Shackleton : The James Caird Society



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Welcome to the James Caird Society Forum. Anyone can use it to post messages, ask questions, hold discussions, add news or photos and share Shackleton information. Scroll down to read the messages below, or to join in, click ADD A NEW MESSAGE. (NB: your telephone number and email address remain confidential and so will not appear on your message or be published.)

Shackleton - The Complete Series (posted by Giles Hobson, 6 Feb 2017, 20:09)

JCS members will, doubtless, be delighted to hear that the previously unobtainable four-part 1983 BBC series, 'Shackleton', written by Christopher Ralling, will be released by the DVD distribution company, Simply Media, on March 13th.
It can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK here:

5th February, 2017 (posted by Diana Banks, 5 Feb 2017, 02:34)

This is just to ask if you could tell me if there are people who give talks on the Ernest Shackleton Expedition? I belong to a U3A Group in Oxfordshire who put on Study Days for their members. I have long been fascinated by Shackleton and his amazing story, and thought it would be something many members of the U3A would find of interest.

If you cannot help maybe you could point me in the right direction to someone who could.

Diana Banks

Shackleton's Bible (posted by Giovanni Blasich, 23 Nov 2016, 19:39)

On Friday November 4th I visited the Royal Geographical Society in London,
where various relics are kept of Antarctic expeditions, first and foremost the Discovery Expedition (British Nationa Antarctic Expedition 1901-04), commanded by Scott and sponsored by the RGS.
I asked to see Shackleton's Bible from Endurance.
Certainly everybody remembers the episode. After the Endurance was crushed by ice and sank, before embarking on the three lifeboats (including the James Caird) Shackleton invited his men to get rid of unwanted weight, allowing each one to take only a few personal effects.
On that occasion Frank Hurley, the photographer, had to destroy many of the glass plates containing the images of his photos. To lead by example Shackleton threw out on the pack ice some silver coins (which later he found in the pocket of one of the sailors, who was berated), and even the Bible that had been donated to him by HM Queen Alexandra who had written a dedication in one of the first pages.
Before throwing away the Bible Shackleton ripped the page with the royal dedication and another page from the Book of Job.
A member of the crew (Thomas McLeod), a believer, thought that it would be a bad thing to leave the Bible on the ice and picked it up. So the Bible was saved and after several steps came to the RGS in London.
When I saw the Shackleton Bible I asked to be allowed to touch it for a moment. It was a gesture that moved me. With that brief touch I entered directly and personally in the spirit of the expedition and the great rescue adventure that is so unbelievable.
The same evening of Friday 4th November, at the James Caird Society AGM at Dulwich College, I asked several people if they knew where the two pages torn from Shackleton's bible are located, but no one has been able to answer me.
Can somebody tell me something about where they might be?

All the best.

Blasich Giovanni - Firenze Italy
James Caird Society member

[Footnote - Ed.: possibly three pages: a) the dedication; b) pp.551-556 & c) pp. 569-570. See e.g.:]

Worthwhile websites (posted by Jan Poniatowice, 19 Nov 2016, 17:32)

Hello everybody! A nice website.

Here some interesting links, well worth checking out:



South, Shackleton (posted by Andrea, 29 Sep 2016, 09:51)

Hi - I wondered if I could ask the advice of members. I came across a copy of Shackleton, South yesterday when looking through some boxes of family books.

Inside it notes 'First published in Nov 1919, new impression December 1919'. I wondered if you could help me to value the book. Many thanks

Nimrod (posted by MARK SINGLETON, 7 Sep 2016, 15:53)

2nd picture

1909 nimrod exhibition (posted by MARK SINGLETON, 7 Sep 2016, 15:51)

Bought stereoscopic slides 30 years ago but did not recognise subject. Only by comparing photos from the Internet did I realise what the photos were. Hope you like them

Shackleton expedition watches (posted by David Boettcher, 14 Jun 2016, 08:44)

The SPRI have two watches from Shackleton's 1914 expedition, but there is a reference in "The Dial" Vol. II January 1922 (attached) to another watch that was supplied to Shackleton for the expedition.

The case was specially made by the Dennison Watch Case company of Birmingham, the two distinctive loops on the case were for the watch to be carried on a neck strap. I am
interested to find out more about this watch and its whereabouts and I wondered if a member of the James Caird Society or Forum visitor could help me?
Watch supplied to Shackleton expedition
Watch supplied to Shackleton expedition

James Caird Plans (posted by William C. Blaiklock, 29 May 2016, 23:16)

Are plans (drawings) of the James Caird available, suitable for building a model? I would like to know the source if any.

MSB 8419 James Caird (1986) (posted by Graeme Ewens, 22 May 2016, 21:18)

This article was published in the Western Morning News on May 14, 2016. I have since received a dozen contacts from ex and serving crew members with knowledge of the boat. This is most gratifying, and thanks to all of those, with whom I plan to comunicate.
Unfortunately, the boat was damaged during a storm shortly after arriving in Falmouth when another boat broke its moorings and smashed into four of us on a pontoon. The damage is largely cosmetic but does need fixing. Once she is back in shape I hope to run some short cruises around Falmouth harbour and members of the JCS will be most welcome.
I can be contacted through my email address at the bottom of the article.
Regards to all, GE

In Shackleton's wake

Antarctic motor survey boat has a proud pedigree

An ice-strengthened motor launch carrying a famous name would welcome a reunion with any of its previous crew, as Graeme Ewens reports

One hundred years ago, Ernest Shackleton made his epic voyage from Elephant Island to South Georgia, on a small boat called the James Caird, following the wreck of his Antarctic expedition ship the Endurance. The centenary of that event in April-May,1916 has been well publicised and celebrated, while Shackleton and his crew's heroic exploits have provided inspiration for generations of adventurers, including the sad case of Henry Worsley who perished in January this year just 30 miles short of completing Shackleton's unfinished journey.

The ship's boat in which Shackleton and a crew of five made that 800-mile journey was named after one of the expedition's primary sponsors, a Scottish businessman and philanthropist. Although Sir James Caird (Baronet) had actually died two months before the voyage of that small boat, the event has bestowed immortality upon him. And the name lives on in subsequent generations, with a 1980-s built launch of that name recently returned to work in the West Country.

The original 23ft double-ended, carvel built whaler now has a permanent home at Dulwich College, South London, Shackleton's old school, where it was installed last November, after being displayed in the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich as well as in Falmouth and in several foreign countries. The James Caird Society was founded in 1994 to preserve the vessel and its memory as a tribute to Britain's Polar adventurers.

Since those days early in the last century Britain has retained an interest in the Antarctic with several expeditions that have captured the public's imagination and a continuing Royal Navy presence in South Atlantic waters. The current controversy over naming the next polar research ship (Boaty McBoatface) has raised the subject to new levels of interest. It will be named Sir David Attenborough, but two previous RN ships have been named after Shackelton's vessel: HMS Endurance (ex Anita Dan 1967-1991) and her successor HMS Endurance (ex Polar Circle 1992-2008 ) were both painted red with pennant number A171 written large along their hulls. Each of those vessels has carried a ship's boat with the name of James Caird, as does the current HMS Protector, with James Caird IV.

One of those boats, which is itself 30 years old this year, has recently been given a new lease of life after working as a survey vessel in Plymouth for several years under a different name. The new owner was looking for a ‘gentleman’s workboat’ and found this ex-RN motor launch lying idle and out of the water. A survey showed the boat to be in good condition, if in need of some tlc, and its history revealed it to be the Motor Survey Boat James Caird (MSB 8419), which was built in 1986 by Halmatic at Havant for the Hydrographic Service of the Royal Navy. The boat had been carried aboard both of the HMS Endurance vessels as one of four ship's boats which would have been craned into the water to undertake survey work in the shallower waters of the Antarctic and South Atlantic.

This 30ft launch was the only boat in its class that was ice strengthened, with the addition of thick mahogany cladding around the fibreglass hull and stainless steel reinforcement in the stem. It also features rubbing strakes/sponsons above and below the waterline and protective guards around the twin propellers. It still contains some of the original survey fittings and heavy-duty Royal Navy equipment including, essentially, a heater. The boat was featured in the TV series Ice Patrol and was carried on board HMS Endurance in 2005, when the ship was chosen to carry HM the Queen at the International Fleet Review.

As it was coded by the MCA as a small commercial vessel suitable to work up to 20 miles from a safe haven, the safety equipment including liferaft, Man Overboard device and digital electronics, was brought up to date and the boat made ready for work. In March this year it was steamed from Plymouth to its new home at Falmouth, where the original James Caird had been displayed in 2006.

With a new role as a general purpose workboat, the vessel will also be made available for legacy/heritage cruises catering for polar enthusiasts, and it is hoped to arrange outings in association with the James Caird Society. With this in mind, the new owner would like to get in touch with any retired or serving personnel who served on either of the HMS Endurance ships, particularly those with working knowledge of MSB 8419. Old hands who would like to reminisce, visit, correspond, work on, or play with the boat are invited to contact the owner at

-------------------ends copy---------------------

MSB 8419 passing Black Rock, Falmouth

EShackleton on Twitter (posted by Peggy Nelson, 3 May 2016, 22:57)

I've been tweeting the story of Shackleton's 1914-17 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition for the 100-year anniversary of the events. If you're on Twitter and want to follow along with the last bit of the adventure, it's @EShackleton. The full URL is:

I did an earlier version of this storytelling experiment from 2011-13. For that version, I mostly told the story in my own words, interspersed with quotes, although I used more quotes as it went on. But for the 100-year anniversary I realized that it should be all primary sources (with a few secondaries, like Lansing and Huntford &c.), and no "me".

I've been intrigued by the adventure of the Endurance because there are "too many notes" -- so much happened that the story almost gets away from itself. I don't think telling the story this way is better than a book, but I thought it might be an interesting, alternative way to "read" it. Many apologies for not posting on this forum before! Somehow I didn't realize I could post to it, as well as read things on it, despite it being clearly marked onsite. But better late than never, I hope.

Anyway they are just about to encounter the giant rogue wave in the James Caird...
Screenshot of the @EShackleton account on Twitter dot com.
@EShackleton on Twitter

JOURNAL NO. 8 (posted by Janice Tipping, 29 Apr 2016, 06:45)

Have received my copy of Journal No. 8. Another winner! Some excellent articles shedding new light on old stories, insights into more recent expeditions and films, plus fascinating tales of other Arctic explorers. I particularly like the inclusion of an overview of Shackleton's children, who of course spent much of their childhood without the daily presence of their Dad.

James Caird Sailing Characteristics (posted by Seb Coulthard, 25 Apr 2016, 13:58)

I would like to respond to the post from Gary Wallace:

What was the ability of the James Caird to sail into the wind?

The Caird is a very difficult boat to sail to windward! In fact it hardly sails to wind at all due to her lack of keel, large sail area and heavy ballast (her gross weight was in excess of 3 tonnes). The Caird was never designed to be an efficient sailing boat, it was designed as an open lifeboat with basic Jib and Main sails to enable her to manoeuvre away from the scene of a disaster/shipwreck and then await rescue. To convert her into an efficient sailboat would require repositioning the main mast (lifeboats of this particular design had their main masts deliberately positioned quite far aft to prevent them from sailing too far from a shipwreck – makes sense, you want to be found!. Shackleton, Worsley and McNish never made any mention of repositioning the mast to make sure the centre of effort acts upon the hull efficiently. The addition of a mizzen mast further complicated things but gave them extra sail area to increase speed (a whopping 5 kts average if you’re lucky!)

Worsley does mention in his book ‘Shackleton’s Boat Journey’ how they tacked away from the lee-shore of South Georgia during a hurricane! In all honestly, after re-enacting the voyage myself, and sea trialling a replica boat off the South Coast of England – I am still at a loss for an answer. I don’t honestly know how they survived their encounter with the black cliffs of South Georgia! I think a combination of careful ballast positioning, luck, sail furling, more luck, and sail backing was employed.

For example, furling away the jib and easing the mainsheet out can put the bows more into the wind and also slow down leeway. There is still a bit of a problem in the cockpit with a flapping mainsail and sheets. An alternative approach to 'heaving-to' in a yawl/ketch rigged boat: furl the jib away and ease the mainsheet and the boat will present to the wind more like a sloop with a slower rate of drift astern. All in all, it’s very hard to sail to windward in a lifeboat with a 3 inch keel!

Was the sail shape not that good [flat?] or was the hull without "keel" or sideways resistance?

It’s difficult to tell whether the sails which came with the Caird were cut flat as the original Jib and Main sail no longer exist. The original Mizzen sail does survive but this was added to the Caird after her conversation by Chippy McNish. The origin of that sail is rather unknown but it is likely that it came from either the Main sail of the Norwegian built cutters: Stancomb Wills or Dudley Docker. The mizzen was probably cut and adjusted to fit the mizzen boom. There is evidence of broadseaming on this sail which to me suggests it was produced with an allowance for curvature expansion.

The boat had no drop keel, the Caird is a traditional double-ended whaler design with a fixed keel of about 3 inches in depth.

Could they have built some dagger boards on the right and left gunnels? With good windward ability might have made it to Falkland Islands.

They could have fitted something but I think the lack of materials prevented them. I thought about doing this myself using spare oars and removing the thwarts from the boat but it adds an extra layer of structural complication when you’re trying to keep the boat together in 30 foot seas!

With the weather conditions they faced at the time, and if you plot their original course across the Scotia Sea, it soon becomes very apparent that they were desperately trying to reduce their northing to pick-up the line of latitude for South Georgia. Prevailing wind and current forced them to sail toward the remote island. Had they sailed directly to the Falklands, they would have been sailing across the breaking sea and therefore exposing themselves to waves travelling west to east – all it would have taken to capsize the Caird or force her onto her beam-ends would be for a breaking wave of the same height as the beam of the boat (approximately 6.5 feet) to roll her over. How on Earth they survived a 90ft rogue wave head-on is also a totally mystery and will probably remain so forever!

There are things we know and don't know about this epic voyage. The Caird is a remarkably seaworthy boat despite her construction, rig, and weight. I think much of her performance came down to the amazing seamanship ability of her crew - all of them, very fine and determined sailors.

Mizzen Sail at Dulwich College, London.

Message from Annie Meakin (posted 21 Apr 2016, 15:17)

See previous notes for posting

Excerpt from "An Elegy for Homo sapiens", Canto 9 (part of) (posted by Peadar MacGiolla, 22 Mar 2016, 12:19)

From "An Elegy for Homo sapiens", by Peadar MacGiolla
Canto IX (part of) presented here as a counterweight to other 1916 commemorations:

"9. Canto IX – Rogues do exist
Imagine a rogue as the lord of the swell,
Flatly dancing, to rise to the big occasion,
Knowing that science was late in finding the truth-
About rogues, that is, as if Rogue cared,
No more than the trillion-billion waves of his dominion,
Who celebrate his Olympian feats and argue the most memorable.
… …
Rogue is not just a modernist, rejecting cultures of the past,
He would probably disappoint all falsifiability Popperians,
Being of perennialist persuasion to his very core,
Believing in the inexorable laws of historical destiny.
Empiricism of the soul is Rogue’s mantra,
Because there is a link and a law in the flow of time,
That makes his doings all the more inevitable.
For poor sapiens, the whole picture is never knowable,
As he clings to his belief in the supremacy of evidence,
And the falsifiable truths of experimental science.

What about that midnight of May, nineteen sixteen,
A week after Pearse and Connolly’s pricks
Lanced the boil of misguided patriotism.
Ernest Shackleton was at the tiller of a small sailing boat,
The twenty-three-footer James Caird – a carvel double-ender,
Same designer as the Asgard , the Norwegian Colin Archer,
Cobbled for an ocean crossing, from an open-decked whaleboat,
Through the skills of Henry McNish – sealed-deck on raised-topsides,
Ready for Rogue to do his best,
Be willing to assist towards the carrying out ,
And be the last boat standing.
Six men prepared for a hazardous journey,
Small wages, bitter cold in the throes of the south Atlantic.
Fifteen hundred kilometers through the sweep of the deep,
Lows and lows by the bundle from the Antarctic polar,
To find help for the stranded Elephant Island crew of Endurance,
Where twenty two men huddled to survive,
On the carcasses of the dogs they had come to love.

Frank Wild had said, he’d known men he would have shot,
Rather than the worst poor creature among those dogs.
A sad unfortunate necessity...
Hail to thee, old Shakespeare, fearless, faithful and diligent,
And to you Rugby -- --Hercules ---Hackenschmidt---
Millhill -- Upton Bristol - Sadie, Sue, Sally, Songster, Sub - - Amundsen,
Chirgwin - - - - Sidelights - - -Simeon - - -
Swanker - - Steamer - Samson, Sammy, Skipper, Sandy, Smuts - - Ulysses
Mercury - - - - Painful - - - Snowball - - -
Splitlip - - Bosun - Spotty, Jamie, Jerry, Judge - - -Caruso
Slobbers - - - - Slippery - - - Steward - - -
Jasper – Sooty - Satan, Saint, Bummer, Bob - - - Elliott,
Lupoid - - - - Martin - - - Spider --- Mack,
Snapper - - Fluffy, Rufus, Peter, Roy - - - Noel
Sailor - - - - Stumps - - - Chips, Luke, Sweep, Tim.
Great people dogs, poor wretches,
Had no idea what was awaiting them,
Gaily trotting to their place of execution.

Six men in a boat, supplies for a month
Biscuits, Bovril, sugar and dried milk,
Two eighteen-gallon casks of water,
Paraffin, candles, sleeping bags and a few spare socks,
Battling the unceasing westerly swells of the Southern Ocean,
Those boisterous children of the Roaring Forties and Stormy Fifties.
The highest, broadest, longest swells in the world,
Rogue’s offspring of those tumultuous gales,
They race on - on their encircling course,
Fierce and haughty, rolling over their allotted ocean bed,
As the James Caird headed for the wild isle of South Georgia,
Hoping to find those Norwegian whalers tucked in at Grytviken.

At midnight on the fifth of May, Shackleton was at the tiller.
He thought he saw the bad weather clearing up ahead.
A line of white clouds above a clear dark sky,
He called to the other men, that the sky was clearing,
Only to realize that what he had seen was not a rift in the clouds,
But the white crest of Rogue enormously pending,
With a cataclysmic finality, of which he would later write,
In twenty-six years of experiencing the ocean in all its moods,
He had never encountered a wave so gigantic,
A mighty upheaval of the ocean,
A thing quite apart from the big white-capped seas,
That had been their tireless enemies for many days.
“For God’s sake, hold on! It’s got us”, Shackleton shouted.
And there came a moment of suspense that seemed drawn out into hours.
White surged the foam of the breaking sea all around them,
As they felt the James Caird being lifted and flung,
A tremulous cork, Rogue’s plaything in the breaking surf.
Through that seething chaos of tortured ocean waves,
Somehow the boat lived through it, half full of water,
Sagging to the dead weight and shuddering under the blow,
And they baled with the energy of men fighting for life,
When after a ten minute death-watch of uncertainty,
They felt their craft renew her life beneath them,
Ceasing her drunken lurch, as though dazed by the attack of the sea.
Rogue, who might easily submerge a revolution, let them be,
At that very moment when the Pearses, MacDonagh and Clarke,
And Daly, Plunkett, Ceannt and McBride
And Heuston, O'Hanrahan and Mallin,
MacDiarmada, Colbert, Connolly and Kent,
Were falling to the executioner’s gun ,
Shackleton, Vincent, Worsley and McNeish,
Big brave, smiling, golden-hearted McCarthy,
And mighty Tom Crean from Abha na Scáil,
Knew that they had given Rogue the run,
And well they might have grasped at glory,
And grown bigger in the bigness of the whole."

Photo of Shackleton (posted by Peter Whalen, 8 Mar 2016, 20:01)

I know there are many people out there like me who are mesmerized by tales of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Shackleton, Wild, Creen, Amundsen, Mawson, The list of heroes goes on and on. So I’d like to read as frequent updates as possible on the Forum. Tonight I have only this small bit to add.

