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Leith Harbour

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Title: Leith Harbour  
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Subject: South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Husvik, History of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Leith (disambiguation), Trinity Island, Willis Islands
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Leith Harbour

You may be looking for Leith, the port of Edinburgh, Scotland
Stromness, and Leith Harbour (NASA imagery).
A portion of the abandoned whaling station at Leith Harbor.
A Scottish whaler in workshop, Leith harbour, South Georgia, mid-1940s.
Historical and modern settlements of South Georgia Island.

Leith Harbour (), also known as Port Leith, was a Christian Salvesen Ltd, Edinburgh. The station was in operation from 1909 until 1965. It was the largest of seven whaling stations, situated near the mouth of Stromness Bay. One man prominently involved in setting up Leith Harbour was William Storm Harrison.

It is named after Leith, the harbour area of Edinburgh, Christian Salvesen's home town.


  • History 1
  • Today 2
  • See also 3
  • External links 4


avalanche in 1918.

During the Cumberland Bay and Stromness Bay, i.e. to Grytviken and Leith Harbour respectively. These batteries (still present) were manned by volunteers from among the Norwegian whalers who were trained for the purpose.

The Falklands War was precipitated on March 1982 when a group of around fifty Argentines, posing as scrap metal merchants, occupied the abandoned whaling station at Leith Harbour. They were understood to have a commercial contract to remove scrap metal at Leith Harbour but they arrived aboard a ship chartered by the Argentine Government. 32 special forces troops from Corbeta Uruguay were brought by the Argentine Navy ship Bahía Paraiso to South Georgia and landed at Leith Harbour on March 25, 1982.

On April 25, 1982 the garrison in Grytviken surrendered without returning fire and so did the detachment in Leith Harbour -- commanded by Captain Astiz -- the following day.


There is a gun emplacement on the hill behind the station, and another at Hansen Point with the original 4.1" gun still in position. Leith Harbour boasted a hospital, a library, a cinema, and a narrow gauge railway. The centre of Leith Harbour is occupied by the so-called Portuguese graveyard and there is a second, larger cemetery to the rear of the station. Due to its nature, the station also contained a factory and a flensing plan or platform. Since 2010 access to the station has been prohibited due to the dangers posed by asbestos and collapsing buildings.

See also

External links

  • Pictures by Jim McLaren
  • More pictures (by Jim McLaren?)
  • On the narrow gauge railway
  • Article in the Whaling Times
  • Friends of the Island of South Georgia (Norwegian only)
  • Legislation
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