A FAMILY of bus owners may possess the key to solving the identity of a doomed explorer buried in London, reports MAGGIE MILLAR.
In the Royal Naval College, scientists recently exhumed the body of an officer on the ill-fated Franklin expedition to the Arctic in 1845.
And, contrary to established wisdom, they think he could be surgeon Harry DS Goodsir from Anstruther.
When an appeal for living relatives was published in the East Fife Mail, the family behind A1 Coaches were especially interested.
Ian Goodsir Snr (73) said: “I was surprised to read it - it’s some story!
“In living memory, our family has always belonged Kirkcaldy but I never knew my grandad [Goodsir] or his background, so it’s possible there could be a connection.”
In May 1845, Harry Goodsir set sail to discover the Northwest Passage route to Asia but the ships struggled to navigate the treacherous waters of Arctic Canada and became trapped in ice - all 129 crew members perished.
A skeleton was eventually recovered and taken to London where, 164 years later, scientists used the skull to reconstruct a face.
Skeletal biologist Simon Mays said: “The facial resemblence to Harry Goodsir is striking, and the isotope evidence is consistent with it being him, but the identification is not 100 per cent certain because some officers on the voyage were not photographed.”
Indeed, until a direct living relative comes forward with matching DNA no-one will ever know for sure who lies under the Franklin Memorial.
Ian’s son David thinks his son, Barry (29) most closely resembles the explorer.
He said: “He seems to have the same round face, nose and eyes. The comparison definitely catches the imagination.
“We might not have the direct DNA link but to have the name Goodsir - which is not common in this area - would suggest there has to be a connection going back somewhere.
”I’m happy to be tested.”
In the meantime, do any of the Goodsir family exhibit traits of wanderlust?
“No, I’d just get lost!,” said Ian Jnr.