I’ve seen the photographs of Ernest Shackleton that are on the internet. There is one photo I love the most. The Boss is on the ice sitting in front of his tent. Hurley is pictured with him. In the background two men are working. The Boss is looking straight at the camera as if he were sitting for the lens.

I love this shot because it’s the only surviving picture that I know of which was taken while Shackleton was in the middle of his scrape. This is before Elephant Isle. His incredible rescue had not yet been accomplished.

The Boss is sitting casually, almost lounging. Still he has a look of absolute command. This picture shows the Boss doing the one thing that was probably hardest of all for him to do. Waiting. The crew was living on an ice floe that was steadily drifting in a northerly direction. The Boss’s plan was to take to the lifeboats at the right moment. But he had to wait for conditions to be right. His assets were: his own command, his crew and his three lifeboats. The largest of those boats was called.., um

Oh yes, the James Caird. (We can never overlook the Dudley Docker or the Stancomb Wills. All three vessels were needed and all performed.)

Anyway that picture tells more than a thousand words about the Boss during that time. So I'll be brief. If I was with that crew, I know I would have followed him gladly.

Boss, I know you’re up there. And I hope you check out this website and Forum now and then(and I’m sure you do).

Your exploits of precisely 100 years ago will never be forgotten.

Your humble servant.
Peter Whalen

The Boss and Frank Hurley

SHACKLETON STATUE (posted by Seamus Taaffe, 2 Mar 2016, 16:28)

In 2015, Kildare County Council sought to commission a permanent sculpture in Athy, to mark the birthplace of the world famous Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton.
After an extensive adjudication process, Mark Richards was awarded the commission.  The sculpture, which will be 1.5 times life size and will stand on a rugged granite plinth, suggesting that the figure is standing on rough ice, is currently under construction in the artist’s studio.  

It is intended that the sculpture will be installed for unveiling on 30th August 2016, to mark the centenary of Shackleton's rescue of all 22 of his men from Elephant Island, after they had been stranded for 105 days.
While it is envisaged that the sculpture will be located in the environs on the Athy Heritage Centre-Museum and Emily Square, the final location of the piece has yet to be decided.  The commissioning of the sculpture coincides with the planned rejuvenation of Emily Square.  Urban design consultants will be appointed shortly and their recommendations will also inform the final location of the sculpture.

We would like to hear your thoughts on where the sculpture should be located.  Submissions should be made in writing by 12 noon, Wednesday March 16th 2016
Email submissions should be sent to, or hard copies should be sent to Lucina Russell, Arts Officer, Kildare County Council, Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, Co Kildare

With over 30 years experience as a figure and portrait sculptor, Mark Richards combines a comprehensive understanding of sculptural techniques with a rare sensitivity of touch; his work exhibits both cohesive composition and great beauty of form.  Mark Richards recent work includes statues of the 19th century navigator, Matthew Flinders (located in Euston Station, London) and the renowned hurler Nickey Rackard, which is situated in Wexford Town.

'It is a genuine honour to be awarded the commission to create a lasting commemorative sculpture of Ernest Shackleton for Athy, in the heart of Co Kildare.  I shall endeavour to convey something the man himself, his achievements and the great esteem in which he is held the world over'.ť  Mark Richards FRBS

The cabin in which Shackleton died in the Antarctic Ocean in 1922 is currently being restored in Letterfrack, Co Galway and will then become part of the permanent collection in Athy Heritage Centre-Museum. This development has been widely featured in national and international media, including RTE, TG4,BBC, UTV and Lonely Planet magazine.

The Heritage Centre-Museum intends to extend its exhibition to Shackleton when Athy Community Library vacates the adjoining building, to move to a new premises, in the coming months.


'The Ernest Shackleton Autumn School is delighted by the decision of Kildare County Council to commission a statute of the internationally renowned Kildare born polar explorer. The statute will be the first public monument to him in the country of his birth, an appropriate tribute to Shackleton in the centenary year of his renowned 'Endurance' expedition.
Shackleton Autumn School committee

Three Quarter size clay model in the artist's studio.

THE SHACKLETON AWARD: CALL FOR NOMINATIONS: (posted by Sebastian Coulthard, 9 Jan 2016, 21:08)

The purpose of The Shackleton Award is to honour outstanding expedition achievements which inspire today's explorers to new expeditions into unknown territories or conditions. The award is presented annually to an expedition found to be "real and novel, un­motorized and within polar areas or conditions".

The 1st Shackleton Award was presented in 2014 to Borge Ousland and Thorleif Thorleifsson for their world record voyage through climate change: 'The Northern Passage Expedition 2010'.

The 2nd Shackleton Award was presented in 2015 to Ben Saunders & Tarka L'Herpiniere who made the first ever return journey to the South Pole from Ross Island on the same route attempted by Sir Ernest Shackleton on the Nimrod Expedition, and by Robert Falcon Scott on the Terra Nova Expedition. At 1,795 miles (2,888 km) the Scott Expedition is the longest human-powered polar journey in history.

The award is a specially commissioned hand-crafted museum quality model of the James Caird lifeboat and presented by The Shackleton Award Committee at 'Expedition Finse' every year on the occasion of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s birthday.

The Shackleton Award commemorates the achievements of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the men who accompanied him: “His expeditions and leadership qualities have inspired generations, and continue to do so today,” stated the organizers.

The Shackleton Award Committee consists of world acclaimed international explorers and scientists:

BřrgeOusland, Norway (
David Hempleman-Adams, United Kingdom (
Victor Boyarsky, Russia (
Thomas Ulrich, Switzerland (
Bjřrn Basberg, Norway (

Nominations, including the reason why, can be sent to:

Submit nominations by January 22nd, 2016 please.

To attend the presentation of awards please contact the hosts directly at the email above or visit
Hotel Finse 1222 (Norway) Venue of The Shackleton Award
Expedition Finse: the international melting pot of polar explorers.

London address of Ernest Shackleton (posted by S. Martin, 5 Jan 2016, 14:48)

I believe I saw mentioned that Shackleton had at sometime (in his early life?)lived at:

63 Kennington Park Road, London SE11

Since then I cannot find any reference to this. Does anyone have information about the various addresses he lived at in London?

I live at 63 Kennington Park Road myself and would be delighted to know if he also stayed there.

Many thanks
S. Martin

New book: 'Ships to Remember' includes chapter on The James caird (posted by Helen Bradbury, 5 Jan 2016, 10:38)

Dear James Caird Society,

I thought your members might like to know about a book which is being published by The History Press in April called 'Ships to Remember' by Rorke Bryan and Austin Dwyer (maritime artist). It provides the detailed stories of about 19 key ships and boats through 1500 years. These include the James Caird, Cutty Sark, HMS Beagle, John Biscoe and the Chilean tug Yelcho.

Rorke Bryan will be visiting the UK in April and later in the summer and would be happy to give a talk to the Society. Please let me know what you think.

I would also be happy to provide the Society with a review copy when the book comes out.

Very best wishes,

Helen Bradbury

Ships to Remember, published by The History Press April 2016

Construction of Dudley Docker and Stancomb Wills? (posted by Student, 24 Dec 2015, 19:57)

Hello! I am currently working on a project that analyzes the three boats taken from Endurance. Found much information on James Caird but not so for both Dudley Docker and Stancomb Wills on Internet.

Would anyone be so kind as to give me any information regarding the construction of Dudley Docker and Stancomb Wills? Was there anything special about those two?

Thank you,


information on forum (posted by George Brigham, 4 Dec 2015, 23:37)

The following is not meant as a post but is a comment on the current content of the Forum....
I have followed and contributed to the Forum over several years and feel it should become interactive to members/posters ie allow comments and follow ups to the number of queries and topics raised.
It is naturally frustrating to read interesting points raised and then not to have them addressed or followed up by the 'knowledge bank' of people who must exist within the forum.
Yours sincerely,
G Brigham

Dear George
You're absolutely right that members should be be able to respond to others who post on the JCS Forum. In fact anyone can - thank you for your valuable contributions hitherto. The pause was due to a technical glitch which we hope has now been resolved. - Ed.

The James Caird (posted by Janice Tipping, 17 Nov 2015, 18:42)

I have posted a photograph of The James Caird shining in her new home in Dulwich College.
The James Caird at Dulwich College
The James Caird

repeated voyage (posted by stuart davey, 3 Nov 2015, 22:22)

Please could any one tell me if the James Caird's voyage has ever been repeated. I have just finished reading Endurance by Alfred Lansing and am in awe of Shackleton and his crew's achievement and would like to repeat it.

skis (posted by derek broad, 31 Oct 2015, 11:59)

Dear sir/madam
I wonder if anyone can tells me why Tom Crean's skis were given to the Gordon Lennox club in Aberfan near Merthyr Tydfil, before they were then donated to Cyfartha Castle Museum. I'm in my sixties and one day any part our club played - possibly in raising money or any active support - will be lost: my club closed last year after surviving for over one hundred years
Any news on this subject will be gratefully received.
Thank you so much.

BAE 1907 balance beam scale (posted by Leah Woods, 10 Oct 2015, 04:37)

I have recently put into auction a historically valuable cased set of Balance beam scales that were aboard the 'Nimrod' and were used for precise scientific measurements at Cape Royds, during the 1907-1909 British Antarctic Expedition.
The balance was subsequently given to Sir Douglas Mawson by Ernest Shackleton.

I thought it may be of interest to you or your associates, that after much consideration, the scales have been placed in an up coming auction on October 27th 2015, through Sotheby's Australia.
The auction will be held in Sydney, 6pm, under the category:
'Fine Asian Australian and European Arts and Design'

Sale No: AU0800
Lot No: 344

I would love to see the scales go to someone who appreciates the history behind them.

Feel free to go to the Sotheby's Australia website.

Kind Regards,
Miss Leah Woods

James Caiard sail to Windward? (posted by Gary Wallace, 13 Sep 2015, 23:43)

What was the ability of the James Caird to sail into the wind?
Was the sail shape not that good [flat?] or was the hull without "keel" or sideways resistance? Could they have built some dagger boards on the right and left gunnels? With good windward ability might have made it to Falkland Islands
I do understand windward issues in high winds. We took a shakedown/(purchase) cruise on a 16 ft Hobie Cat on Utah Lake. Were on a close reach [45 degrees into wind] and the only thing we could do was sail across the lake [6 miles]. Rudders were buzzing!
Then seller held boat in 4 feet of water while we dropped the jib and reefed the main.
And then the wind really picked up! Cold Front on on a shallow lake.
Nine foot waves on 16 ft. boat.
[though hard to swamp a trampoline deck]
Bought it anyway. [Watch out for power lines with 26 foot mast] That's another story.
Gary Wallace

15th Ernst Shackleton Autumn School (posted by Seamus Taaffe, 28 Aug 2015, 09:54)

The 15th Ernest Shackleton Autumn School will be held at the Athy Heritage Centre-Museum, Athy, County Kildare, Ireland from Friday 23rd to Monday 26th October 2015.

This long weekend is the only annual polar gathering of its kind held anywhere, and it has quickly earned a world-wide reputation as a place for Shackleton enthusiasts to gather, headed by Sir Ernest's granddaughter the Hon. Alexandra Shackleton.

The standard of lectures, fora and additional Shackleton-related entertainments embracing a number of the Arts is second to none. Socially the event is as much a success as it is educationally, biographically and historically.

Items that have been explored include the history of the families of Shackleton, his crew and their forebears reaching back to the 18th century in Yorkshire (Wild as well as the Shackletons) and of course around Athy and central Ireland.

Full details can be found at the Shackleton Autumn School's websites, (OR)

The contact and organiser for the 2015 Shackleton Autumn School is leading James Caird Society member from Ireland, Seamus Taaffe. Advice about accommodation and travel, buses, taxis etc. to County Kildare can be offered.

Signature (posted by Damian Bird, 12 Jul 2015, 18:48)

Bought a 1920 copy of South. It has a signature on the dedication page wondered if it was of someone connected to the expedition. Also the place it was signed. May not be anything but thought I'd ask!



Dedication Page

so very proud (posted by graham bailey, 5 Jul 2015, 19:53)

I've always had a great interest in British achievements and losses whether it be in the sky, on the sea, on the battlefield, racing tracks or north /south poles.

Call me old fashioned but I am so very proud of what our nation has tried to achieve over the years and the brave, ingenious men and women involved.

My daughter gave me 'Endurance' for father's day and I have just finished it............stunned throughout the entire read.. The ending sequences in the last chapter made me shed a tear of pride and total admiration.

You just cannot sum up the mettle of such men.

Yorkshire Ones in Antarctica Exhibition (posted by Cathy Corbishley Michel, 28 Jun 2015, 21:33)

The Yorkshire Ones in Antarctica Part 2 Hull Maritime Community Display Area
July 3rd to October 31st 2015
We are a group of local artists in textiles ceramics and precious metals who take our inspiration from the Antarctic and the heroic age of exploration.
Our first exhibition in the Maritime Museum in Hull was in 2012 and commemorated the centenary of Scott reaching the South Pole and losing his life and the lives of the men with him on the return journey.
This exhibition marks a hundred years since Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition which contrasts with Scott’s because in spite of many perils and setbacks Shackleton returned from Antarctica with all his men.
Story of the Expedition
The Endurance sailed from South Georgia towards Antarctica in October 1914. The First World War was beginning.
Shackleton and his team intended to cross Antarctica from one side to the other by way of the South Pole but they never set foot on Antarctica.
The Endurance became frozen into the ice in January 1915 and eventually sank in November.
When the ship sank the men camped on the ice which travelled north with the ocean currents. They were often scared by killer whales blowing close to them.
When the ice disappeared in April, they took to three small lifeboats and sailed to Elephant Island through dreadful stormy seas and in bitter cold.
Twenty two men lived on Elephant Island for four months and six others led by Shackleton sailed 800 miles in one of the lifeboats, the James Caird’,to South Georgia to get help.
Frank Hurley the photographer captured amazing pictures of life on board Endurance, the ship in her death throes, and the men on the ice and living on Elephant Island.
The Exhibition
The photographs of Frank Hurley feature in our exhibition both as cyanotype prints on fabric in Cathy Corbishley Michel’s distinctive blue and white wall hanging quilts and in Vivien Stamford’s machine embroidered depiction of Charles Green cooking penguin for 28 on the ice floe and the upturned boat on Elephant island. There are no pictures of the ‘James Caird’s’ ocean voyage, her wool work picture of the boat is imagined from the memories of the sailors.
The jewellery of Jaqueline Warrington and Avril Cheetham and Avril’s enamelled plaques are inspired by the Antarctic climate and Sue Nicholson’s felted wool three dimensional creations recreate Antarctic life forms. Susan Bradshaw has made Shackleton’s distinctive wide brimmed hat and iron hat stand and Penny de Court a group of ceramic penguins.

The Men from Hull
Five men on the Endurance Expedition had local connections
Alfred Buchanan Cheetham 1867 – 1918
He was born in Liverpool but his family moved to Hull around 1877. He ran away to sea serving on sailing ships. He was an Antarctic veteran and had served under Captain William Colbeck, a Hull man, on the relief ship ‘Morning’ to rescue Scott when ‘Discovery’ was stuck in the ice in 1903/4. He had also been with Scott in 1912.
Alf was one of the 22 men who stayed in the upturned boats on Elephant Island.
After his return from Antarctica he was drowned when his ship was torpedoed in World War 1. He had 13 children and has lots of descendants.

Ernest Holness 1892 -1924
He lived on Alma Street and Flinton Street and is known for the incident when the ice cracked beneath his tent and he was rescued by Shackleton but complained about losing his tobacco.
He was washed overboard from the trawler Lord Lonsdale off the Faroe Islands in 1924 and his name is in the Memorial Book in the Maritime Museum.

William Stephenson 1889-1953
Bill Stephenson was born in Sculcoats and served on trawlers sailing out of Bridlington, Hull and Grimsby. We don’t know much about his life or about his time on Endurance. He was 3rd Engineer and stoker and was one of the Elephant Island contingent.
We would like to find out more.

John Vincent 1879- 1941
He was born in Birmingham and ran away to sea aged 14 making many trips in Hull Trawlers. He was physically strong and was taken by Shackleton on the 800 mile boat journey to South Georgia.
He survived being torpedoed in WW1 in the Mediterranean and became a trawler skipper fishing off Bear Island and Spitzbergen and skippered an armed trawler ‘Alfredian’ operating in the North Sea and East Coast. Photographs show him with a damaged lip caused when it was frozen to a metal cup.
He never mentioned Shackleton on his return unlike Charles Green

Charles Green 1888-1974
Charles, the Antarctic Chef,’ spent much of his later life reliving his time on the Endurance expedition and loving every moment of it. He gave radio interviews and many lectures using a set of lantern slides given to him by Shackleton. In our exhibition we have a slide show with music which includes some of the lantern slides that Charles included in his lectures.
A new book about his life by Arthur Credland published by the East Yorkshire Family History Society is available and a comprehensive study of his life by his nephew Roy Cochram can be read at Hull History Centre.
Charles had a great sense of humour, and on board ship he was well known for his joke birthday cakes. One was a balloon covered in jam and then rolled in desiccated coconut which of course exploded when the knife cut into it.
Opening Event
We are having an Opening Event which is a Folk Evening on July 2nd at the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club, Windsor Crescent Bridlington at 7.30pm. The performers are Stuart Forester and Carol Anderson. Stuart has written a new Antarctic song about the Endurance Expedition. He is from Hull and has become well known and popular in Folk venues around London. Carol is an accomplished fiddler. For more information ring Viv on 01262 679650
We have a Yorkshire Ones Facebook Page with photographs of some of the art work and explorers..
If you remember Charles Green giving a talk at your school or have any information about the other men please post your memories. We would love to hear them.

Exhibition in Hull and Concert in Bridlington (posted by Cathy Corbishley Michel, 22 May 2015, 10:39)

I am co-organiser of an Exhibition at Hull Maritime Museum from 3rd July to 30th October. The exhibition is 'The Yorkshire Ones in Antarctica part 2' and features, textiles ceramics, ephemora and photographic works. We wish to emphasise the contribution made by those from East Yorkshire to Antarctic Exploration. Five members of the Endurance crew had connections with East Yorkshire, Charlie Green, John Vincent, Ernest Holness, William Stephenson and Alf Cheetham. Charlie Green gave lantern slide lectures in the Hull area for many years and is well remembered by many local residents.

As well as the exhibition we are organising a concert on the evening of 2nd of July at the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club in Bridlington featuring Stuart Forester and Carol Anderson. Stuart has written a song 'By Endurance we Conquer' especially for the occasion.

More details and bookings for the concert can be made by contacting us on

Cathy Corbishley Michel and Viv Stamford

Imperial Trans Antarctic Expedition Video (posted by Pete Vassilakos, 17 Apr 2015, 01:50)


I just wanted to share this video I made in tribute to Sir Ernest H. Shackleton, and the centenary of the Imperial Trans Antarctic Expedition. Frank Hurley's footage with sound! Please feel free to share . Thanks!

Pete Vassilakos
(see also entry below)


Beyond Endurance (posted by Giles Hobson, 3 Apr 2015, 21:58)

A new radio play, 'Beyond Endurance', by Meredith Hooper will be broadcast on Wednesday, 8 April on BBC Radio 4 and, if past precedent ensues, should be available to listen to on the BBC iPlayer Radio for a further 28 days after that date. It features Dominic West as Sir Ernest Shackleton. The link to the play's web page can be found here:

Christopher Ralling's film "Endurance" (1982) (posted by David Harris, 3 Mar 2015, 19:30)

I have been trying to locate DVD copies of the 4-part TV series "ENDURANCE". Mark Donovan (in NZ) and I (Canada) have got episodes 2 and 4 on DVD, but would like to find anyone who has episode 1 or 3. Despite often seeing that other enthusiasts are also searching for the complete programme set, and contacting various organisations that might have copies, we have had no success.
This is NOT the Kenneth Branagh version.

sextant (posted by Mark Dravers, 1 Mar 2015, 18:37)

I am giving a talk at local school next week and have a 1909 sextant to display. For the sake of accuracy does anyone know whether Worsley carried a sextant on the S Georgia crossing? It is not mentioned in South and they we supposed to be travelling light - but why then did they carry the chronometer?

