2008. He was honorary colonel of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment from 2003 to 2008, thus re-establishing the link between that office and that of the lieutenant governor, the Queen’s personal representative in Newfoundland and Labrador. He has long been passionately interested in the history of Newfoundland and her people. His first book, as editor, Peter Cashin: My Fight for Newfoundland (2012), was a Globe and Mail bestseller.

Edward Roberts' profile page

Other titles by Wilfred Grenfell

Other titles by Edward Roberts