See also

Family of Reginald KOETTLITZ and Marie Louise BUTEZ

Husband: Reginald KOETTLITZ (1860-1916)
Wife: Marie Louise BUTEZ (c. 1862-1916)
Marriage 1901 Chelsea Register Office1

Husband: Reginald KOETTLITZ



Name: Reginald KOETTLITZ1
Sex: Male
Father: Maurice KOETTLITZ (1815- )
Mother: Rosetta Ann Jane DOWDESWELL (1833-1929)
Birth 23 Dec 1860 Ostend Belgium1
Census 3 Apr 1881 (age 20) 73 Southwark Bridge Road2
RG11/0519 / 20/22
Occupation Surgeon Explorer3
Education 1873-76 Day Boy at Dover College / 1876-84 Medical student, Guys Hospital FRCS and MRCS. Royal College of Surgeons1
Death 10 Jan 1916 (age 55) Craddock, South Africa1
Cause: Dysentry

Wife: Marie Louise BUTEZ

Name: Marie Louise BUTEZ1
Sex: Female
Father: -
Mother: -
Birth c. 1862 Alsace, France1,3
Death 10 Jan 1916 (age 53-54) Craddock, South Africa1
Cause: Heart Disease

Note on Husband: Reginald KOETTLITZ - shared note

His father, a minister of the Reformed Lutheran Church, and his English mother settled in Dover shortly afterwards.

1873-76 Day Boy at Dover College.

1876-84 Medical student, Guys Hospital FRCS and MRCS. Royal College of Surgeons

1884 In Medical Register Butterknowle, Darlington co Durham. Medical Officer at two close collieries and to the Auckland parish Poor law union.

1884-86 Edinburgh LRCP. Royal College of Physicians.

1894 He became a naturalized Briton.

While visiting his family in Dover, volunteered as Medical Officer and Geologist to the Jackson-Harmsworth Expedition to the Arctic.

Sailed on 12 July 1894 on the "Windward" and spent nearly 3 years in the Arctic.

He established the comparative ages of rocks at Franz Josef Land and in honour of this, he had an island in the Franz Josef Archipelago named after him.

Dr W.S.Bruce who was with him for a year said

"…. A man of great charm and character, an explorer of the best type, scientific, painstaking, cheerful and indifferent to notoriety and reward."

1897 returned to England and Dover. He gave ticket only lectures at the Town Hall in full Arctic clothing including skis and snowshoes.

1898 Medical Officer to the Abyssinia Expedition lead by Herbert Weld Blundell and Lord Lovat, followed by an expedition to the jungles of Brazil.

One item he brought back from Abyssinia was a foot long bar by 2 inch square of salt.

On the Amazon trip he collected over 1,000 specimens of microscopic life these were donated to Edinburgh Museums.

They had never seen so much collected in such a short period.

This was used by the local population as currency and when you handed it over for what ever you were supposed to lick it before handing it on. The expedition had started at Sden, went through the little known country to the west of the Shan-Gulla, down the Nile at Fenzoli and sailed down the Nile.

On leaving Dover in 1898 he gave a full size Polar Bear to his brother Maurice who stood it in his surgery reception at London Road Dover.

His clothing skis, snowshoes and medical bag were given to Dover museum.

1901 returned to Dover married a French girl and then he volunteered as senior Medical Officer to Scott's 1901-04 expedition to the Antarctic on "Discovery". Sailed August 6 1901. His assistant MO was Dr Wilson who died with Scott in1912. Koettlitz led the second party on the trip across McMurdo sound in November 1902 and discovered a massive glacier they named Koettlitz Glacier. Before his departure the students at Guy's hospital clubbed together and bought a number of the doctor's scientific apparatus instruments he needed on the Discovery. It was not a happy 3 years as the assistant doctor Wilson undermined him from the beginning and got very friendly with Scott. Reginald had worked hard in preparation for the trip and was concerned about scurvy he wrote in the BMJ that

"if as is possible there will be a sufficiency of fresh game in the shape of penguins and seals we can take it as certain that no scurvy will be heard of… However Scott would not listen. He had a sentimental objection to killing enough seals to keep the disease away, and would not listen; Koettlitz and Armitage dealt with it effectively. Scott pretended not to know its origin and blamed the provisions, which Koettlitz had examined before Discovery left England. On his way home Koettlitz visited the north and south islands of New Zealand and was impressed with them.