Polar Exploration Art (posted by Pete Vassilakos, 28 Feb 2015, 22:32)

My name is Pete Vassilakos, founder/creator of VASSdesign.
I'm happy to announce the launch of my new web site, which caters specifically to Polar Exploration and my related art work. Please take a moment to check it out, and feel free to share the link! Hope you enjoy!

Pete Vassilakos
Founder, creator of VASSdesign
Pete Vassilakos of VASSdesign

"Mrs. Chippy" -- WHY killed? (posted by Dr. Anthony J. Lomenzo, 31 Dec 2014, 03:20)

One thing I've rarely seen addressed in the Shackleton literature except to say that the action [among others] caused a serious rift between Shackleton and "Chippy" McNish was the 'why?' of Shackleton giving the order that the ship's mascot and Chippy's personal pet cat, "Mrs. Chippy", should be killed. What harm would it have done for Chippy to be made personally responsible for the cat come what may but otherwise let it live. What was the imagined necessity or supposed pressing need of having the cat killed? Quite unlike the dogs who at the very least maintained a utility in terms of food for the men, Mrs. Chippy was killed and then buried. Why? Why did Shackleton feel it so imperative that the ship's cat be killed versus letting the cat take its chances and, at bottom, having Chippy himself see the difficulties involved so that if anyone, it would then have been Chippy's decision to put down his beloved pet and thereby this piece of personal animosity [and ramifications therein] wholly avoided.

So too, and I've gone around and around with this for some years [I'll be 70 in 3 months] and noting that the so termed "heroic era of exploration" has fascinated me since my youth, but if there is such a thing as redemption, could it not be realistically argued, and I mean at the time, that because of Chippy's crucial subsequent services to the expedition and in particular his work on the Caird which made it seaworthy to reach South Georgia [or the ad hoc hob nail boot work on the boots of Shackleton, Crean and Worsley to prevent ice slippage as the 3 men made the trek across South Georgia to reach the whaling station] and hence for ALL to be subsequently saved, that he still be denied the Polar Medal? Yes, he questioned authority at a very critical time, there is no question about that but, and how to put it, when read the proverbial riot act by Shackleton, McNish in fact complied thereafter AND, my point, thereby redeemed himself by further positive actions which were clearly to the benefit of all involved.

I would welcome Forum comment on this. BTW, I now use the surname spelling "McNish" since even the Island which bears his (corrected) surname to be, in fact, "McNish" was changed from the original Island name of "McNeish" back to "McNish" when his birth certificate was presented to the authorities.

Montell (posted by Alan Wordie, 30 Dec 2014, 12:31)

I have been reading the Forum entries and note on 23 Dec 2013 Peter Green is seeking assistance to trace his relative Montell. I have reviewed James Wordie's diary and on 20 October 1914 (from Buenos Aires just before departing) he wrote -
"I have also omitted mention of the trouble which some of the crew have given, as also the cook and steward. But now it is satisfactory to now that these five men have been paid off, and their places filled so far as possible. It is well that the expedition should be ridded now of the bad elements, for to succeed we must all work together willingly. The two music hall performers - Barr and Irving - have gone: both are lazy. So now we go on without complaints'

On 5 Jan 2014 JCS editor intimates the number of men paid off at the time. James Wordie indicates this as 5, of which 2 are the music hall performers, a cook and a steward. He only names the performers. JMW joined Endurance in Buenos Aires and so he has not recorded the crew that sailed from England which I suggest included the 5 who were paid off. It would be useful to understand the crew manifest when Endurance departed Plymouth in August (note one mile out the Admiral's cutter took Shackleton, Wild, Jeffries (later chief officer Aurora) and Wordie back to Plymouth).

I wonder if this contributes to understanding the crew to BA and those subsequently paid off.

Best wishes

A Shackleton opera! Donate to help it happen. (posted by JCS Web Editor, 3 Dec 2014, 21:04)

Fantastic news. English Touring Opera's spring opera for children will be 'Shackleton's Cat': it tells the awesome story of the 'James Caird''s voyage, and the rescue of all Shackleton's men.

YOU CAN HELP. "The Big Give" is a national scheme that matches donations 'like for like'. So anything YOU can give to help 'Shackleton's Cat' can get DOUBLED.

To help, go to:

Shackleton liked a challenge. Different Arts companies 'challenge' one another for funds. So it's crucial to donate as EARLY as possible during the day: from 10 a.m. THURSDAY 4, FRIDAY 5, SATURDAY 6. (Donations later in the day are welcome, but will not be matched.)

It is hoped all Shackleton fans will give 'Shackleton's Cat' a helping hand. Every little counts!

For a donation of £20, the opera will receive £40 (£45 with Gift Aid!). Any donation, from £5 to £5,000, can be centrally matched.


(ETO - winner of the 2014 Olivier Award for Opera)

I'm Mrs. Chippy the cat! Help get me out of here!
Donate to help the Shackleton Opera to happen

Tom Crean - Facebook Initiative (posted by Tim Foley, 30 Nov 2014, 02:25)

Hello members of this dedicated society and congratulations on an informative, educational and fascinating page dedicated to those who played a part in the greatest survival and rescue tale in polar history.

i'd like to make members aware of our campaign to achieve fitting recognition for Tom Crean, in his native County Kerry. In April of this year, we created a facebook page Kerry Airport Should be Renamed Tom Crean Airport -

To date we have already generated 3000 members from all corners of the globe and, as I'm a man on a mission to spread the word, the society named in honour of the boat on which he further cemented his reputation, is a more than appropriate place to stop by and ask for support of members.

Tom Crean's Antarctic story is one of jaw-dropping proportions and outside of his home town of Annascaul, there is little or nothing that recognises his almost superhuman achievements. Our aim is to change that and an immediate target is to reach 5000 members by the anniversary of his birth on 25th February 2014.

We'd be most grateful for the support and assistance of members here to spread the word and help play a part in a noble and deserving cause to honour a great Irish Hero.

Thank you and just to add, I'm a huge fan of this wonderful resource which I've visited many times.

Interview staff regarding Shackleton expedition (posted by Joey Zietowski, 26 Nov 2014, 04:21)

Greetings, I am a high school freshman boy in Maryland, U.S.A, that is seeking someone to interview from your panel of experts regarding Shackleton's voyage. I am very much interested in his leadership qualities and his expedition. I am currently working on a year-long project in which I defend him as one of the greatest leaders in time. I can be contacted by the above email.
I very much appreciate your insight.

Frank Wild, Ernest Joyce and the Polar Medal (posted by Peter Whalen, 12 Nov 2014, 02:01)

According to Wikipedia, Ernest Joyce "was awarded the Polar Medal with four bars, one of only two men to be so honoured, the other being his contemporary, Frank Wild."

It was my understanding that the Polar Medal could be awarded for contributions to Polar Exploration and that one would be awarded the medal for each individual expedition. Is this correct? If so, it makes sense that Frank Wild would have the Polar Medal with four bars: his first expedition with Scott in 1902 and then with four subsequent expeditions (Nimrod, Mawson 1911, ITAE and Quest)

But from what I have read, Joyce participated in only the Discovery and Nimrod Expeditions and Ross Sea Party of the ITAE. He may have had a hand in preparations for Mawson's 1911 expedition but did not actually go to Antarctica with Mawson as Wild did.

So what am I missing?

St Petersburg postcard (posted by Adrian Lewis, 3 Jul 2014, 15:29)

A few years ago I acquired a collection of Russian postcards. One of them, showing a picture of the Hotel d'Europe in Nevsky Prospekt, was sent from St Petersburg on 19th May 1912 by a gentleman called Carl to a Miss M Latchford, c/o Lady Shackleton, at the address in Putney.
Is anyone please able to suggest the identity of either Carl or Miss Latchford?
Thanks, Adrian Lewis

Shackleton's Funeral - Silent Movie (posted by Sebastian Coulthard, 17 May 2014, 08:48)

Over the last few weeks I have delved into several archives nationally and internationally in search of all manner of Shackleton related topics and one of the most interesting items I have found was a silent movie depicting Uruguay's tribute to Sir Ernest Shackleton. In 1922, the Uruguayan Government based in Montevideo gave Shackleton a state funeral. The actual movie reel is about 665ft long; the equivalent of about 15-20 minutes of footage. Amazingly, it was discovered in the most unlikely of places: The Imperial War Museum.

This incredible footage is available for viewing at the link below; sadly the resolution is rather poor but the images convey the sense of great loss felt by the people of Uruguay. At the beginning of the film, you see Shackleton's coffin being loaded on to a horse drawn gun carriage after lying in state and then covered (literally covered) in flower arrangements, and wreaths made of bronze...I lost count after 8 wreaths! Toward the end of the movie you see Shackleton's coffin being placed aboard the S.S. Woodville; secured on the upper deck, before sailing toward South Georgia for the final time.

I must admit, seeing all those people taking their hats off, and others saluting his casket coffered in the Union Flag...I had a lump in my throat.

Seb Coulthard FRGS
In March 1922, Leonard Hussey accompanied the body of Ernest Shackleton from Montevideo to South Georgia for burial at Grytviken, aboard the S.S. Woodville.
SS Woodville

Setting the record straight. (posted by Sebastian Coulthard, 13 May 2014, 12:03)

I sense having read Trevor Potts's previous comments that he is disappointed about the acknowledgement he received during the latest re-enactment of Shackleton's Voyage (Shackleton Epic Expedition 2013).

I would also like to add a few comments to the record, in order to give readers of the JCS forum a full appreciation of the difficulty in planning expeditions of this nature.

Tim Jarvis made every effort to acknowledge previous expeditions in his book "Shackleton's Epic: Recreating the World's Greatest Journey of Survival", in which he writes about Trevor's, Arved's and the Irish expeditions which went before us. Each boat is illustrated in the book (by me) in order to show a comparison of the different rigs and deck layouts. I am un-aware of any other book which has combined all previous expedition in one publication, and contributed to raising renewed interest in previous ventures.

For those who attended the launch ceremony of the Alexandra Shackleton, some of you may remember Trevor Potts very kindly agreed to place a silver penny below the main mast during the mast stepping ceremony. We felt that a boat such as the 'Alexandra Shackleton' ought to have a very special person take care of this honour: I do recall Trevor making fun of our six-man life raft, but - what can we do? The law is the law.

Trevor also very kindly agreed to be our safety advisor during the lead up to sea trials, in which he was commissioned to produce a report of potential improvements and recommendations which I endeavoured to embody in the new replica boat. With all due respect to Trevor, some of those recommendations were deliberately 'shelved' as we felt that some of the modern fittings he suggested would take away the 'authentic' aspect of our re-enactment, e.g. bunks with lee-cloths. Shackleton had no such commodity aboard the James Caird. We wanted to sleep rough. using reindeer skin, eat pemmican from a pot balanced above a raging paraffin’s very easy to make things safe! Going back in time to 1916 is damn hard, and modern man's idea of risk is rather spoilt I think. We wanted to experience the difficulty of surviving aboard a period lifeboat, and my personal biased opinion (and feeling having done the trip), is that we did so faithfully and we are the first to achieve that at the very least.

The Alexandra Shackleton was initially constructed as a completely open lifeboat, she was delivered without bulkheads and hatches, etc. She was decked over and covered with canvas but this feature was not entirely 'watertight' as Trevor incorrectly point out… as Shackleton once said, she had 'a strong likeness to stage scenery'. During our voyage, our deck leaked in a number or areas to the point were we were sleeping under a number of 'acceptable drips'. The bulkhead and 'watertight' hatch were requirements imposed upon us by the MCA and South Georgia Administration as a result of lessons learnt during the unfortunate Irish Expedition in which their boat capsized three times in a row. How effective this would have been in a capsize scenario, I have no idea, as we never managed to prove that the boat would self right. It's great having a hatch and a bulkhead, but if you are trapped inside an upturned boat, what use are they really?

The boat was equipped as faithfully as possible with period items ranging from pocket watches, Primus stoves, boxed chronometers, wooden packing cases, etc. The combination of reproduction boat and period items does indeed make her the most realistic replica of the James Caird afloat despite her modern features. All the rigging was produced from Manila rope, and the sails were hand-made from flax canvas copied from the original Mizzen sail at Dulwich College. Fresh drinking water was stowed aboard in two 18 gallon oak barrels, the flavour of which resembled eggy vinegary water and contained 'floaters' (to this day I have no idea why the colour of our water was white). The rudder was fitted with a totally inadequate steering yoke (not a tiller), and the hull was carvel planked. I believe previous boats were constructed in a similar fashion but were further protected with fibreglass and marine plywood laminations.

As the embarked engineer I lived in constant fear during that voyage that if we hit an ice growler, the seams would open and the boat would flood. Guess what? That is exactly what happened! Our skipper and navigator calculated course and estimated position by dead reckoning and celestial navigation only. This was well recorded in the documentary and the instruments used were virtually identical to those used by Shackleton. No handheld GPS computers, Met reports, or previously calculated charts containing nav. Information…only mathematics, a weather eye, and six brains to compute the calculations.

The modern electronics Trevor refers to were fitted as emergency back-up systems in case our support yacht ran in difficulty and we would be forced to press on un-escorted. Much of our electrical power (80%) was dedicated to the camera recording equipment, and (20%) to emergency radio. We did not carry water ballast as in previous boats, or a deep keel fitted with an iron shoe. Our ballast was made up of 560kg of batteries, Portland stone shingle in hessian sacks, and zinc ingots secured in the bilge of the boat using Manila rope! (Total = 1056 kg).

It's all very good having a support boat but what happens if the support boat sinks in your vicinity, or runs into difficulty? If that had happened, the expedition would have ended and the situation would have called for immediate action on our part as is a requirement under maritime law. We were obliged to comply with the convention of safety of life at sea in which all vessels are required to be safe for navigation and have means of radio communication/signalling. Shackleton would have had some serious appreciation for this convention; you only have to read his testimony for the Titanic Wreck Commissioners Inquiry.

Many of the maritime safety restrictions placed upon our expedition were based on lessons learnt from previous expeditions, including Trevor's. Advisors for the FCO Polar Department (our permitting authority) presented various case files to us in which we took the lessons learnt and applied them to our expedition; details ranging from emergency procedures, bio-security, mountaineering competence, and pre-agreed arrangements to have the boat collected from South Georgia and returned to England. These were all major factors to be considered and reported on in detail prior to the voyage and mountain crossing for which we required a permit. Without a permit, there would be NO expedition. Nowadays you can't just organise an expedition, jump into a replica lifeboat wearing a woolly jumper and cross the Southern Ocean un-escorted. Today you have to jump through hundreds of hurdles: permitting restrictions, risk assessments, environmental impact assessments, even the control of substances hazardous to health plays a part.

When Tim Jarvis, Baz Gray, and Paul Larsen set out to cross the mountains of South Georgia, they did so without any form of support. I and two others, who were supposed to accompany them in that support role, were invalided out of the expedition due to trench feet from the prolonged exposure to wet and cold in vintage leather footwear – a strange parallel to McNish, Vincent, and McCarthy. On one occasion there was an incident in which our team were forced to camp out for the night as the support yacht could not render any assistance to an injured cameraman due to ice conditions at sea level. Baz Gray fell into crevasses in excess of 20 times during the trail break and was rescued by Tim and Paul who using the bare minimum of climbing equipment...including an Adze and boots fitted with wood screws! If there is any doubt about this equipment, please visit South Georgia Museum where you can view these items.

The press and the media have indeed reported that Shackleton Epic Expedition was the first to successfully re-enact the voyage. I will be the first person to put my hand up and say, "that is not correct".

I believe it is best that we the adventures and explorers that have undertaken these challenges are questioned about our exploits, instead of people basing their opinions on what is misrepresented in the press or shown on television. We all know that at times the media over-inflate articles to generate maximum readership and impact – they love the jeopardy!. There was no 'age old trap' of ignoring those who went before us, personally I feel rather disappointed with that particular comment. We sought advice from previous expeditions, and Trevor kindly answered that call.

If we too are to blame for embellishing anything, don't forget that even Shackleton used certain approaches to capture the public's imagination to gain sponsors support…and every expedition can be blamed for a bit of that! At the first sponsorship meeting I ever attended in connection to Shackleton Epic, I was questioned on previous attempts and informed them of 'those who went before'. For a sponsor to discover anything untoward at a later date would be unacceptable.

At the end of the day Shackleton's Boat Journey will be forever remembered as one of the greatest voyages in maritime history; our re-enactments will be long forgotten and consigned to online record. Shackleton Epic Expedition only touched the tip of the iceberg (and frankly so did Trevor, Arved and the Irish team). Regardless of what we do or what we say, Shackleton’s extraordinary miracle of a voyage will live on forever as that great moment in polar history. No re-enacter or future adventurer will ever come close to recreating the reality of that epic struggle to survive.

It was indeed a great honour, and a very humbling experience to follow in Shackleton’s wake. Having steered the Alexandra Shackleton across mountainous seas, using period equipment, I take my hat off to the crew of the James Caird… theirs being the hardest of voyages.

"Tim Jarvis's documentary is being shown around the world and at every new showing I receive emails asking me the true facts". Perhaps Trevor you could direct some of those comments towards my personal website:, and together we can both set the record straight.

Yours Aye,

Seb Coulthard FRGS
Bosun & Engineer
Shackleton Epic Expedition

The 6-man Shackleton Epic expedition, aboard the Alexandra Shackleton, on which Seb Coulthard served as chief engineer (top) and (below) Trevor Pott's 4-man replica, the Sir Ernest Shackleton. In the background of both, South Georgia.

McNish and the James Caird (posted by JOHN MANN, 8 May 2014, 20:03)

Recently whilst trawling through the on-line archives of the Australian National Library, to my great amazement I came across a forgotten photograph of Frank Hurley's.

It unbelievably shows Chippy McNish and Tom McLeod at Ocean Camp both at work actually raising the gunnels of the James Caird.

You can see Chippy (right) holding a saw and claw hammer with his adze balanced at the front of the boat.

This to my knowledge has never been published before and has to be the best photograph we have in existence of Chippy!
And how great to have discovered it in this the centenary year of the outset of the 1914-16 I.T.A.E.

John Mann.
Author/ Polar Historian/Researcher/Founder of "The Shackleton Nuts Club"

McNish and McLeod raising the gunnels of the James Caird at Ocean Camp

Trevor Potts + the Shackleton Centenary Book (2014) (posted by Steve Scott-Fawcett, 23 Mar 2014, 19:07)

A couple of things.
(1) I would like to endorse all that Trevor Potts has said about the various (replica or otherwise) 'James Caird' crossings achieved and attempted since 1993.
(2) For those who have ordered their copy of the 'Shackleton Centenary Book (2014)' - it is in the final stages of production and will be mailed out immediately after Easter 2014. I am thrilled with the final product and hope you will enjoy it too. A real collectors item.

In Answer to Tom Hollowell (see posting 9th January) (posted by Trevor Potts, 30 Jan 2014, 14:04)

Shackleton was not intending to overwinter Endurance in the Weddell Sea, the plan was to drop off six men and materials for the trans-continental journey. Endurance would leave and not return.

I am speculating that he was not cancelling the provisioning, he was forewarning the Ross Sea party not to expect him at the end of that summer.

Owing to the late start Shackleton's plan would probably be to overwinter ashore and then get an early start the following season.

This is exactly what Amundsen and Scott had done when they went from Ross Island to the Pole.

recreating Shackleton's Boat Journey (posted by Trevor Potts, 29 Jan 2014, 23:26)

I am just back from Antarctica hence the delay in commenting on Maurie Hutchinson's post (see 30 Nov 2013, below).

She makes an interesting point about Arved Fuchs's Expedition in 2000 and RD's (Web Editor) answer is also of interest to me as his father Harding Dunnett gave me a lot of help and encouragement in 1993.

