Robert Forde was born on the 29th of August in 1875 to George Forde and Charity Payne of Moviddy, Co. Cork. At the age of 16, Robert joined the Royal Navy, eventually earning the rank and title of Petty Officer First Class.
When he was 35, Robert was a volunteer member of Robert F. Scott's Terra Nova expedition to Antarctica. www.shackletoneexhibition.com describes Forde's role in the expedition as the following,
In the early stages of the expedition, Forde took part in two depot-laying missions. As part of the shore party of the expedition, Forde also took part in the surveying teams, particularly around Ross Island. In late-January, 1911, Forde spent six weeks studying three glaciers to the west of Ross Island with geologists Frank Debenham and T. Griffith Taylor, Charles S. Wright the physicist and Petty Officer Edgar (Taff) Evans. In August, 1911, Forde, with Lieutenant Edward Evans and Lieutenant Tryggve Gran, voyaged to Corner Camp to check that the depot there was in good order. https://shackletonexhibition.com/this-day-in-1875/
Forde's time working away from the ship on these studies left him with frostbite, for which he was ordered to return to the Terra Nova and eventually to New Zealand.
Later in his naval career, Forde served in the war. After his demobilisation he retired to Cobh, Co. Cork where he lived for the remainder of his life. He always wore a glove on his frostbitten hand.
Robert Forde died on March 13th 1959 at the age of 83, the oldest surviving man from Munster on Scott's crew.http://rememberingedwardbransfield.ie/other-cork-antarctic-explorers/
A memorial now stands in Cobh to remember this great Irish explorer of the Antarctic. He also remembered by the naming of Mount Forde, Victoria Land, Antarctica.