1904 returned to Dover and gave illustrated lecture "Furthest South" at Dover Town hall. Shackleton who had been sent home by Scott at the end of the first season in the Discovery expedition was invited to under take another polar visit. But being married now and had given 5 winters to the Polar Regions be declined.

1905 just before He emigrated to south Africa Darlington Cape Colony and practiced as a Doctor, he was living 18 Pencester Road Dover. Awarded RGS Medal for the Antarctic expedition.

1910 was at Grobbelaar's Kraal Darlington cape colony SA as a doctor.

1915 moved to nearby Somerest East. 6 months he and his wife fell ill and both died on January 10 1916 within 2 hours of each other.

Both buried by the freemasons at Craddock and a memorial erected.

He had articles published observation on geology of Franz Josef Land and Ursula Maritimes about 1898-99.

An entry from his diary on his way to Franz Josef land, the Windward" was in the Russian port of Archangel and were being entertained by Russian Fleet Officers read "at 1 o'clock in the morning we sat down to a meal. I suppose supper is the only name you'd call it, it was a fine collection of sterlet a fish, and other delicacies were on the menu, every kind of wine accompanied it. Toasts to our honour were drunk most enthusiastically, with musical honours and cheers. Naval Officers of the Warvessel Vestnik then also toasted, drinking health's in the Russian way which was to move round the table tipping glasses with those being honoured with the toast, they finished by drinking our every success in a brew they called Jonka. This is composed of white and red wine with spices in a large bowl over this stood on a grating, a sugar loaf, the lights were turned down and vodka, a colourless spirit made from corn, is poured over the sugar loaf and set alight. I do not know how many bottles of vodka were poured over it, but I should think it was kept burning for 5 minutes, the flame was then put out by having a couple of bottles of champagne poured over it.Glasses are then filled and passed around and I must say the brew was very good, the Russians are devils at drinking though I did not see any get drunk. We all then went outside and 4 droskeys, vehicles something like an Irish jointing car with increased suspension due to the terribly maintained cobbled streets, with ruts and holes everywhere. The Russians got it into their heads we wanted to race and the reckless driving through the streets at that time of night was tremendous".

Thursday 27th August 1896.

Bath. Got up at 10am. Armitage had been up some time it being a beautiful morning, and had been together with Hayward watching a bear that had been making itself much at home, eating a walrus. He gorged and took no notice of anyone, he would not be frightened away, and if Armitage or anyone went near the meat or skin which the bear evidently thought was solely his property he ran at them hissing. After breakfast Armitage, Jackson, Wilton and I went with the rifles spent 2 hours or so watching. Jackson took telephoto photos of it. I t was interesting to see the bear resenting an Ivory gull going near his meat. The bear pulled the remaining carcass 150 yards out on to the flow he sprawled first one side then the other, the full length on his belly. The bear then pumped ship, and scratched all 4 legs like a dog throwing the snow backwards. We did all to attract its notice when Jackson went in to get more slides. Jackson thought he had enough slides. We went towards the flow for last look the bear darted in our direction and was very threatening and angry we fired our rifles my bullet went straight through the heart. The bear was 8ft 1-½ inches from tip to tail. We carried it to number 2 and finished this about 7pm. Jackson developed the slides. We did not get dinner till 8pm as Jackson was using the storeroom as a darkroom and Hayward could not get provisions out till after Jackson had finished. After dinner went for a short walk with Wilton and Bruce had some rum and turned in at 1am.

Burial paid for by Freemasons in South Africa

Note on Wife: Marie Louise BUTEZ - shared note

Burial paid for by Freemasons in South Africa


1"Email from Douglas Dickson (Koettlitz researcher) to Graham Hoadly 24/01/03".
2"1881 British Census and National Index" (The Church Of The Latter Day Saints).
Graham Hoadly.
3Public Record Office, " - 1901 Census" (Internet).
Internet. Call Number: (electronic).