JR-image-1'If the myth gets bigger than the man, print the myth...'

And so, the man who failed, regrettably with a considerable loss of life, has gone down in history as a hero, while the astonishing achievements of an unassuming Orkney doctor remain unknown.

That's why, in 2013, The John Rae Society was formed.READ MORE

 We have bought the Hall of Clestrain! The final funds were raised at the 2018 Birthday weekend read the full report here



2018 AGM Date

Volunteers needed for Archaeology survey of the Hall

Details of the 2018 Birthday celebrations

Can you send an email of support please?

A chance to pre-order Michael Palin's new book 'Erebus'

Donation from Adventure Canada

Review of talk on Scottish Doctors and Explorers in Search of Franklin

2018 John Rae Festival Report

Review of the Tom Muir talk April 2nd

Video appeal from our President about the current state of the Hall
Winter Newsletter published


Incredible news just announced !

arctic logo

Arctic Expedition planned for 2019 in commemoration of John Rae

AGM 2017 12th November - Minutes and President's Report

Report on 2017 Birthday Weekend

John Rae given the Freedom of Orkney

Michael Palin agrees to become a Patron

Council will be presenting John Rae the Freedom of Stromness


Our JustGiving page has been set up if you would like to donate to help retore the Hall of Clestrain please click here

 Don't forget to get your JRS Lottery tickets, we are drawing the prizes on the 30th September so time is running out! See a list of the prizes here

 2017 5th - 8th May was our First Festival and book launch!Read More

Hall Planning MeetingRead more

Survey of The HallRead more

AGM & Other Minutes PublishedRead more

President's 2016 report Read more


HudsonTedHudson's Bay Company - 2016 Christmas Bear is named after John Rae

Only normally available in Canada and USA but we have a few for sale in the UK - Now back in stock!


John Rae Society is mentioned in the Scottish Parliament

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John Rae Society acquires the Hall of Clestrain!


Thanks to everyone who attended our Party for John Rae's 2016 birthday. A great evening was had by all, full report and photos will follow. Thanks again to Fiona Driver who stood in at the last moment because of Jo Philby's illness. Full report of a great evening here

Want to read more about John Rae and the society? Download our excellent newsletters.

Stone and plaque unveiled at the Hall of ClestrainReport

News: Personal memorial flowers at the Hall Details here.

News: Display board and donation box at the HallDetails here.

News: Urgent repairs to the Hall of Clestrain Details here.

Update: Member John Snoad has compiled an updated Book List here

News:  On 30 September 2014,  a plaque was erected in Westminster Abbey, London, recognising John Rae as an Arctic Explorer. READ MORE

Help: Click to find out how you can help us.

Sad News

The John Rae Society was very saddened to learn of the sudden and unexpected death of one of its Trustees, Xandra Shearer.
Xandra had been a loyal supporter of the Society since its formation in 2013 and was an active Trustee, taking on the specific task of Chair of the Events Committee. Despite some disability she carried this through with what can only be described as verve and vigour, turning up at every event, usually with a selection of very popular home-bakes.
Xandra had a wicked sense of humour and always had a twinkle in her eye, which endeared her to all who knew her. She will be greatly missed by all her colleagues and friends and the  Trustees would like to offer their sincere and heartfelt condolences to her husband and our chairman, Norman, as well as to her family.

Andrew Appleby - President John Rae Society 


John Rae appointed as honorary chartered surveyor by RICS

The achievements and life of pioneering Scottish explorer and surveyor Dr John Rae were celebrated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) today. Fronted by RICS President John Hughes, RICS


Pre-Order Michael Palin's new book on Erebus

A chance to pre -order Michael Palin’s new book  “ Erebus the story of a ship” . Every one bought from us will help to go towards the restoration fund for


Arctic Return

We have heard from our friends in Canada that there is an expedition to the arctic planned in 2019 in commemoration of John Rae's exploits. This is from the expedition website



2018 AGM dates announced

Our next AGM will be at the Pomona inn Finstown on Sunday 4th November at 7.30pm All are welcome


Ian Ritchie CBE Exhibition of giclée prints for sale in aid of JRS

AT STROMNESS LIBRARY FROM JULY TO OCTOBER 2018 Warehouse Buildings, 2 -12 Victoria Street Monday 9:15am–7pm Tuesday 9:15am–5pm Wednesday 9:15am–5pm Thursday 9:15am–7pm Friday 9:15am–5pm Saturday 9:15am–5pm Sunday Closed email: This email address


Gala Event and Birthday celebrations

and Charity Auction Sunday 30th September. 7.30 p.m{John Rae’s 205th Birthday}At The New Orkney Distillery & Visitor centre The new John Rae FanfareFinger Buffet, Coffee, Refreshments, Tastings, MusicCharity Auction with Rare Whisky,


Support Us


Membership is open to any person, or corporate body, who has an interest in the life of John Rae and supports the aims and objectives of The John Rae Society

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As a Registered Charity we are always needing funding for many projects within a variety of time frames. We are grateful for anything you can afford and you can donate by PayPal, cheque or BACS.

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John Rae