To set the record straight, I and three others did successfully re-enact Shackleton's Boat Journey over Christmas and New Year 1993-94. We also made an attempt to cross the mountains of South Georgia from Stromness (where we had eventually landed in our replica) to King Haakon Bay and back. Sadly we failed on that bit, although we did get about half way before returning to Stromness.

I set out to build a boat that was the exact shape and size of the original James Caird, using a similar sailing rig.
The intention was to experience the isolation of an unsupported journey in the spirit of Shackleton's original rescue mission from Elephant Island.

This we did, and at no time would I have ever contemplated re-creating the material hardships (period clothing, etc.) but ignoring the isolation - by having an escort ship watching over me (as Arved Fuchs and Tim Jarvis did).

I do not wish to belittle what others have done, both of those journeys were difficult and dangerous, as was the Irish trip when they had to abandon their boat and take to their escort ship.

However in this crucial respect they cannot compare with the first sailing (1993-4) in a replica without any outside support since Shackleton's epic rescue mission in 1916.

To set the record straight, Arved claims to be the first to re-create the whole journey from the ice to Elephant Island, followed by the mountain crossing. His boat the Dagmar towed him into Hope Bay in Antarctic Sound and he sailed from there (not the Weddell Sea). The Dagmar assisted him into Elephant Island and later into King Haakon Bay. He then crossed the mountains like Shackleton. I congratulate him on a fantastic effort.

Tim Jarvis's Alexandra Shackleton was towed from King George Island (nowhere near the Weddell Sea) to Elephant Island and was shadowed to King Haakon Bay. He then crossed the mountains shadowed by a support team. Again a difficult journey but with most of the danger removed; and not the whole journey that Shackleton did as Tim's start point was more than a hundred miles from the Weddell Sea.

It has been claimed in the press that Tim's boat is an exact replica and mine was not. I guess you just have to forget about the solid watertight deck, watertight entrance hatch, the modern electronic equipment and safety aids on Tim's boat. No problem with all of that; just be clear about it.

Sadly they both fell into the age old trap of having to ignore what has gone before to enhance their own reputations, rather than acknowledge what had been done previously. (They know, of course, that had they alluded to any previous successful sailing of the boat journey, there would be little chance of the same level of Sponsorship. Hence they have had to parcel their expeditions up as something new.)

I am not against expeditions to re-create Shackleton's Boat Journey, or any other journey. Far from it. It is great to see people extending themselves and participating in adventurous expeditions. Shackleton's leadership is a great example to our young people and anything that enhances that can only be a force for good.

But please also keep it in perspective and accept what has gone before.

Tim Jarvis's documentary is being shown around the world and at every new showing I receive emails asking me the true facts. Such as these kind emails from people who have heard my talk aboard Antarctic cruises.

Selfridges photograph (posted by Petty Officer Seb Coulthard RN, 22 Jan 2014, 00:53)


This photograph does indeed show the James Caird on the rooftop of Selfridges on Oxford Street, London. You are holding a very rare photograph, a wonderful record of our nations maritime heritage - amazing!

After returning to England in 1919 from South Georgia, the James Caird was presented at the Royal Albert Hall during one of Shackleton's lectures, it then spent time at the Royal Middlesex Hospital collecting donations for war wounded. The boat was then eventually transferred to Selfridges where Shackleton and Worsley oversaw the hoisting operation - it must have been quite a spectacle to see the James Caird suspended high above the six storey building!

The additional 15 inch topsides added to the James Caird by Chippy McNeish were removed at Cave Cove and Peggotty Bluff deliberately - Shackleton and his men had desperate need of firewood and sadly (but necessarily) the topsides where hacked off probably using Chippy's tool and the two boat axes listed in the boat's equipment manifest.

This photograph is of great interest as it clearly shows the original sails still furled around the yards and one of the oars - only the mizzen sail survives today at Dulwich College. The bow section of the boat still retains the raised topsides and the 'whaleback' - a portion of decking used to create a weatherproof shelter for the bow section of the boat. It was underneath this raised section of the boat that Worsley stored his precious sextant, chronometer, Admiralty charts, and books. This feature can still be seen on the James Caird today but only from the inside of the hull.

There is a perceived misconception amongst some historians that work on raising the topsides of the James Caird started at Elephant Island - that is not the case. Work on raising the topside began almost immediately after the crew of Endurance abandoned ship. Shackleton and Worsley knew that eventually the entire expedition would be forced to use the boats in order escape the sea ice. With so many men, the James Caird and the Dudley Docker were raised and most of the work was completed by the time they settled into camp life at Patience Camp. Close inspection of Frank Hurley's photographs gives me this indication.

Sadly, the removal of the raised topsides by Shackleton's men means that today we don't exactly know where the oarlock positions were. Only one position can be seen on the boat today but, it would be impossible to row the boat using just one oar (and I am speaking from practical hands-on experience in attempting to row a replica boat in the Southern Ocean). There must have been at least three more oar positions - otherwise why would Worsley equip the James Caird with four oars before leaving Elephant Island?

If you happen to have any other photographs, we would be delighted to see them - and answer any other questions you may have.

Hope this helps,

Seb Coulthard
Expedition Engineer
Shackleton Epic Expedition

James Caird on show in 1920 (posted by H Norwood, 17 Jan 2014, 13:13)

This is a photo from my aunt's photograph album. It apparently shows the James Caird on display in the roof-top garden of Selfridges in London. The photo is dated on the back 20-2-20. I have always assumed it was indeed the James Caird, but as you can see some of the added decking appears to be missing. I wonder if anyone can confirm (or otherwise) if the vessel was shown on top of Selfridges?

On the roof of Selfridges, 1920

Shackleton's real intentions (posted by Tom Hollowell, 9 Jan 2014, 00:53)

I'm new to the JCS Forum, and came across some conflicting information I'm hoping someone can clear up.

On the Wiki page concerning the Ross Sea Party it states
'It was later revealed that this first depot laying season, and its attendant hardships, had been unnecessary. Shackleton had stated (letter from South Georgia of 5 December 1914, the date Endurance left for the Weddell Sea) to Ernest Perris of the Daily Chronicle that he had 'no chance of crossing that season.' Mackintosh was to have been informed of this, but 'the cable was never sent'.
From Kelly Tyler-Lewis, The Lost Men, pp. 214 to 15.

Then Caroline Alexander's 'The Endurance' states (at p77) 'Spring was on the way. The men began to speculate whether on breaking out they would immediately return to Vahsel Bay and embark upon the transcontinental crossing or would return to civilization first for provisions.'

Here is my problem. Why would Shackleton mislead his crew in thinking they were going to attempt a crossing when he had attempted to send a letter to the Ross Party canceling the depot provisioning?

This makes no sense. Shackleton had no idea before he left that he was going the get beset in the ice, and certainly would not have taken the risk and gone into the ice flows knowing he was not planning a landing.

Can anyone explain this?

Montell (posted by JCS Website Editor, 5 Jan 2014, 13:53)

I am/we are, I think, aware of no (other) source that mentions Montell, or or of any list of the London/Plymouth embarked personnel, unless some formal shipping list (eg listing all crews in or out of the Port of London at that time) can be located.
There is no mention in Huntford's 'Shackleton' (little help either way, as H omits both the main voyage and Buenos Aires), though he notes that Bakewell was taken on at BA as the ship was short-handed (which might imply someone having absconded or been removed) and Blackborow is smuggled on (and accepted by Shackleton) partly because it was known the crew was under numbers, perhaps/not least as non-naval personnel were encouraged/required to muck in as crew.
Sadly Worsley, our best likely source, begins his book 'Endurance' after the problems with the ice began, so does not cover London-Plymouth-B.A.
Montell is not mentioned in Caroline Alexander's 'Endurance', nor in Shackleton's 'South'. Nor is he picked up by John Thomson in his biography 'Shackleton's Captain'.
More crucially, he has not been noted by important Antarctic websites such as Rob Stephenson's, or by the AMNH's Endurance crew or John Mann's Endurance Obituaries websites.
None of this categorically rules out his existence on board or as an applicant.
Two enrolled men (Dobbs, and Sir Philip Brocklehurst's brother Courtney) had left to join the war effort before she even left London (maybe necessitating replacements).
Greenstreet enrolled at Plymouth as a replacement but is the only one mentioned as doing so; so we infer the rest enrolled in London (Bakewell and Hurley not till BA, which makes any reference by Hurley to Montell perhaps surprising).
You may be boosted by the following data from Alfred Lansing's 'Endurance' (1959 f, summarised): 'The cook, who had been an indifferent worker on the trip over, was paid off (and replaced by Charles Green). Later, two of the seamen, after a stormy night ashore, tangled with Greenstreet and were similarly let go.
If TWO were paid off they must have had names, and we are not given those names.
I have but not to hand Shane Murphy's 'Shackleton's Photographer' (Hurley's diaries). It would be useful to have the exact quote, and its full context. You mention no Christian name for Montell, which I take it you know. That would be useful.
To prove it, Lansing plus your Hurley reference plus some official data tracked down by you would probably do it.

Montell progress (posted by JCS Web Editor, 3 Jan 2014, 15:54)

Thanks for an invaluable discussion since your posting. I think you may now have a more confirmed picture of O. S. Montell as one of the 'two others now forgotten' who left the ship at Buenos Aires. Do let us know how you think things stand. You may be in the process of correcting this for us. It will be a splendid piece of 'new' information for the Society if your story holds up, as I think it will.
At this point you might like to add a photo of your adventurous (perhaps over-!)characterful great-uncle.
Kind regards and thank you.

Ship's roll - Endurance (posted by Peter Green, 23 Dec 2013, 11:39)

My mother has recently passed away. At times like this, you revisit old stories and mysteries. Family lore has it that one of my grandfather's brothers sailed with Shackleton on the 1914 expedition, but jumped ship in South America, ended up in prison, and was befriended by the prison governor's wife.
His surname was Montell. There is a cryptic reference to a seaman called Montell in Frank Hurley's book 'Shackleton's Photographer'. I'm wondering if there is a source that lists all the expedition personnel who initially set out from England?

Thank you.

Reply: Fuchs (posted by Roderic Dunnett, 2 Dec 2013, 00:13)

Maurie, I have some sympathy with your enquiry. I say so because even more importantly, the 20th anniversary falls this January of the first authentic (unsupported) sea crossing made by Trevor Potts and his three-man crew in January 1994. My father, Harding McGregor Dunnett, author of Shackleton's Boat: The Story of the James Caird, was acting Press Officer for that expedition, which led on directly to the founding of the James Caird Society. Harding was in touch with Arved enthusiastically during the late 1990s, lent the Society's support for the German expedition (being a fluent German speaker himself), and further helped arrange for the James Caird to be displayed at the Arktis-Antarktis exhibition in Frankfurt shortly beforehand.
Your point is about claims made by others (perhaps to be the first successful repeat of both the James Caird journey and the mountain crossing): just about every film or reenaction since, including some we have supported, has made some exaggerated claims - often to assist publicity; if you have any feedback on that then apart from posting on the JCS Forum (thanks for doing so) you will obviously need to contact those involved, most of whom have websites.
Arved is an explorer of distinction, and something of a star when he made his own reenaction. Rest assured he will remain in the Shackleton Pantheon. If he undertakes other Shackleton-related activities, please do let us know.
With kind regards, Roderic Dunnett,
JCS Web Editor
Das Team der Arved-Fuchs-Expedition - Sigridur Ragna Sverrisdottir, Henryk Wolsky, Martin Friederichs und Arved Fuchs auf der 'James Caird II'(foto: Torsten Heller)
Arved Fuchs and his team set out to retrace Shackleton's arduous journey, something they completed triumphantly

Arved Fuchs (posted by Maurie Hutchinson, 30 Nov 2013, 11:26)

I wonder why the re-enactment of Sir Ernest Shackleton's epic voyage made by Arved Fuchs in 2000 has been ignored by the James Caird Society.
I mention this because the Tim Jarvis expedition documentary is currently showing on SBS TV in Australia with deceptive claims that it was the first re-enactment of Sir Ernest's voyage.

Heart of the Antarctic (posted by Stephen Scott-Fawcett, 25 Aug 2013, 17:54)

Jacqueline Elliott - thank you for your post on the JCS website Forum. It does rather sound as if this may be a dedication from Henry to his daughter. I would need to see the inscription to verify the handwriting. Feel free to contact me on

The book itself is not uncommon (even the First UK Edition) and typically sells for £400 in fair condition (although some US sellers will try for much higher in the States). There will be added value for the association, of course, given the dedication.

Book: The Heart of the Antarctic (posted by Mrs Jacqueline Elliott, 25 Aug 2013, 16:25)

I have a copy of (I believe) the 1910 edition of The Heart of the Antarctic. Inside, is handwritten "G.A. Shackleton from her father Christmas 1912". My little knowledge of the Shackleton family tells me that this could possibly have belonged to Gertrude Alice Shackleton and given to her by her father, Henry. It is possible that one of my ancestors worked in their house in Sydenham but we are not sure how he came to have the book. Is it likely to be of interest to anyone? Many thanks.

Painting by A. J. Kerr (posted by Peter Baker, 16 Jul 2013, 16:47)

Further to the message by Val Kerr dated March 9, 2012, I have a water colour painting signed by A.J. Kerr (undated). The signature is clear and appears to be the same as the the one on the painting at the Scott Polar Research Institute. The painting is quite good (to my untrained eye), is in excellent condition, and was framed by a store in Toronto, Canada.

The Voyage of the James Caird in Google Earth (posted by Colin Hazlehurst, 12 May 2013, 11:24)

Over the last month or so I have re-enacted the voyage of the James Caird, albeit without once dipping my toe in the Southern Ocean. My pastime is animating model boats and ships in Google Earth as they follow the track of epic sea voyages; over the last few years I have completed Captain Cook's First Voyage Round the World and Joshua Slocum's 'Sailing Alone Around the World'. Shackleton's journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia is my latest project.

For those who are interested there is a playlist on YouTube which presents Chapter IX (The Boat Journey) of Shackleton's book 'South!'. At the moment this covers the preparations for the voyage and the journey as far as Cave Cove. The narrative for the videos is the text of the book so, in that sense, it's an audio-visualisation of Shackleton's words.

The URL to view the animation is:
The crew of the James Caird experienced an enormous wave after midnight on 06May1916.
Simulation of the wave on 06May1916

Shackleton present (posted by Karl Smith, 10 May 2013, 13:12)

Dear Mary
I am afraid it's rather a belated response to your request (see 1 March below), but I am selling prints of my paintings of South Georgia (several are Shackleton-related); you can have a look at them on my blog I realise this is a month late, but feel free to get in touch if you are interested.

Sir Philip Brocklehurst and Sir Ernest Shackleton (posted by Alan Weeks, 22 Apr 2013, 14:40)

Sir Philip had been with Sir Ernest on the Nimrod Expedition. When the former got married to Miss Gwladys Gostling Murray in July 1913 Sir Ernest was best man. Both he and Lady Shackleton can be seen in this wedding photo.

Sir Philip Brocklehurst's wedding

Shackleton's artist sister Kathleen (posted by JCS Web Editor, 29 Mar 2013, 11:08)

Dorothy - I intended to post this picture of Shackleton's family.

Ernest is at back centre and Kathleen is the little girl in white on the front left of the photo. Kathleen later became an artist and eminent portrait painter (one of her portraits hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London), was a close friend of George Marston, settled in Montreal in 1912 made subsequent painting visits to London and Ireland, and later (still as Kathleen Shackleton, though she latterly married) aroused controversy during her travels sround Canada, during which she visited natives of the frozen north and produced a series of 48 postcards of members of the Canadian Pacific Railway (see

Below: the ten Shackleton children. Back row: (7) Clara (1881-1958), (2) Ernest (1874-1922), (6) Eleanor (1879-1960). Middle row: (5) Ethel (1878-1935), (3) Amy (1875-1953), (1) Alice (1872-1938). Front: (9) Kathleen (1884-1961), (4) Francis (Frank), 1876-1941, (10) Gladys (1887-1962), (8) Helen (1882-1962), who also worked in Canada, as a journalist in Montreal.
Ernest was second eldest after Alice. The youngest, Kathleen, Gladys and Helen, survived to the 1960s. They and Clara attended Sydenham Girls' High School. Amy and Alice lived with their parents into their 50s: Henry Shackleton (b.1847) died in 1921, just before Ernest; their mother (Henrietta Gavan, b.1845) died in 1926, aged 80. Most interesting: Ernest, Frank and Kathleen.

Picture signed "Shackleton" (posted by JCS Web Editor, 26 Mar 2013, 17:45)

To: Dorothy Keane (see posting below, 13 Nov 2012)

Re your James Caird Society FORUM enquiry (see posting below, 13 Nov 2012), a relation of Shackleton, and leading JCS Irish member, Neale Webb, has helpfully drawn our attention to the fact that there was an artist in the Shackleton family who might have done a portrait (signed 'Shackleton') of some pet dogs in her possession.
'Sir Ernest's younger sister Kathleen (1884-1961),' Neale writes, 'was a noted artist. She sketched, for instance, a portrait of her relation, my great-grandfather Thomas Henry Webb, and the portrait is in the possession of the Quaker Museum in Dublin (Tel. 00-353-1-495-6889).
'There is a photograph of Kathleen Shackleton and a brief biography on page 38 of Jonathan Shackleton's book 'An Irishman in Antarctica'.'
I hope Neale's observations might provide you with a possible lead.
Kind regards,
Roderic Dunnett
JCS Web Editor

Shackleton with four of his sisters. Kathleen might, or might not, be one of them, as we have not yet firmly identified the four

Gold Ring (1904) (posted by SSF, 4 Mar 2013, 23:47)

Hello Tracy...... the polar department of the auctioneers, Christies (London), is the best option here, regarding valuation. However, the question of provenence will be all-important. Before the ring can be identified and valued correctly you will need to gather as much family information on the ring's past as possible.

Shackleton Presents (posted by SSF, 4 Mar 2013, 23:42)

Hello Mary....If you take a look at I think you will discover some very interesting polar gifts for hubby!

Possible Shackleton presents (posted by JCS Website Editor, 4 Mar 2013, 14:07)

Dear Mary, Terrific to hear of your husband's enthusiasm for Shackleton. I have passed your enquiry on to Stephen Scott-Fawcett, our Journal Editor, who is expert at dealing with all Shackleton enquiries. Kind regards, Roderic Dunnett

Shackleton Ring (posted by Tracey W, 4 Mar 2013, 13:04)

Hello, I'm looking for some help/guidance. I have an 18ct Gold ring dated 1904, stamped with "By Endurance I Conquer". Older family members believe it came from Shackleton. Can anyone point me in the right direction as to who I could contact for a true valuation?

Many Thanks

Shackleton Present Ideas? (posted by Mary, 1 Mar 2013, 19:43)

Hi, I'm wondering if anyone might have any ideas of a Shackleton-related present I could get for my husband, who'll be 50 in April and is a huge admirer of Shackleton. I'm taking him to see the James Caird in Dulwich. Ideally I'd love to get hime a James Caird model or painting or something like that. Any of you good people know of anywhere I could get such a thing?
Appreciate your input/ideas.

Latest News on Shackleton Epic (posted by sylvie ross, 7 Feb 2013, 21:11)

Hello, I just want to let you know that there is a website for the latest news of the current re-enactment: see

I would imagine that it would be of interest to your members to get to know the expedition's updates.

Tonight they have started the mountain journey and everything has been going according to plan. The boat journey was successfully completed too.

Many thanks
Sylvie Ross
Current Re-enacting crew on board James Caird replica the

Worsley's navigational almanac acquired by South Georgia (posted by Thomas Kennedy, 22 Jan 2013, 11:40)

My name is Thomas Kennedy and I am the Curatorial Intern at the South Georgia Museum, Grytviken.
I am contacting you to inform you of a recent acquisition to our collection that you may be interested in.
The South Georgia Museum has recently acquired Frank Worsley's almanac which was used between Elephant Island and South Georgia.
It was given to Endurance scientist Reginald James as a memento by Worsley, and has been in the possession of the James family ever since.
A note included with the almanac, written by Reginald James, reads: 'Nautical Almanac used by Captain Worsley in navigating the James Caird from Elephant Island to South Georgia, April 24th to May 1916. Given to me by Worsley in Punta Arenas'.
The South Georgia Museum (said Museum Director Sarah Lurcock) is extremely delighted to have this precious and important artefact on show.
It is displayed with a number of other Shackleton-related artefacts previously donated to the museum.

