Terence Edward Armstrong was born in Oxted, Surrey, England, on April 7, 1920. His parents were linen merchants in Northern Ireland, but the family had moved back to England prior to his birth. He attended Winchester School, where he began his lifelong study of the Russian language. In 1939, he attended Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, where he attained first class honors in Russian (1940) and was mentored by Professor (Dame) Elizabeth Hill, a well-known scholar of Slavonic studies. World War II interrupted his university life, and he saw action during 1940-1946 with the British Army Intelligence Corps and First Airborne Division in North Africa, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and Germany. Armstrong married Iris Forbes in 1943, and they had two sons and two daughters. For nearly his entire academic life, the family lived in Harston House, a large home in the village of Harston, South Cambridgeshire, where they warmly entertained legions of polar scholars and northerners for more than four decades. He earned degrees at the University of Cambridge, including his Ph.D. in 1951 for a dissertation entitled The Development of the
Northern Sea Route. Following World War II, he returned to Cambridge and in 1947 was appointed a fellow in Russian at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge. He subsequently served the Institute as Assistant Director of Research (1956-1977), Reader in Arctic Studies (1977-1983), and Acting Director (1982-1983). Armstrong played leading roles as a founder (in 1964) and early tutor in Clare Hall, a new college at the University of Cambridge. He also made important contributions to the Hakluyt Society in the United Kingdom, serving as secretary for 25 years and guiding to press more than 50 scholarly volumes of the records of significant voyages and expeditions. Armstrong was a fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America and the Royal Geographical Society, and was awarded the Society's Cuthbert Peek Award (1963) and Victoria Medal (1978) in recognition of his many contributions to geography and a greater understanding of the Arctic. Armstrong died at his home in Harston, England, on February 21, 1996.
Lawson W. Brigham
See also Northern Sea Route; Treshnikov, Aleksey Feodorovich; Yakutia
Armstrong, Terence E., The Northern Sea Route, Soviet Exploitation of the North East Passage, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1952
-, The Russians in the Arctic, Aspects of Soviet
Exploration and Exploitation of the Far North, 1937-1957, London: Methuen, 1958
-, Russian Settlement in the North, Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1965
-(editor), Yermak's Campaign in Siberia, London: The
Hakluyt Society, 1975
-, "In Search of a Sea Route to Siberia, 1553-1619."
Arctic, 37(4) (1984): 429-440 Armstrong, T., G. Rogers & G. Rowley, The Circumpolar
North, London: Methuen, 1978 Heap, J. (compiler), "Polar profile, Terence Edward
Armstrong." Polar Record, 32(182) (1996): 265-270 Speak, P., "Terence Edward Armstrong 1920-1996." In Geographers, Bibliographical Studies, Volume 18, edited by P. Armstrong & G. Martin, London: Mansell, 1998
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