During the early 1840s Rae had led four major Arctic expeditions, travelling more than 23,000 miles, and when the Admiralty sent Sir John Richardson to investigate the disappearance of the 1845 Franklin expedition, Rae's skills proved too invaluable to ignore.By the summer of 1847, nothing had been heard of Franklin and his 128 men, and by 1852 the search had become a national obsession.
However Rae was denied official recognition for his achievement and castigated for telling the unpalatable truth - that sailors in the Royal Navy's ill-fated Franklin expedition had resorted to cannibalism.
From the archive The Fate of Sir John Franklin The Scotsman25 October 1854Page One Page Two It was Rae who eventually found the answer two years later, while on a mapping expedition across Canada's remote Boothia Peninsula.
Franklin had been trying to find a channel on the north-west side of King William Island in his attempt to find the highly prized Northwest Passage.
He and his crew abandoned ship after becoming ice-bound and eventually perished in the Arctic wastelands.
Meanwhile, hundreds of miles south-east of the expedition, Rae had found the sought-after channel that linked the sea trading route across North America.
All of my work since has been shot on other photographic gear, with no link to Jon.