Best Wishes,
Thomas Kennedy
Museum Curatorial intern 2012/13
Handover of Frank Worsley's almanac to the South Georgia Museum: participants include Captain Thilo Natke of the German Polar vessel MV Hanseatic (in penguin top), Biology and wildlife expert Sylvia Stevens, Sarah Lurcock (South Georgia Museum and South Georgia Heritage Trust Director) and curatorial intern Thomas Kennedy (both in musum attire).

Special TWO FOR ONE travel offer on Antarctic cruise starting February (posted by Michel van Gessel, 31 Dec 2012, 09:53)

Oceanwide Expeditions, the award-winning Dutch-based Polar specialists, are offering TWO places for the price of one on their 30 day Ross Sea expedition leaving New Zealand on Mon 18 February and terminating in Ushuaia, Argentina on Wed 20 March.
There is also a favourable reduced price offer for single travellers.
For details visit or see the James Caird Society website's Latest News page; or else telephone Oceanwide on (00 31) 118 410 410 for more information.
Oceanwide were winners of The World's Leading Polar Travel Expedition Operator Award in 2011 - the fourth time the company has won this prestigious prize.

Endurance's "Fourth Lifeboat" (posted by David Hirzel, 12 Dec 2012, 04:08)

To reply to the enquiry about the Endurance's fourth lifeboat (posted by Will, 14 Feb 2012, 22:41), McNeish's pram "Nancy Endurance" was christenened on board December 22, 1914 (McNeish diary). I wouldn't know whether this vessel would be numbered among the "lifeboats," and am unaware of any further reference to her.

Shackleton's Captain (posted by James Heyward - Making Movies NZ, 2 Dec 2012, 19:47)

Thank you, Giles, for your observations on the film.
Several points you raise are valid and I can offer the following comments:
There has been no sale as yet to any UK TV network. When financing the project I approached the BBC and Channel Four; both networks sadly declined.
However I'm sure our Distributor will be taking the completed program to the UK market, and I confidently expect a sale will result in due course.
The process by which DVDs are produced for and offered on is protracted, and unfortunately their offer of a DVD-R is out of our control.
Special thanks, Giles, for alerting me to the Amazon-offered DVD not including the Bonus Features. This was an error by the Amazon aggregator whom we use, and I have taken steps to resolve the problem.
The disk is offered on Amazon as NTSC format (not viewable on some receivers) because American DVD players typically are unable to play PAL.
The rest of the world varies: many recorders incorporate dual-format devices, which will usually play NTSC disks, providing both the player and TV are NTSC-capable. (However be warned: some players in the UK are still NOT compatible with NTSC.)
Having said this, I have considered Giles's comments and will be offering the title via Amazon in both NTSC and PAL format. However this will take three to four weeks to put in place.
It will also be available on Amazon as 'View on Demand' (VOD).
Provision of subtitles as well was just outside our Budget!
Best wishes - and do try and see Shackleton's Captain if you can...
James Heyward

Making Movies NZ/Gebrueder Beetz, Germany

For DVD-R see: and
The cast at IMDB:

Giles Hobson adds:
'The price of Shackleton's Captain (at current rates of exchange) on has now dropped considerably. to about UK £17.00, including shipping, although I think JCS affiliates should probably avoid purchasing until the 'extras' issue is resolved and/or PAL version becomes available.

'On viewing the film again, I was probably a little harsh in saying 'it broke no new ground'. There was no requirement for it to do so, and my initial reaction (below) was probably more of a reflection on the viewer's (my own) familiarity with the narrative of the Endurance story.
Thanks, James, for your positive reply; and thanks for doing such a service by making and distributing 'Shackleton's Captain'. Giles
Shackleton (Charles Pierard) & Worsley (Craig Parker) in early 1916. Director Leanne Pooley Producer James Heyward. Interviewees - Baden Norris (Christchurch Museum), John Thomson (Worsley's biographer), Michael Smith, Wendy Dunlop ('The Boy from Akoroa'), Pauline Carr (South Georgia Museum), Colin Monteith (polar and mountain photographer, Stephen Venables (mountaineer and writer).

Shackleton's Captain (posted by Giles Hobson, 28 Nov 2012, 13:34)

James Caird Society members and followers residing in the UK and other regions that have not received a terrestrial broadcast of the documentary drama 'Shackleton's Captain' may wish to be alerted to its recent release on DVD.
It would seem the copyright holders either have limited ambitions for DVD sales or have been unable to find a distributor, as the title is only available in DVD-R format on a 'manufactured on demand' basis at (not
It is therefore essential that those contemplating a purchase not only ensure that their viewing equipment is NTSC compatible, but that the disc drive will play DVD-R discs. Notwithstanding this, the title is presented in a professionally packaged and sealed DVD case.
A strange anomaly on the exterior artwork of the NTSC version highlights bonus features, including the trailer and a 'making of' documentary. I can only assume these have fallen victim to a late decision to release the product on DVD-R, as they are (here) absent.
Neither are there any subtitles for the hard of hearing.
The other caveat worth mentioning is the cost of obtaining the title: about £23, including shipment charges, from the US to the UK. Amazon's usual high standard of service ensured my copy arrived in less than a fortnight.
Having had the opportunity to view the film only once, I am also surprised that it has not, as far as I am aware, been broadcast in the UK.
Although it is, on one level, a fairly conventional retelling of the Endurance story, which does not break any new ground, high production standards are clearly evident and there are interesting commentaries throughout from such authorities as the ex-curator of the South Georgia museum, Pauline Carr, and mountaineer Stephen Venables.
The arduous journey to Elephant Island and South Georgia also appears, to my mind, to receive more verisimilitudinous and vivid treatment than has been evident in earlier dramas and documentaries about Shackleton and his men.
Shackleton's Captain, produced by Making Movies NZ and Gerbrueder Beetz, Germany.

Sir William Renny Watson (posted by Morag Cross, 27 Nov 2012, 13:56)

Sir James Caird's sister, Mary, was married to a distant cousin of the Cairds, Sir William Renny Watson (1838-1900), of Mirrlees, Tait and Watson, sugar machinery producers.
The company had many names, and it purchased the British rights to the original Diesel Engine in the 1890s.
As President of the Glasgow branch of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society Watson also played host to Norwegian Polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen on his visit to Glasgow in 1892.
Given the Caird connection, I think it would at least be worth mentioning both Mary and her husband, who was a major figure in mechanical engineering, as well as philanthropy, in Glasgow.

Message from James Perowne (posted 16 Nov 2012, 10:43)

Dear Malcolm,
First, please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your father. We share a naval heritage although I was a submariner in my time.
As Chairman of the James Caird Society, we would very much like to be associated with such a moving story about your Father and the missing granite. Please keep us informed of your plans to return it.
Very many thanks
James Perowne

Admiral Sir James Perowne KBE
Chairman The James Caird Society

Shackleton -Artist (posted by Dorothy Keane, 13 Nov 2012, 15:26)

I would be grateful for any info re. an Artist in the Shackleton family.
I have two charcoal pictures of pet dogs signed 'Shackleton' - the initials are faint. The pictures are very old and came to me 20 yrs ago. I feel they are probably Irish - I don't want to value them, as I wouldn't part with them; but any help with research or advice on identification would be appreciated.
Thank you.

Shackleton's grave - missing artifact (posted by Malcolm Collis, 8 Nov 2012, 21:58)

I have just had the below exchange of emails and wonder if it is something on which you or the Society would wish to be associated?
Regards, Malcolm Collis
Archivist, HMS Ajax & River Plate Veterans Association

To: The Commissioner for South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

Dear Sir
My father, Joseph H.B. Collis joined the British navy in 1935 and his first ship was the HMS Ajax. As part of their South American cruise they visited South Georgia to take the Governor of the Falklands for his periodical visit. They anchored at Grytviken on 11th January 1937.

During their time there, there were runs ashore and my father visited the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton: he took a small piece of green granite from the grave as a youthful trophy. They departed to take the Governor back but were diverted to search for a missing party of men who had landed from Discovery 11. They arrived at King George Island on the 18th and the lost men were sighted and rescued by one of Ajax's cutters and reunited with Discovery.

My father reached 95 but has for the last 75 years felt extremely guilty about removing this stone and at his funeral yesterday I mentioned this incident in my eulogy. I told the large congregation that I would return it to its rightful owner. I think it would be a fitting tribute to my father and HMS Ajax if its return could be arranged and I would like to post it to you if you are in agreement.

Yours faithfully

Malcolm Collis
HMS Ajax & River Plate Veterans Association

The following reply was received:

Dear Malcolm,

Thank you for contacting the Office of the Commissioner, and on behalf of the Commissioner we very much appreciate this gesture. I am sorry to learn about your father's passing, but it has been fascinating to read this brief passage about the period during which he served on HMS Ajax in the South Atlantic.

The Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands would be very happy (and grateful) to assist you in returning the piece of granite to the cemetery in Grytviken. We recognise that there are a very great many South Georgia mementos dotted around the world!

I am pleased to advise that South Georgia still maintains strong links with the Royal Navy and warships continue to visit the island. I had to smile when I read your email as I have just returned from a memorial service in Christchurch Cathedral, Stanley, during the course of which I had been reflecting on HMS Achilles' ensign (from the River Plate) hanging above the pew I was in.

Thank you again and we look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely,
Richard McKee

Executive Officer, Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Government House, Stanley, Falkland Islands, FIQQ 1ZZ Email: Phone: 00500 28280

Model of the Nimrod (posted by Cathy Dean, 25 Sep 2012, 15:29)

There is a recent posting on your Forum (27 June 2012, from Alan Weeks) about a Half Hull Model of the Nimrod, which was based in part by its maker on a picture on the pub's sign (see photograph). The other side of the sign shows the Brocklehurst family's coat of arms.
The model has now been acquired by the Ship Inn, and is on display in the restaurant.
The Ship Inn, Wincle, near Macclesfield, Cheshire
Pub sign at The Ship Inn, Wincle - Nimrod

This is the other Photograph . (posted by Frank Balistreri, 6 Sep 2012, 23:49)

This second signed photograph is my favorite. It was also given by Shackleton to the USS Heredia's Captain W.F.Stevenson in April 1918. It is an interesting side note that both of these photographs survived Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans!You can see slight water staining horizontally just below the signature.They were framed about 90 yrs. ago by Laporte(a Kodak shoppe) on St.Charles Avenue.

A Photograph of the James Caird Launch (posted by Frank Balistreri, 6 Sep 2012, 23:39)

I submit this image for all to was given to me from a dear friend after her passing. She was a New Orleans descendant of Captain W.F. Stevenson....who enjoyed the company of "The Boss" on the U.S.S.Heredia in early April 1918.The USS Heredia was a United Fruit Co. steam freighter
that carried bananas from Panama to New Orleans. Ernest Shackleton gave Captain Stevenson a signed half sheet of stamps from the Nimrod expedition, the captioned photograph attached here, plus one of 'help on the horizon'....similarly captioned & signed, and an autographed pair of volumes of The Heart of the Antarctic! (I presume in exchange for passage to the US?)
This (it shows Shackleton's arrival aboard the Yelcho at Elephant Island) is one of 2 photographs I inherited from family descendants of Captain W.F. Stevenson of the USS Heredia....a United Fruit Co. steamer
I doubt this needs further explanation!

Historic Shackleton Video - details for Forum readers (posted by George Brigham, 4 Aug 2012, 17:31)

An interesting video concerning the restoration of a 7 foot high historic advertising poster, relating to Lt. Ernest Shackleton's 'Farthest South' and dating from (apparently) around 1915, can be seen on YouTube. It lasts 13 minutes or so and provides a visual and audio guide to the detailed restoration process. See:

Shackleton 1914-1917 (posted by Michael Lohr, 6 Jul 2012, 02:05)

Having been thoroughly enthralled by the amazing accounts of the Trans Antarctic Expedition headed by E Shackleton, I have taken the task of developing a Google Earth visualization to aid interested parties in understanding the geography of the expedition routes. This will be made available to the general public at no charge.

I post in the hopes that the JCS or a member would be willing to assist in verification of items recounted from "South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914-1917 Expedition", used in the Google Earth representation, so that as much accuracy as is possible is maintained.

Interested individuals may contact me directly at

Shows a portion of the positions reported in Shackleton's recounting of the 1914-1917 expedition.
Google Earth Image Shackleton 1914-1917

Half Hull Model of the Nimrod (posted by Alan Weeks, 27 Jun 2012, 17:06)

Someone I know in the nearby village of Wildboarclough has just made a half hull model of the Nimrod -see picture. He was unable to get hold of the original blueprints but based it on various pictures he'd come across. One of these was the pub sign for the Ship Inn in Wincle. That sign was put up by Lady Brocklehurst to commemorate her son's, Sir Philip Brocklehurst's, participation in that expedition. Does anyone know when that sign was put up? All I have found out so far is that it was put up before 1932.

Half Hull Model of the Nimrod

Shackleton's return from New Zealand (posted by Nick Gregory, 9 Apr 2012, see below) (posted by Alan Weeks, 24 Jun 2012, 14:04)

I found some information on Ancestry's passenger lists. My own interest in Shackleton's voyages concerns Sir Philip Brocklehurst, who went on the Nimrod Expedition, and his brother Courtney who left the Endurance to fight in WWI before it left British waters.

Sir Philip of course made his own way out to Australia, eschewing the Spartan conditions in the Nimrod. On a passenger list I found on Ancestry - see photo - it seems he returned from New Zealand to Sydney, Australia, on the ship Mohoia with Mawson and Forbes Mackay. They arrived on 16 April. Another passenger list shows Sir Philip leaving for the UK on the Marmora on 21 April. The ship arrived in London on 9 July, but apparently without him - presumably he got off earlier and took a train across Europe somewhere, as was common in those days.
This passenger list shows Sir Philip Brocklehurst, D Mawson and A Forbes Mackay arriving from New Zealand.
Passenger and Crew List Mohoia - Arrival Sydney 16 April 1909

Perce Blackborrow (posted by Peter Whalen, 23 Jun 2012, 00:09)

Greetings to all. I am hoping someone can answer a historical question of some significance to me. Any insight would be appreciated. We all know the story of how Perce Blackborrow stowed away on the Endurance with the help of Bakewell and How. He slipped aboard while the ship was in Buenos Aires. My question is, when was he found out? All of the sources I have been able to find offer conflicting information. Was it immediately after leaving Buenos Aires but before landing at South Georgia? Or was it after the ship's departure from South Georgia? The reason for my inquiry is I'm trying to determine just how long he was aboard being discovered. The information available on the internet is not consistent on this point. Thank you.
PS I am also interested in the exact dates that the Endurance made its last stops before entering the Weddell Sea. Thank you.

Shackleton's return from New Zealand (posted by Nick Gregory, 23 Apr 2012, 19:17)

Thank you for that information. Very interesting and I shall check whether my grandfather was on the "India" (which is the reason I am looking into this). I would be very grateful if you can get similar information for 1917.

Reply to Nick Gregory (posted by SSF, 17 Apr 2012, 19:17)

Nick Gregory asks about the return of Shackleton + others from NZ in 1909 + 1917.

In 1909 Shackleton returned to UK via Australia. In 1917 he returned via Australia and USA.

I have some details re ships.

In 1909 he travelled on 'Nimrod' from NZ to Australia. He travelled on 'India' from Australia to Egypt. He travelled on 'Isis' (mail packet boat) from Port Said to Italy (Brindisi). He travelled by train from Brindisi to UK.

Most of the expedition team scattered after Australia but many of the crew stayed with 'Nimrod' on its long voyage back (save for Mawson).

I will need to research more re details of 1917.

Reply to Chris Hawkins (posted by Sebastian Coulthard, 15 Apr 2012, 11:07)

Many thanks for your observations with regard to the Shackleton Epic Expedition. Your comments (below) were directed to the James Caird Society, who felt it fitting for a member of the expedition to answer your questions directly. I am delighted to do so.

I am PO Sebastian Coulthard, the Bosun aboard the Alexandra Shackleton. The lifeboat is the most accurate replica of the James Caird ever constructed. She's not a museum piece, but the only seaworthy replica in the world that will allow for unrestricted ocean sailing.

We don't intend to re-write any history books, but to learn from them. I hope we may be able to offer some answers to questions that have kept James Caird historians in the dark for years. What happens if it is capsized? What did the food taste like? How did Shackleton row with no rowlocks? Was the rudder strong enough? Thanks to modern technological advance in marine tracking and safety, we can address such questions without devaluing any of Shackleton's accomplishments.

With the accompanying TV film, those at home will share in the extreme moments of adventure, the spectacular backdrop of the Antarctic and its varied wildlife. It will be seen the ice sheets have receded several hundred miles since Shackleton braved them in 1914-16. He was trying to save his men from Antarctica, those today are trying to save Antarctica from man - an unfortunate irony.

Personally, I wish to explore the human spirit - how resourceful do we become with a bare minimum to survive on? How is harmony preserved among a disparate group of people? These are some of the most dangerous waters on Earth, no place for an armchair explorer. Mental robustness and a good sense of humour are required to travel beyond 50 degrees South in a 22 and a half ft (6.86m) wooden boat.

It would be impossible to completely re-enact the voyage and mountain crossing as Shackleton did it in 1916. South Georgia and the Scotia Sea are just as ferocious as 100 years ago. However we've done our best to maintain the essence and spirit of the original boat. We will wear Burberry outer garments, woollen underwear and leather boots. Reindeer skin sleeping bags furnish our only comfort at night. Our water will be stored in two Kilderkin barrels, identical to Shackleton's specification.

All canvas, sails and rigging are hand-made, using materials and techniques from 100 years ago. Navigation will be by sextant, chronometer, compass and astro tables. But there are some allowances for modern emergency equipment. Above all, in one of the world's most busy shipping lanes and potentially violent weather a back-up GPS is not just permissible but prudent and essential.

Shackleton once wrote, 'In the history of Polar exploration, (maritime) traditions have brought forth for the last three hundred years the best qualities of the seaman. They are the brightest pages in the history of our sea story.'

Personally, I think Shackleton would be very happy with our expedition and my fellow team mates. My boss Tim Jarvis, Captain Darren Naggs and Warrant Officer Barry Gray of the Royal Marines are the best mountaineers and sailors I know - we trust each other with our lives. This is a serious expedition, with serious goals and objectives - not another reality TV show or copy-cat expedition as you suggest.

The fact that we have launched our expedition during Scott's centenary year has nothing to do with stealing the limelight. We're not celebrating individual accomplishments here, but the bravery of 28 men, each with a story to tell, each worthy of recognition.

If you're feeling fit, perhaps you might join us for a day sail in Portland Harbour. I'll supply the boat, you supply lunch. Exploration after all is the greatest gateway to the highest levels of learning - a once in a lifetime opportunity that will allow you to identify with the 'magical special achievements of our past heroes'.

Please e-mail the James Caird Society if you wish to obtain my contact details. Alternatively you can find more information on our website -

Kind regards,

Sebastian Coulthard FRGS

(A fuller version of Seb's reply will be posted shortly on the James Caird Society website)
Main block for controlling main sail canvas sheet. 175 years old, refurbished by the UK's leading traditional sail maker, Mr Philip Rose Taylor of Weymouth. Made from a single piece of ash in Portsmouth in 1837, manufactured by world's first machine tool process. The sheaves are made from solid Bronze. The wire strop was replaced, the new item served over with tar red marlin and Stockholm tar.

Shackleton's return from New Zealand (posted by Nick Gregory, 9 Apr 2012, 16:05)

Does anyone know, or know how I might find out, on which vessel Shackleton, or members of his expedition, returned from New Zealand on the 1914-17 Aurora (Endurance) expedition or on the 1907-9 Nimrod expedition?

Arctic Snow Goggles (posted by Philip Kratz, 7 Apr 2012, 22:04)

My name is Philip Kratz. I am a personal collector from Lockport, NY. Recently, I acquired a pair of Arctic snow goggles at an antiques auction. I took them to a local antiques dealer, who dated the goggles to the turn-of-the-century.

With this information, I was able to locate nearly identical pairs on the websites for the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and the National Library of Scotland.

I was very excited to find that the goggles I have are similar to these museum-quality pieces. I am interested in learning more about the goggles that I have. If you can offer additional information on these, or if you are interested in purchasing them from me, please contact me. I have also attached a photo of the goggles that I own.

Thank you,
Philip Kratz

Frank Wild: Antarctica's Forgotten Hero (posted by Giles Hobson, 6 Apr 2012, 20:39)

The transmission time for the repeat of the hour-long TV documentary about Frank Wild, to be broadcast nationally in the UK on BBC2 on Sunday 22 April, is now confirmed: it will be shown at 7.00pm.

Re-creating Shackleton's Boat Journey (posted by Trevor Potts, 5 Apr 2012, 15:58)

I think CH (see entry below) will be surprised to learn that various aspects of Shackleton's rescue mission have already been repeated.
Trevor Potts with three others sailed a replica, the Sir Ernest Shackleton (same size, dimensions and shape as the James Caird) from Elephant Island to South Georgia, leaving Elephant Island on 24th December 1993 and arriving at South Georgia on 5th January 1994. This was done using a sextant but with a very early GPS for accuracy of navigation.
As the four-man team had no back-up ship and there was a severe storm blowing on arrival at South Georgia they did not sail into King Haakon Bay. Had they done so and crossed the mountains, recovery of their replica from King Haakon would have been very, very difficult, if not impossible. Three of the team reversed part of the mountain crossing, starting from Stromness: later, heavy crevasses and bad weather forced a retreat from the Crean Glacier when in sight of the Trident Ridge.
In January-February 2000 the German Arved Fuchs repeated the crossing in a similar boat, James Caird II. Using his yacht the Dagmar as back-up, he and his colleagues sailed from Hope Bay to Elephant Island, and thence on to King Haakon Bay, which they reached on Saturday 12 February. The team then successfully completed the mountain crossing.
Three years earlier, in 1997, an Irish team led by Frank Nugent attempted the journey in a slightly larger near-replica (it had a transom stern). They capsized a number of times and were rescued by their escort yacht Pelagic.
There have been many attempts on the mountain crossing, some rather less successful than others; the latest being in January this year. To my knowledge, the Shackleton Memorial Expedition in aid of the UKAHT and the Shackleton Scholarship Fund, with Trevor Potts and five others in 2001 is the only crossing that has done it entirely on two feet, without the aid of either skis and snow shoes.
In answer to CH's assertion that Tim Jarvis may be trying to spoil the Scott memorial year: to my knowledge, Tim has been trying to raise finance for his expedition for about two years. It will now probably take place in early 2013.
Shackleton's rescue mission to and from Elephant Island and onwards to South Georgia all took place in 1916.
Trevor Potts

Trevor Potts in the Sir Ernest Shackleton off South Georgia, January 1994

shackleton's james caird centenary 2012? (posted by chris hawkins, 3 Apr 2012, 22:00)

Dear James Caird Society

I am surprised shocked and saddened to read that Shackleton's history book is to be re-written with a copy-cat boat sailing by Tim Jarvis sometime soon.

Why is it being organised now? I thought the James Caird centenary was not until 2015 ? Is the James Caird Society trying to steal a bit of the Scott Centenary spotlight by organising it now?

Would Shackleton have wanted his epic boat journey recreated and repeated? No, I don't think he would.

Can we not leave alone those magical special achievements of our past heroes to be treasured and untainted for all time.

So will Tim Jarvis use GPS? or a sextant? Will he succeed? Ernest Shackleton will surely be shaking his head in disbelief...

Deep South exhibition (posted by Libby Jones, 31 Mar 2012, 16:22)

The Deep South Exhibition which has been shown at Dulwich College and Orleans House Twickenham will be at Discovery Point Dundee from April 13th (Private View) until July 5th. This is a chance to view the exhibition for all those in the north who couldn't make it to the London venues. Below is an invitation to the Private View. All welcome!

Deep South Private View Invitation and Information

Frank Wild: Antarctica's Forgotten Hero (posted by Giles Hobson, 19 Mar 2012, 21:25)

Further to my previous posting about the above documentary, the programme will be broadcast nationally on BBC2 on Sunday 22nd April (time tbc).

Frank Wild: Antarctica's Forgotten Hero (posted by Giles Hobson, 15 Mar 2012, 21:12)

Frank Wild: Antarctica's Forgotten Hero

James Caird Society members and followers may wish to be alerted to the above programme, to be transmitted on BBC1 at 16:00 on Sunday, 18 March.
It will be shown in the following BBC regions only: North East & Cumbria, Yorks & Lincs, Yorkshire. However, anyone who can access material on the BBC iPlayer will be able to view it for seven days following its broadcast.

A J KERR - engineer on Endurance and Quest (posted by val kerr, 9 Mar 2012, 14:29)

I have recently been contacted concerning a painting of RSS John Biscoe in Antarctica which appears to bear the signature of A J Kerr dated 1957. It was apparently part of a bequest from Priestley to the SPRI. Kerr's family have no knowledge of any artistic skills on his part so would welcome information on why it would be signed in that name or anything more about it.

Proposed JCS Centenary Book (2014) (posted by SSF, 7 Mar 2012, 09:03)

Members will soon be receiving a note regarding a proposed Centenary Book.

The book will be a compilation of the best Shackleton items featured in the six JCS Journal so far published. Whilst the emphasis will be on the 'Endurance' expedition, the other expeditions will feature too, together with background material covering Shackleton's life in general.

There will be a foreword written by eminent polar historian and JCS member Dr. Ann Shirley.

The book will run to approximately 230 pages and be of good quality paper with cloth hardback covers in mauve with gold lettering. This will be a limited edition.

Provisional cost - £50.00 (incl P&P in UK). There will also be available a Subscriber's copy, which will be signed by our President, The Hon Alexandra Shackleton, and the Subscriber's name will be included in the end text of the book. Provisional cost of Subscriber's copy - circa £100.00.

JCS Journal Number Six (March 2012) (posted by SSF, 7 Mar 2012, 08:50)

I am very pleased to report that the next JCS Journal (Number Six) has been printed and should be arriving at members' addresses in the following few weeks.If any member fails to receive their copy by month-end please contact your editor (Stephen) on

Equally, once you have read the Journal, please feel free to let me have your Feedback using the same email address.

The Yorkshire Ones in Antarctica (posted by Cathy Corbishley Michel, 2 Mar 2012, 17:42)

Corrected Dates

Please note that the exhibition runs until April 29th 2012, not 29th February as originally indicated.

Children's books about the Antarctic (posted by Judy Corfield, 24 Feb 2012, 14:33)

My grandchildren are too young, as yet, to learn about the Antarctic from the usual books.

I would like them to know more about the Nimrod, Endurance and Quest expeditions, as those were Frank Wild's journeys. He was my great uncle.

I was hoping to find illustrated books, suitable for the under 9s. I hope someone might be able to help.

The Yorkshire Ones in Antarctica - Hull Maritime Museum (posted by Cathy Corbishley Michel, 21 Feb 2012, 18:46)

The Yorkshire Ones in Antarctica is an exhibition by a group of artists, The Yorkshire Ones, who have taken their inspiration from the continent of Antarctica and its historic heroic explorers. It coincides with the centenary of Captain Scott's failed attempt to be first to reach the South Pole and later his death in March 1912.

The exhibition also throws light on Yorkshire Antarctic veterans including Frank Wild, who visited the Antarctic five times between 1901 and 1922 with both Scott and Shackleton and Hull's Captain William Colbeck.

Colbeck was not only a member of the first British Antarctic Expedition of 1898 but he also captained the relief ship 'Morning' sent to rescue Scott and his ship Discovery which was frozen in the ice on Scott's 1902-4 expedition. Shackleton returned on the 'Morning' from Antarctica after the attempt on the pole with Scott and Wilson during the Discovery Expedition.

The exhibition includes Cyanotypes of Frank Hurley's pictures by Cathy Corbishley Michel, Hats by Susan Bradshaw, Enamels by Averil Cheetham, Embroidery by Viv Stamford, Felt by Susan Nicholson and Jewellery by Jackie Warrington.

Free Admission. The Exhibition runs in the Community Space at the Hull Maritime Museum until 29th April. Open Monday to Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 1.30-4.30.

Frank Wild - Cyanotype on Fabric

Fourth Boat (posted by Will, 14 Feb 2012, 22:41)

Does anyone know the name of the fourth lifeboat on the Endurance that sunk with it?

fire lighting (posted by Michael Boyes, 13 Jan 2012, 19:36)

Is it known what was used by Shackleton's crew to light fires, lamps, and especially by the cook to light the cooking fire? Did they use matches, or some form of lighter; and how did they keep matches dry?
If matches were used, there must have been a vast quantity to last so long! Perhaps a flame was always kept alight.

CHIPPY MCNISH OBITUARY UPDATE (posted by JOHN F. MANN, 1 Jan 2012, 15:34)

I have more or less now finished my obituary on "Chippy" McNish.
If anyone cares to read a copy of the current draft please
email me via my website via the contact the author link.

I should mention thet the obituary for "Chippy" that currently appears on the website is not the latest version.

Reading "In Shackleton's Footsteps" in Antarctica (posted by Sarah Ames, 28 Dec 2011, 12:47)

I recently had the opportunity to read Henry Worsley's book "In Shackleton's Footsteps" while traveling to Union Glacier, Antarctica to complete my quest to become the first woman to run a marathon on all 7 continents for the third time.

Having attended Henry Worsley's lecture at one of the James Caird Society's meeting a couple of years ago I was eager to read the entire account of their impressive journey. Reading it is a real treat under any circumstances. But reading it in temperatures of -25C, while huddled in a sleeping bag in a tent somewhere in the middle of Antarctica - at 3 a.m. in broad daylight - was almost surreal! Could not have picked a better book for such a mesmerizing environment.

J V Perowne (posted by Adam Richardson, 3 Dec 2011, 18:43)


I've seen that a couple of people have posted about J V Perowne. I'm a student at the University of Leeds looking into the Foreign Office of the 1930s. I know of Victor Perowne through looking at FO records. I was wondering whether anyone knew if he left any private papers and if so where they were stored?

Many thanks

1982 BBC mini-series "Icebound ...." (posted by Phillip Christman, 1 Nov 2011, 01:41)

It has been nearly four years since I last posted an inquiry concerning the availability of a USA formatted DVD of the 1982 BBC mini-series on the voyage of "Endurance" entitled, I believe, "Icebound in the Antarctic".

Is this DVD available? We are nearing the 100th anniversary of that expedition so maybe it will become available soon.

Regards to all for keeping this man, his story and his great crew "alive" after so many years!

In the footsteps of Shackleton ... skiing the last 97 miles to the South Pole (posted by Hazel Richards, 1 Oct 2011, 20:48)

As part of a small team led by David Hempleman-Adams OBE, I am looking for sponsors to support my challenge to the Geographic South Pole, starting where Sir Ernest Shackleton abandoned his plans to do the same in 1909.
It was on his now-famous Nimrod Expedition that Shackleton, with his trusted colleagues, turned back 97 nautical miles from the pole due to poor weather conditions and a lack of supplies.
The Antarctic trek to the Geographic South Pole ... the highest, coldest, most windswept place on Earth, skiing over the ice plateau and weaving through sastrugi in extreme weather conditions: I will be pulling a pulk, containing all necessary supplies to cover the fourteen day expedition.
I am looking for sponsors who can help support the cost of the challenge and in return I will help their brand, raise funds for good causes or support any testing/trials required within Antarctic conditions.
Practice within the Arctic Circle
Preparation within the Arctic Circle

11TH SHACKLETON AUTUMN SCHOOL (posted by Seamus Taaffe, 22 Sep 2011, 11:51)

The programme for the 11th Ernest Shackleton Autumn School has now been finalised and full details are available on the website -
Athy in the Republic of Ireland (the explorer's birthplace) hosts the world's most important annual gathering of Shackleton experts and enthusiasts

John Victor Perowne (posted by James Perowne, 18 Aug 2011, 15:44)

The J V Perowne is John Victor Thomas Woolrych Tait Perowne KCMG. He is a very distant cousin, but I did know his first cousins and I have met his grandson. He was born 30 July 1897 at the College Worcester as the son of the 108th Bishop of Worcester. Educated at Eton and Corpus Christi College Cambridge... Lieutenant in the Scots Guards 1916-18. 1920 joined the Diplomatic Service and was a Counsellor 1943-47. He became Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Holy See in 1947 and was made Knight Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George, dubbed Sir Victor Perowne. He died in 1951.
I would be delighted to meet you and talk if you need more details. Thanks for your interest.

JCS Journal Number Six (April 2012) (posted by SSF, 11 Aug 2011, 20:10)

Progress is being made on the next JCS Journal. In fact, there is so much good material that I have enough to fill TWO Journals! Number Six will have a lengthy feature on Shackleton in Chile in 1916. There will be particular emphasis on the celebrations that took place. Also, there will be a verbatim account of one of Shackleton's many speeches he gave to rally support for the rescue of his men on Elephant Island in the first place. There is a recent interview with Doris Warren (daughter of Walter How, age 93 years young. This is a unique piece of 'primary source' research for the JCS). There is much more - not least some excellent book reviews and informative letters to the editor. Watch this space..... SSF Ed JCS Journal.

A message for Admiral Perowne (posted by John Dudeney, 10 Aug 2011, 14:54)

Dear Admiral Perowne,

I and my colleague (Prof. David Walton) have been carrying out extensive research on the origins of operation Tabarin and now have a major paper accepted for publication in Polar Record on the topic. This paper we believe will change the preconceptions of many people. It has been based upon comprehensive research ant the TNA of government files extending from the late 19th century up to post WW2.
In doing this research we found that the name J V Perowne often cropped up at the heart of the matter. He was head of the Americas Desk at the FO at the crucial period in WW2 and so was a very influential voice shaping British policy. Since it is an unusual name I thought it worth enquiring whether J V Perowne was a relative of yours, and if so would be interested to talk to you about him.

Thank you

Captain Frank Worsley (posted by James Heyward, 17 Jun 2011, 10:39)

I am producing a documentary for Television New Zealand about Captain Frank Worsley. I'm looking for information relating to his lectures about the expedition and would appreciate any information as to where I might locate transcripts. Can anyone help?

Kind regards

James Heyward
New Zealand
contact tel +64 921 5832 extn 1
Frank Worsley (left) with Sir Ernest and Lady Shackleton, on the way to church: Shackleton was best man at the wedding of the officer on the right

ISO: Shackleton Footage (posted by Iris, 1 Jun 2011, 17:16)

Hello JCS Forum: I am in search of public domain footage and images of Shackleton and his Imperial Transatlantic Expedition from 1914-1917. Has anyone worked with materials from the original Frank Hurley Collection? Thanks!

Shackleton in Punta Arenas, Chile (posted by Eric, 20 May 2011, 00:57)

I need help please. We will be in Punta Arenas Chile and would like to visit places associated with Shackleton. We are finding conflicting info on the web. As far as I can tell Castillo Milward has a plaque on the wall but is not open to the public. The British club has closed and is now a bank but also has a plaque on the wall; I have not found the exact address for this. The Shackleton Bar is inside the Sara Braun Mansion, now the Jose Nogueira Hotel on the main square in Punta Arenas. This may have some memorabilia on the walls? Is this info correct and am I missing anything? Thank you

Viewing the James Caird (posted by JCS Web Editor, 26 Apr 2011, 12:32)

Thank you for your enquiry about visiting the James Caird at Dulwich College.
The good news is that you do not need to make a booking. Normally it is possible to visit the Caird when the College is open during school termtime.
However it is perhaps a good idea to telephone the school beforehand to make sure, so as to avoid a wasted journey. Sometimes the James Caird is on loan to exhibitions, although it is currently (and normally) at the College, displayed in the North Cloister.
The Dulwich College tel. nos. are: Main Office and General Enquiries 020 8693 3601; Archivist (Mrs. Calista Lucy) 020 8299 9201; Marketing 020 8299 9226.
Kind regards,
Roderic Dunnett
JCS Web editor

Help (posted by Kenny Primrose, 18 Apr 2011, 17:39)

It's great to now know there is a Society created in memory of the great man. Can anyone help me!!! Can you just turn up at Dulwich College to look at the James Caird - or do you have to contact them and book it...? Would really love to go and see it.


Emma (posted by Graciela Fernandez, 17 Apr 2011, 18:41)

Sorry for my hard English. I am writing to tell that I have the copy of 'South' (Heinemann, 1927) that belonged to Capt. Atilio Porretti, who was the first captain of the 'Fragata Libertad'. Porretti was also an important diver. On page 170 we can read that he managed to retrieve from the sea floor the anchor of the ship 'Emma' (which was involved in Shackleton's rescue attempts), and he donated it to the Yacht Club Argentino de Mar del Plata, the city where I live. Sea stories.

Best regards,

Leonard Hussey (posted by Eleanor Rees, 11 Apr 2011, 12:08)

With thanks ref. John Elder's response to my posting (below), I have been in contact with John Mann who has been extremely helpful.

However, despite his website stating that Leonard Hussey died in Chorlewood, John has since told me that Hussey died at Kings College Hospital. As Hussey's last address seems to have been in Ferring, Sussex I have three areas to investigate for a burial/cremation etc.

Just wondered if anyone had any further information?

Thanks again,

Leonard Hussey (posted by John Elder, 9 Apr 2011, 13:27)

Eleanor Rees requested information on Leonard Hussey. She could try John Mann's website - It lists the obituaries of the crew and expedition members of who sailed on the Endurance 1914-1916.

Leonard Hussey (posted by Eleanor Rees, 7 Apr 2011, 23:38)

I know that Leonard Hussey died in Feb 1964 but there seem to be varying places of death. I can't seem to find any memorial for him or death certificate. Can anyone help? He used to be the GP in my home town and we are only just waking up to the importance of this man and would like to celebrate his life and contribution to the area.

Deep South Exhibition at The Stables, Orleans House, Twickenham (posted by Libby Jones, 7 Apr 2011, 11:47)

Following the very successful Exhibition at Dulwich College in October/November 2010 Deep South is moving to the next venue at The Stables Gallery Twickenham May 12 - July 3 2011.

This is another chance to see this exhibition which features seven artists who have travelled to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia. Because this is a larger venue there will be more work on display including new work produced since November.

In 2012 Deep South will be at Discovery Point Dundee during April - June.

Endurance expedition celebrated in new exhibition at the L-13 Gallery, Clerkenwell, London (posted by Una Devine, 24 Mar 2011, 14:21)

Key moments in the Endurance expedition are celebrated in a new series of paintings currently on show at the L-13 Light Industrial Workshop in Clerkenwell, London. Central to the exhibition by the artist Harry Adams are works based on the photographic records of early polar exploration, in particular those of Sir Ernest Shackleton. More information and an exhibition catalogue is at

Sir Ernest Shackleton, Oil and Encaustic on Board, 2011, Harry Adams

James C. replica in Punta Arenas (posted by Juan Mattassi, 13 Mar 2011, 15:05)

To the James Caird Society

Dear Gentlemen,
Warm greetings from Chile.
I wonder if you can help me with this?
I should mention that I live in Punta Arenas, on the beach of the Straits of Magellan and I have developed a small Maritime Museum, not far from the pier where the Yelcho departed and returned with Shackleton's honorable crew.
We are currently interested in building a REPLICA of this historic ship (boat).
I communicate with all of you to respectfully request some good PHOTOS of the "James Caird" and possible PLANS.
You can see pictures and information of my small naval museum:

I salute your most prestigious institution,
With compliments,

Juan Mattassi

Sir Ernest Shackleton (posted by Kerry Griffiths, 11 Mar 2011, 06:50)

Hello from New Zealand. I have just finished writing a book on my Great Great Grandfather, curiously he had a photo titled, Sir Ernest Shackleton at Arapua.
I was wondering if there are any references in diaries or such, of Sir Ernest Shackleton visiting Arapua in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, and when this may have occurred.
(My apologies for not publishing the picture but I was hoping to bring it out in the book, along with a few other bombshells!)
Many thanks for any help with this one.

Harry McNish (posted by Michael McNish, 15 Feb 2011, 13:08)

Harry McNish is my great uncle!!!! I was horrified to learn that he wasn't awarded the polar medal due to what seems to be a personality conflict. Surely there is a process that can be followed to have this medal awarded. Are there any URLs or current processes for this cause? I would be grateful for any information.
Harry McNish's grave in Karore Cemetery, Wellington. McNish was born in 1874, the same year as Shackleton, and died in 1930. On the grave is the effigy of 'Mrs. Chippy'. Right, Shackleton's letter recommending four from Endurance, Vincent, McNish, Stephenson and Holness, and two from Aurora be NOT awarded a Polar Medal. Opinion is divided on whether a medal should be awarded posthumously.

JCS Journal (posted by SSF, 18 Jan 2011, 21:20)

George Russell is interested in acquiring back copies of the JCS Journal. Anyone interested please contact the Editor on for more information. There is a LIMITED supply of Number 4 (2008) and Number 5 (2010) still available. Cost - £15 each.See the link 'Journal' on this website for an overview.

"Chippy" & the elusive Polar Medal. (posted by George Russell, 12 Jan 2011, 21:47)

I have not read any of the JCS journals and I would sincerely like to, especially number 4 featuring the elusive Polar Medal article. How can I get a copy?

NEW (posted by Larry Childs, 6 Jan 2011, 01:52)

I re-viewed my Shackleton DVD Set of his explorations for the third time this past few days.

Each time I see it, I believe he was a man ahead of time. True, his focus was what he could accomplish. But, in the end, when it counted he put his men first. This demonstrates character, resolve, truthfulness, a hero if you will, as I view the material.

His granddaughter also spoke during the special features of the DVD. I was so impressed with her. Her presence as she was talking reminded me of Ernest Shackleton.

May God Bless,

Larry Childs
Shackleton's granddaughter, the Hon. Alexandra Shackleton, President of the James Caird Society, photographed beside her grandfather's boat.

Chippy and the 'elusive' Polar Medal. (posted by Stephen Scott-Fawcett, 31 Dec 2010, 16:07)

George Russell canvasses opinion from the members re Chippy's contribution to the 'Endurance' expedition and the issue of a Polar Medal. Did he see the article in the JCS Journal (Number Four) I wonder??

Harry "Chippy" McNeish (posted by George Russell, 21 Dec 2010, 01:15)

Many factors helped the Endurance crew survive but I think without Chippies handiwork the James Caird would not have survived the 650 nautical mile journey which ultimately led to the rescue of all involved.

Therefore I think Harry McNeish deserves a posthumous Polar Medal.

What do others on this forum think about this?
Harry McNish, the ship's carpenter

The American on the Endurance (posted by Jim Aanstoos, 13 Dec 2010, 21:03)

The memoir "The American on the Endurance: Ice, Seas, and Terra Firma Adventures of William Bakewell" is now available directly from the publisher through a new web site:
Book front cover.
Memoirs of William Lincoln Bakewell

G.Shackleton Mrs Shackleton (posted by stuart andrew, 10 Dec 2010, 22:49)

I bought a very old steamer trunk in a junk shop on Seaside road, Eastbourne. The original owner's name stencilled on the trunk is (Cond't???) G.Shackleton and a later owner's name added is Mrs Shackleton.
As the trunk is from Eastbourne and the name Shackleton is applied, could it have any connection with Ernest?

Leonard Hussey's Banjo - Radio 4 documentary (posted by Cathy Corbishley, 3 Dec 2010, 11:00)

There is a documentary on Tuesday 7th December at 1.30 pm on Radio 4 about Leonard Hussey's Banjo. It is repeated at 3.30 pm on Saturday afternoon and will also be on iPlayer for a week after the broadcast.

It is narrated by the folk musician Tim Van Eyken and called Vital Mental Medicine - Shackleton's Banjo.

'Folk musician Tim van Eyken tells the story of how Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) demanded that a banjo belonging to meteorologist Leonard Hussey (1891-1964) be rescued from the ship the Endurance as it sank through pack ice during his Antarctic expedition in 1915. The musician explains how the renowned explorer hoped the music provided by the instrument might preserve the sanity of his stranded crew, and examines the life of Hussey, whose songs ultimately helped his fellow sailors return home safely'

Cathy Corbishley Michel

Reply to S. Terry, William Elgar Leslie (posted by Debbie O'Connell, 18 Nov 2010, 17:51)

Hi. I have been researching the Leslie family as I am also related to them. My Nan's Great Granma was Hannah Kirk, formely Leslie: this is William Leslie's daughter. Hannah and her husband Benjamin travelled abroad, it is believed to Canada; however we can find no official record of this.

With regards to William Elgar Leslie, he was a master boat builder and owned Leslie and Hamblin (1879-1917), Riverside, New Road, Blackwell with Nathaneal Hamblin.

W. and J. Leslie of 36 Cold Harbour, Poplar (Isle of Dogs), listed in P.O commercial Directories for 1920, was owned by William's sons, Walter West Leslie and John Ashcroft Leslie.

(It was W. and J. Leslie who built the 'James Caird' to Frank Worsley's specification. - Ed)

Shackleton Western Australia (posted by Ivor Davies, 3 Nov 2010, 13:06)

Shackleton, the small township in Western Australia, takes its name from Sir Ernest Shackleton.

You can find it by typing 'Our Page in History' into Google; then click on 'Visit a town' and scroll to find Shackleton.

Message from Michael Smith (posted 25 Oct 2010, 11:54)

Front Cover of 'Great Endeavour - Ireland's Antarctic Explorers'

Shackleton, McCarthy, etc (posted by Michael Smith, 23 Oct 2010, 10:55)

The life of Timothy McCarthy, the stalwart of the James Caird voyage, is revealed for the first time in my new book about Ireland's great Antarctic explorers - including Sir Ernest Shackleton.

The book is called Great Endeavour - Ireland's Antarctic Explorers, published by the Collins Press. It deals with 200 years of Antarctic exploration, starting with Bransfield and Crozier in the early 19th century, onto Crean and Shackleton in the 20th and finally the modern day travellers such as Mike Barry and Pat Falvey.
The book contains the most comprehensive account ever published about the lives of Edward Bransfield, Patrick Keohane, Robert Forde and the McCarthy brothers, Mortimer and Tim, plus many previously unseen photographs.

Details on the publishers website -
Or my own website

Missing mast (posted by JCS Web editor, 23 Oct 2010, 10:25)

Curiously enough, Ben, it may be the case that the ones with and without the mizzen both go back to Hurley originals. The reason for its omission from some, or its later insertion, has never been established. The society's website has stuck with its original mizzenless logo, partly so as to tease and intrigue.

On another point, the answer to the question further below about the two other lifeboats, the Dudley Docker and the Stancomb Wills, they were sadly never located or rediscovered, and clearly succumbed to the elements.

The James Caird (posted by Ben Dallimore, 23 Oct 2010, 08:47)

I'm sure that this question has been asked many times, but, The headline photo on your web site of the James Caird being launched from Elephant Island shows her with only one mast but there are other copies of this same pic which show her with a mizzen mast. Someone has 'tipexed' it out. Who and Why?


Deep South Exhibition (posted by Libby Jones, 4 Oct 2010, 20:14)

This exhibition staged at Dulwich is the work of seven artists who have visited the Antarctic Region and South Georgia. It is to be held at Dulwich College from October 25th - November 4th. Admission is free.

As well as the exhibition, visitors will be able to see the 'James Caird' and the accompanying photographs and artifacts associated with Sir Ernest Shackleton's heroic journey.

Poster Deep South

10th Ernest Shackleton Autumn School (posted by Seamus Taaffe, 18 Sep 2010, 15:57)

The Ernest Shackleton School will be held in Athy, County Kildare on the weekend of the 22nd-25th October 2010. Full details of the school are available on the website

Sailing trip to South Georgia (posted by David McLean, 17 Sep 2010, 22:02)

Pelagic Australis, Skip Novak's 72-foot ocean going yacht, is sailing from the Falklands to explore South Georgia around 10 October with a group of SG and Shackleton enthusiasts. There are still a couple of berths left on this 28-day voyage. Skip's deal to JCS members is incredibly substantial. This is a last-minute opportunity to join a trip of a lifetime to the world's most spectacular and remote mountain range which rises sheer out of the sea in the form of South Georgia. I went on the same voyage last year and will happily supply more information on how to take part. - David McLean

Pelagic Australis in Larsen Harbour, South Georgia

'O.H.M.S.' (posted by George Brigham, 12 Sep 2010, 18:34)

I've got a copy of Shackleton's first book;
"Troopin', Troopin', Troopin' to the Sea." "O.H.M.S." An illustrated Record of the voyage of the S.S. "Tintagel Castle"
Published in London in 1900 by Hazell, Watson, and Viney, Ltd., for Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co.

The book is partially disbound but complete.There is also a mark to the front cover and two pages have small tears. Pages are also generally quite grubby too.

Does anyone have any idea of its value please?

front board

South Georgia book back in print (posted by Stephen Venables, 10 Sep 2010, 07:51)

I am bringing out a new edition of my book 'Island at the Edge of the World'. This portrait of South Georgia, first published by Hodder and Stoughton in 1991, was centred around the 1989-90 Southern Ocean Mountaineering Expedition, which made the first ascent of Mt Carse and other peaks on the island. I have now updated the history, and added a special new chapter, illustrated with 16 new pages of colour pictures, on the Shackleton Traverse. I followed the route with Conrad Anker and Reinhold Messner for the 2000 Imax film 'Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure', then again in 2008, leading a team with Skip Novak. (And I am returning in two months. There are still two places available on Pelagic Australis, sailing from Port Stanley on November 13!). The new book is available for £16.99 plus £3.00 p&p at

Island at the Edge of the World new revised edition

What of the Stancomb Wills and the Dudley Docker? (posted by Michael Brady, 8 Sep 2010, 14:02)

The James Caird has been restored and rests in the museum at Dulwich College. I am wondering if the other boats were recovered also, or do the Stancomb Wills and the Dudley Docker remain on Elephant Island? Thank you.

exchange stamps and postal history (posted by marcelo ghio, 30 Aug 2010, 23:18)

hello my name is Marcelo and I want to know islanders to engage in sincere and friendly contact with people who share my hobby: a stamps collector with a special interest in Antarctica postal history.
I apologize if this is not the appropriate site, but I don't know where to go.
to contact, my email is My best wishes to all.

I can tell you something about Stephenson.... (posted by Frank Balistreri, 17 Aug 2010, 03:34)

I can tell you and prove something not known about Ernest Shackelton , he gave W.H. Stephenson a half sheet of the first Polar stamps,signed by him with the following caption "The first Polar stamps ever issued To Captain W.H.Stevenson from E.H.Shackelton Postmaster" after the Endurance...this to a mere stoker! And yet no Polar Medal.These half sheet of stamps were willed to me,along with photos some of which are signed.I have also a means to date the signature....I also have "The Heart of the Antarctic" inscribed;"To Captain Stevenson with kindest regards from E.H.Shackelton,April 1918".Signed on the dust page of the first volume.I've written to you folks,but recieved no response.It's my understanding this illuminates an unknown part of the story.I'll provide high res. photos if anyone wishes.Thank You, Frank Balistreri

Painting of the Caird by John Watson (posted by Barry Goldstein, 1 Aug 2010, 17:31)

Some time ago I purchased a box of the cards of the James Caird painting by John Watson ("The James Caird, underway from Elephant Island ...").

I am working on a Yiddish translation of the three "miracles" in 'South': the boat journey to Elephant Island, the longer boat journey to South Georgia, and the crossing of South Georgia.

I would love to use the Caird picture as a frontispiece, if I can get permission to do so.

Can you direct me to the source of such permission?

Thank you very much.

Barry Goldstein

Endurance Textiles in Quilt exhibition (posted by Cathy Corbishley Michel, 28 Jun 2010, 12:29)

Thankyou for putting details of my upcoming textile exhibition including the Endurance Quilts on the forum. Attached is a picture of one of my two quilts 'Endurance 1, the Ship and the James Caird. The images are copyright of the Royal Geographical Society and the Scott Polar Research institute and are used with permission. The other quilt, Endurance 2, Shackleton and his Men can be seen in the image gallery on our website, which also has dates and opening times etc.

I am giving a talk on the cyanotype technique for producing the pictures on textile on Thursday 29th July at 1pm at the Royal College of Pathologists. If anyone from the James Caird Society is able to attend please make themselves known to me

Cathy Corbishley Michel

Endurance 2, Shackleton and his Men

JMann (posted by holly hicks cantrell, 24 Jun 2010, 23:56)

This is the Signature that goes with the posted painting.

thanks for your help on the worth and birth of this painting.

Seeking information on the painter and worth.

Information on this painting (posted by holly hicks cantrell, 24 Jun 2010, 23:53)

Can anyone give me some information on this J Mann painting and what it is worth. It is pretty old, this much I do know.
I will let you fill me in. I will post one more posting with the signature.

Lake scene
J Mann

Exhibition including work based on the Endurance Exhibition (posted by Dr Cathy Corbishley Michel, 17 Jun 2010, 14:42)

I have made two pieces of textile work based on Frank Hurley's Endurance photographs (with the permission of the Royal Geographical Society) which are to be exhibited in London this summer. Details of the exhibition are as follows. Members of the society and anyone interested in the work and the cyanotype photography technique used to reproduce them on fabric would be welcome to attend. I am giving a free lecture on Cyanotype and the story behind the Endurance pieces on Thursday 29th July. I will be updating the website shortly with photographs of the Endurance textiles.

Quilts at the College 2, Colour and Illusion
An exhibition of Quilts and Textiles including cyanotypes by Cherille Mayhew, Jennifer Hollingdale and Cathy Corbishley Michel
at the Royal College of Pathologists, 2 Carlton House Terrace, London , SW1y 5AF
13th July to 24th September
Monday to Friday 10-4 by telephone appointment (ring 020 7451 6700)
Also Open Days with Demonstrations and Free lectures on Thursdays 29th July and 12th August and open as part of London Open City on Saturday 18th September. (no appointment needed on Open days)

For more information see our website

copyright holder? (posted by S. Tilbury, 15 Jun 2010, 14:55)

Who is the current copyright holder on Shackleton's writings? Or has the copyright expired with the death+70. I am working on a music project and need to know whom to contact re:permission.
Thanks much.

Tom Crean Photo (posted by S. Brown, 10 Jun 2010, 22:43)

I would love to be able to buy a nice print of Tom Crean with the pipe in his mouth. After reading Endurance a couple of times, he is one of my favorite characters and that shot captures the gravity of the moment and the strength of the man.

Does anyone know where I could procure said photo? I would be heartily greatful for advice:



descendant? (posted by Alison Moore (nee Shackleton), 25 May 2010, 02:41)

I would love to know if anyone has the Ernest Shackleton family tree. My father was born and raised in Harden, West Yorkshire. Both he and my grandfather were George Shackleton. The connection with Harden is too much of a coincidence, furthermore, the physical resemblance is also remarkable.


JCS JOURNAL (Number Five) (posted by SSF, 2 May 2010, 22:25)

I am pleased to announce that 'Number Five' is at the printers. The Society proposes to publish this latest academic offering in September/October 2010. The editor believes it will not disappoint. It contains some very interesting articles/essays on the Heroic Age. There are five book reviews and some interesting letters, in response to topics highlighted in Journals Number Three and Number Four.

The advent of the Recession has resulted in fewer sponsors coming forward, which is a shame. It is not too late for a headline sponsor to step in and take 'centre stage'. Should any individual, institution or corporation be interested in supporting the Society in this way please feel free to contact the editor on 07768 766170.

The Journal is a significant publication which seeks to educate members about Sir Ernest Shackleton and his legacy.It seeks, also,to stimulate interest in the polar regions, at large.

The 'Journal' is a quality publication and read widely by polar professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Polar Stamp (posted by SSF, 2 May 2010, 22:10)

Mr Melanson asks about the signed stamp (5/3). I can confirm this inscription/signature is authentic. The stamp itself is not especially rare but the writing makes all the difference. The issuing of stamps down South had two purposes: (1)It enhanced Great Britain's territorial claim; (2)It provided an extra source of funds for the expedition.

As for its value......much will depend on the physical condition of the item. I would suggest £250.00.

Stephen Scott-Fawcett. JCS 'Journal' Editor

New book (posted by William Edmundson, 26 Apr 2010, 16:01)

I am the author of the recently published 'A history of the British presence in Chile' (Palgrave: November 2009).

I researched and wrote extensively about the time that Ernest Shackleton spent in Chile, using primary and secondary sources, including a visit to Punta Arenas.

This book may be of interest to members of the James Caird Society.

William Edmundson.

Hallmarked Silver Cigar Case (posted by Barry Hailes, 17 Apr 2010, 02:20)

Hi...My Name is Barry Hailes I reside in Melbourne, Australia. Recently I viewed a documentary "In Shackletons Footsteps",which I really enjoyed.In a couple of scenes showing an actor as EHS he is seen smoking a cigar.In early 2009 I purchased an silver hallmarked engraved cigar case at an auction.I was told all that was known about the item was that it belonged to a famous Military Captain it is dated 1/11/1902 as the Boer war ended earlier in '02 I set about trying to trace the history of the case in the military records in Canberra

I did not have any success, over Xmas I had some discussions with some friends about the case & I thought I would start again,this time with a sea captain. The case is elaborately engraved EHS. Shackleton came to mind as I had read his book Aurora Australis some years ago. I found out he had the same initials,the date on the case is the night before he left on the Discovery Expedition, is there any record of a presentation made to him before they left or on their return.If you would like some shots of the case I could send them @ your request.

Thank you for your time & regards, Barry

polar medal (posted by Stephanie Lynch, 16 Apr 2010, 19:42)

As a young girl working in a jewellers in Leicester in the 1970's I had a very elderly gentleman (late 80's early 90's) in the shop who wanted his Polar medal remounting for a ceremony he was attending. I remember him telling me he earned it in a 1915 polar expedition. (It had a white watermarked ribbon and when I ordered a length of the ribbon I was told it was a very rare request). It meant nothing to me at that time but in the intervening years I have tried to remember more. I thought his name was Christian, but may have disremembered this. Can anyone tell me who this gentleman living out his last years in Leicester was?

Re Ernest Shackleton (posted by Malcolm Smith, 6 Apr 2010, 16:39)

I have recently acquired a very old photograph album with dozens of major events, one photo is Shackleton's ship. i'm unsure if this is the Endurance or indeed the Nimrod; the photo is in good condition but sadly the photo is taken at distance but i'm fairly sure its the Endurance as the date in the photo gives a penciled in date.

The photo album gives a very historic view from early 1900's to the HMS Hood in dock and seems to be a open day as onboard there are people looking around. if anyone can shed light onto this picture of Shackletons ship would be most welcome.

Kindest regards

Emma's Crew (posted by Fernando Munoz Bonet, 20 Mar 2010, 20:22)

I'm searching the complete crew list from scooner Emma in her rescue attempt to Elephant Island. I'm looking for a crew member from Andorra. Can anybody help me? Thankyou

Letters (posted by Shelagh North-Coombes, 19 Mar 2010, 14:58)

To Whom it may concern

I would very much like to find letters that were written to my father, James Donald Maxwell McLaren, from his mother's first cousin, Sir Ernest Shackleton. My father immigrated to South Africa after WW11. My great grand mother was Amy Maxwell (n. Woosnam )

When my father was a young boy he spent a lot of time in the Shackleton home. His parents were living in India at the time. Sir Ernest Shackleton wrote to my father. My father kept the letters, and at a later time in his life he sent the letters to a son of Sir Ernest Shackelton, in the hopes they would be included in a museum.

My father never heard from the son, and we assume the letters were given to an organization honouring Sir Ernest Shackleton. I would very much like to get copies of said letters, to pass on to my grand children. I do hope you will respond. Thank you.

Shackletons Funeral (posted by Jon Sandison, 6 Mar 2010, 14:53)

Dear all,

Would there be an avenue whereby I could find out further information with regard to Ernest Shackletons Funeral? We know that our Grandad William Sandison was one of the pallbearers. I have enclosed a copy of note and picture from the Shetland Museum and Archive website.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Ernest Shackleton signed stamp (posted by Peter Melanson, 5 Mar 2010, 21:22)

I have in my possession a NZ polar stamp with the following

"One of the first polar stamps issued.
E.H. Shackleton Postmaster"

I would appreciate it if anyone can shed light on the possible value of this stamp, should I wish to sell it.
Thank you,
P. Melanson

E.H. Shackleton Polar stamp

Portrait of Shackleton by Charles Buchel (posted by Peter Jaggard, 8 Jan 2010, 16:35)

The great grand daughter of the artist Charles Buchel (1872-1950) is in possession of three letters written to the artist by Sir Ernest Shackleton.

These relate to arranging sittings by Shackleton for a portrait and to the subsequent collection by Shackleton of the portrait.

All are sent from the Marlborough Club, the first on November 25th 1919, the second on December 21st 1919 and the last on June 22nd 1920.

Has anyone come across the Buchel portrait of Shackleton? It would be most interesting to know what became of it.
For more on the portrait painter Charles Buchel (or to view a larger image of that shown below) visit the National Portrait Gallery's website at and enter 'Buchel' in the Searchbox at top.
The NPG portrait by Buchel of Marguerite Antonia Radclyffe Hall

Polar Medal and McNish Photo (posted by John Mann, 3 Jan 2010, 16:19)

During the past 9 years I have been researching the lives of all the men from "Endurance" - see my website

Having just trawled through some of the postings made on this forum during the past couple of years, I may be able to shed more light on one or two topics:

Why were Holness & Stephenson denied the polar medal?
Probably because they sided too often with the views of Vincent & McNish. Don't also forget the lack of respect and thanks shown by Holness to Shackleton when the boss has risked his own life in saving him from being crushed by the flow. There is also a mention in Orde-Lees's diary during their time in Buenos Aires about two of the seamen having to be sent away to an island due to bad behaviour whilst on shore there.

Here is the official document naming those from the 'Endurance' & 'Aurora' denied the Polar Medal.

Re: a question about the photograph of the carpenter with his plane on the 'Endurance'. This is NOT McNish. It is Lionel Greenstreet.

Hope this is of help.

John M.
For information about Shackleton's crew, visit

The Sir James Caird lifeboat (posted by Sue Terry, 4 Dec 2009, 21:06)

Dear JCSF,

I thought this info might interest you about the builders of the James Caird lifeboat, in which Shackleton and five men sailed to safety and saved all their crew.

My second cousin in Canada has brought to my attention that the (Sir) James Caird was built by the sons of my great-great-grandfather, William Elgar Leslie.

From my notes John Ashcroft Westbrook Leslie (Jack) was apprenticed in his father's boatyard and Walter West Leslie was a professional blacksmith and insurance agent who worked from offices in his father's boatyard. It may be these two sons who were the W & J of W J Leslie at Coldharbour; although there were also sons named William James Leslie and John William Leslie, one of whom owned a ship's chandler's shop at Rotherhithe.

Years ago I went to see the site of W J Leslie's barge building works in Coldharbour; but it had been redeveloped with flats by about 1999 when I took the photos.

There was a graving dock on the site, if you look at the old O/S map. I am relying on another cousin's husband's notes from many years ago, so am not 100% sure of the family members' details without a bit more delving, but I do possess a group photo of the family, which does not include my great-grandmother, who sat with her own large family in a separate photo.

Ironically, although they were a large family (there were also four sisters (daughters), it was only my great- grandmother who continued the tradition and herself had a large family. Most of the Leslies either didn't marry or married and didn't have any children. One other sister married and did have children, but neither child produced any offspring.

I was very excited to learn that Shackleton's ship's lifeboat now on display at Dulwich College was built by the brothers W & J Leslie and will most likely visit the boat with my second cousin when she comes over from Canada in January.

I will try to attach the photo later on, but need first to find it on a dvd.

Best Wishes,
S. Terry

What's the connection between Robert MacPherson and Ernest Shackleton (posted by Dave Fall, 15 Nov 2009, 22:21)

Hi there

Have a copy of South, edition Dec 1919, there's an inscription which reads: J. D. C. Drew from Robert McPherson, London, June 3, 1995.

Does it mean anything to anyone . . . I live in Cape Town, South Africa (for my sins) and don't have a clue - but it appears to be a rather interesting inscription . . .

James Caird restoration (posted by Tony Briselden, 7 Nov 2009, 12:11)

I knew the James Caird when it was originally at Dulwich College. It was in a sorry state in a structure which was virtually a cage having vertical bars in front of it and very much open to the weather. It was there in the 50's and I presume stayed there until it went to the NMM and was restored.

However the difference between the boat then and now is considerable and being a bit of a cynic I wonder how much of the original boat remains. Does anyone know?

Shackleton Epic Expedition (posted by Patty, 27 Oct 2009, 21:20)

Oh, MY! Am I reading correctly that in 2010 someone is making or reenacting the epic voyage of Shackleton in a replica of the James Caird, in period clothing?
I hope this is going to be documented in film.

reply to Peter Butt (posted by JCS Web Editor, 22 Oct 2009, 20:58)

Dear Peter,
To be honest, I was fooled by this one myself. In fact, I've received several personal enquiries asking, very reasonably, the same question.

The answer is, it's a replica. The real JC is still safely tucked up (currently, at least) in the North Cloister at Dulwich College, where it can be visited in termtime.

Only when I visited the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich quite recently (although my father frequently took us there when my two sisters and I were children) with a few other JCS stalwarts who were generously shown around by NMM staff - our eyes were opened in lots of ways by that visit - did I realise that the Museum (which was responsible for preserving and finally restoring & re-rigging the James Caird in the late 1960s) have expertly made an exact replica of her, either at the time of the restoration and/or its return to Dulwich College or (perhaps more likely) - from the plans they had retained - at the time when they mounted their 'South' (Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen) Exhibition a few years ago, back in 2001.

It's that rather awe-inspiring replica, now on permanent display, that visitors see now, whenever they visit the National Maritime Museum; and unnervingly life-like it is too, like the real thing.

I particularly liked the low lighting in that room, which lends the boat an eerie yet also peculiarly intimate feel, befitting her perilous role in those dark days of the horrendous escape from the ice and the danger-fraught crossing to South Georgia - both achieved only through the New Zealand skipper Frank Worsley's superb navigation.

Worsley himself was a revered lecturer at The Royal Naval College in Greenwich in later life, incidentally, during the 1930s and 1940s. His funeral took place there, at the Royal Naval College Chapel in Greenwich, with full naval honours and an impressive, sombre cortege (see below) following his death on 1 February 1943, just three weeks short of his 71st birthday (Frank was two years older than Shackleton).

Frank's ashes were scattered at sea. For a biog, see (media-photo-frank-worsley) of which I found this paragraph especially striking...

'On his return to England in April 1917 Worsley returned to the Royal Naval Reserve to serve in the First World War. He spent 10 months at sea commanding 'Q-ships' to combat Germany's U-boats. Shackleton then requested Worsley's assistance organising transport and equipment for the North Russia Expeditionary Force sent by the Allies to support anti-Bolshevik forces.'

Hope this helps!!
All best,

Roderic Dunnett,
JCS Web Editor

James Caird (posted by Peter Butt, 21 Oct 2009, 14:23)

I thought that I saw the James Caird at the National Maritime Museum a couple of weeks ago. (See your home page.)
- Peter Butt

Arrol Johnston - where is it? (posted by Fred, 20 Oct 2009, 14:46)


A volunteer researcher at the Museum of Transport in Glasgow is trying to track this car down.


A good shot of the spare wheel, left behind in the Antartic, can be found at

Another photo can be found at



Denial of Polar Medal (posted by John B Kain, 9 Oct 2009, 09:53)

Having visited Antarctica and having devoured my copy of South, I'm left with one enduring question which I can't seem to find a definitive answer for.

Why were Stephenson and Holness denied the Polar medal?

It is clear Vincent and McNeish were punished for breaches of discipline, but there seems no obvious reason for denying Stephenson and Holness. Their specific jobs (stoking the boiler) ended with the loss of the Endurance, this is clear, but that was hardly their fault, so I am left slightly bemused.

I would be very grateful for any information that sheds some light on the matter.

Many thanks,

John B Kain.

Message from indiveri vittorio (posted 8 Oct 2009, 11:37)

I would like to known where the other two safeboats of the Endurance, Stancomb Wills and Dudley Docker, are located (if they still exist).

Ernest Shackleton Signature and crew (posted by Michael Whitehouse, 8 Oct 2009, 00:23)

Hi there, I was wondering if anyone could help me value some Shackleton books I recently purchased.

The books are 'The Heart of the Antarctic' volumes 1 & 2, which I believe to be First Editions. The 2nd volume also contains three maps and a fold up illustration. The 1st volume contains a mystery signature from someone called Colonel Gordon Wilson.

In addition to these books I also own 'South' by Ernest Shackleton. Inside, it has the following publishing dates: First Published 1919, New Impression December 1919, Reprinted January 1920, Reprinted March 1920. So therefore is not a First Edition.

This book is signed by Ernest Shackleton as well as seven further signatures from members of the expedition. The signatures are: E.SHACKLETON (Team Leader),F.A.WORSLEY (Captain of Endurance), L.RICKENSON (Cheif Engineer), L.HUSSEY (Meteorologist), F.WILD (Second in Command), J.McILROY (Surgeon) and two more signatures I can't translate due to the handwriting.

I have searched the internet to seek authentication as well as a valuation of the books and signatures, but without success.

I have added here a photo of the signatures. I would be incredibly gratful if you could help me with a valuation or point me in the right direction to gain further information about the books.

Message from Mathias Heyneck (posted 21 Sep 2009, 19:16)

I am selling original material belonging to my Grandfather, who was First Engineer aboard the MS Deutschland in 1911 with Wilhelm Filchner's Antarctic Expedition

If anyone is interested interested in these, please send me an e-mail to

Mathias Heyneck
Tel. 00 49 30 1452 2200

The original diary of my grandfather who was First Engineer aboard the MS DEUTSCHLAND during the Wilhelm Filchner 1911 German Antarctic Expedition.
Original photos from the famous Wilhelm Filchner expedition of 1911 which took place between the Shackleton NIMROD and ENDURANCE expeditions and shortly before that of Mawson.  The Filchner Ice Shelf was named after the party's leader,  whose exploits Shackleton admired.

9th Ernest Shackleton Autumn School (posted by Seamus Taaffe, 16 Sep 2009, 10:53)

The 9th Ernest Shackleton Autumn School will held on the weekend of the 23-26th October 2009 in Athy, County Kildare, Ireland.
Details of the school can be found on the website -
A downloadable .pdf of the brochure for the school will be available on the website shortly.
The 9th Ernest Shackleton Autumn School will take place from 23-26 October 2009. The film event will be hosted by Dr Huw Lewis-Jones, Curator of Art at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge and Dr Russell Potter, Professor of English at Rhode Island College. See

South Polar Times (posted by Lorna Lyons-Lewis, 28 Jul 2009, 21:53)

I have the numbered copy No. 118 of Vol. III of the South Polar Times which is in near perfect condition. The cover is just a little worse for wear. Has anyone any idea of its value or can you tell me who I can contact in the U.K. who would be able to help.
Lorna Lyons-Lewis, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa

NIMROD-Journal of the Ernest Shackleton Autumn School (posted by Seamus Taaffe, 24 Jul 2009, 16:07)

Volume 2 of Nimrod, the journal of the Ernest Shackleton Autumn School, was published by Athy Heritage Centre-museum in October 2008. Copies are on sale from the Athy Heritage Centre-Museum, Ireland for 12 euros, post and packing extra. For contact details go to their website
This year's articles cover subjects such as The Crew of S.Y.Endurance, Conundrums over Arctic Sovereignty and Antarctic Sites outside the Antarctic.
Volume 3 will be published in October 2009 and will be available for sale at the 9th Ernest Shackleton Autumn School.

Scout Marr and The Quest (posted by Colin Walker, 12 Jul 2009, 09:05)

A correspondent to this Forum in 2007 (Rory Keltie, below) asks if the names of the Scouts who accompanied Shackleton on his final voyage are known. They are indeed. On my Scout History Website there is a lengthy article with many photographs entitled "Scout Marr and the Quest" which features the history of both Scout Marr who was with Shackleton when he died (and was himself later to become a leading polar scientist and the Commander of Operation Tabarin) and Scout Moody who unfortunately with others had to be taken off the Quest at Lisbon after a horrendous storm which caused damage to the vessel.
A direct link to the article is
Also if you access the main site (at will find another article about Eagle Scout Paul Siple, who later using the 'model' created by Marr also won a competition to accompany Byrd to the Antarctic. Paul Siple also went on to become his country's leading Polar scientist - leading the 1957 Geophysical Year 'Little America' base at the South Pole.

Shackleton's signature (posted by Jonathan Shackleton, 17 Jun 2009, 21:27)

With reference to the May discussion about Shackleton's signature. I also have quite a few examples and this one is not genuine.

Cruises to Elephant Island and South Georgia (posted by Jonathan Shackleton, 17 Jun 2009, 21:22)

Reply to Sr Makujina's inquiry

There are plenty of cruises that visit South Georgia - refer to the following website: (look at Antarctic Quest, Explorers Route and New Departures. Also look at

Elephant Island is another matter often avoided by ships that are travelling between Peninsula and South Georgia - its location on the edge of the Drake Passage make any landing very uncertain and it can be foggy as well so you cannot even see the island. It is off the beaten track and takes extra time from a usually tight schedule. Expedition leaders say there is a one in ten chance of a landing - that having been said I have landed 4 out of 6 times(including once at Cape Lookout rather than Point Wild).

However for the real enthusiast it is impressive just to see the god awful place where the 22 men from the "Endurance" waited over 4 months to be rescued. Half an hour was enough for me.

SHACKLETON AUTUMN SCHOOL (posted by Seamus Taaffe, 16 Jun 2009, 11:09)

The 9th Ernest Shackleton Autumn School will be held in Athy, County Kildare, Ireland over the weekend of the 23-26th October 2009. Preliminary details of the programme are available on the new autumn school website -

South Georgia Elephant Island Cruise (posted by SR MAKUJINA, 15 Jun 2009, 21:43)

Can anyone recommend cruise ships that stop at Elephant Island and South Georgia?

Elephant Island (posted by Stephen Scott-Fawcett, 4 Jun 2009, 19:30)

Mark Walker asks whether Elephant Island has been re-visited since 1916. Most certainly it has! In fact numerous tourists have been by now. The first serious effort to establish the whereabouts of the little camp (+ possible artefacts) was by Chris Furze (leader) in 1970 (Joint Services Expedition). 14 men spent 4 months on the island. Nothing significant was found other than a wrecked sailing brig.

Recent return to Elephant island (posted by Mark Walker, 27 May 2009, 17:33)

Has anyone ever returned to Elephant Island, since the rescue. I often wonder what artifacts, if any, have remained.

Shackletons ancestry (posted by Maureen Jones, 27 May 2009, 03:13)

I am researching the Gavan family women who came to Australia in the 1840's. They were sisters of John Henry Gavan, Ernest Shackleton's maternal grandfather. They were the children of the Rev. John Gavan of Wallstown, County Cork. Emily Gavan took up land in Victoria and became a very successful pastoralist providing for her four sisters, her brother in law and his sister. She was practical, a shrewd business woman and a generous benefactor. In her will she left a bequest of £1,000 to Shackleton's mother Henrietta, her niece, in 1898. She was generous to individuals as well as to organizations, including giving £1,000 to The Church of Ireland Society for the Widows and Children of Clergymen. I would appreciate any leads on the Gavan ancestry.
I have just finished reading Worsley's "Shackleton's Boat Journey" and am amazed at their endurance.
Thanks for a great website.
Maureen Jones
Henrietta Letitia Sophia Gavan (28 Sept 1845 - 14 Sept 1926), Ernest Shackleton's mother.

Thanks (posted by Simon Langley, 14 May 2009, 07:49)

Thanks to the two correspondents who replied to my letter. The digit I thought was 2 is smaller and less clear than the 1, 9 or 6 so it could be 0. Which would be interesting because Reginald Reed was in the 1906 Olympics.

If it isn't Shackleton's signature, the mystery deepens. Assuming the book was signed in 1906, was he well known enough for people to copy his signature? But of course a later forger could put any date. I hadn't realised the world contained forgers of Shackleton's signature. How innocent I am.

Still I bought the book for Fitzgerald's slightly OTT Victorianism so the signature just remains an interesting puzzle. Thank you again for your time -

"... the Bird of Time has but a little way to Fly,
And Lo, the Bird is on the Wing ...."

as Khayyam said.


Re Shackleton signature in book (posted by Mrs. E. Wood, 8 May 2009, 12:34)

Re Simon Langley's enquiry - I believe that the date IS ACTUALLY 1906 - and reflects the style of writing a zero which leaves it looking like a two.
One would have to authenticate the signature.
The full signature and date in question

Shackleton's signature in a book (posted by Stephen Scott-Fawcett, 7 May 2009, 19:56)

Simon Langley asks whether the signature in his book is genuine. I regret to say it is NOT! Quite apart from the date of 1926 (4 years after Shackleton's death) the handwriting is a very crude copy. I have 14 examples of EHS's real signature. I'm sorry to say Simon's example is not genuine.
Stephen Scott-Fawcett FRGS
JCS Journal Editor.
Shackleton, Worsley and Crean's Signatures in the guestbook at Punta Arenas, Chile following their arrival there in  1916.

Books on Shackleton by Reardon Publishing (posted by Nicholas Reardon, 4 May 2009, 22:01)

Hi, just checking if Forum readers and JCS members have details on our Antarctic books:-
'Discovery' Illustrated
'Nimrod' Illustrated
'Dog Days in Antarctica'
'Antarctic Journals of Reginal Skelton'.
You can see them at
For more details, please visit or contact me at our general website,
Kind regards,
Nicholas Reardon

(See also - Ed.)
To celebrate the centenary of Shackleton's expedition comes 'Nimrod Illustrated', a remarkable collage of over 500 expedition photographs, paintings and ephemera recalling the scrapbooks kept by so many expedition participants of the time. Many of the images are rarely seen or unpublished. Together with quotations from diaries, they tell the story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909.
For more on Nimrod, Discovery, Edmund Wilson, Reginald Skelton etc., visit where you can also find 'Songs of the Morning (Music CD) - Music and poems from the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration' ,

Shackleton 1926? (posted by Simon Langley, 1 May 2009, 22:28)

I have an edition of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (pub 1900). It is inscribed with the bookplate of Reginald Charles Reed (British Olympian 1906, ex Durham University). There is a signature "Ernest H Shackleton, 1926" Does this make any sense? Shackleton I know was dead by then but the signature looks like two examples I've found on the web (I'm not a Shackleton expert). Reed's name has been stamped onto the page but Shackleton is hand written.
Book with Shackleton's signature?
Is this Shackleton's signature?

Valuation of Pocket Watch (posted by Ms. E. Wood, 21 Apr 2009, 22:09)

I am seeking the possible valuation of pocket watch, not working, crystal missing and only one hand. purchased at T.Eaton Co of Canada in Winnipeg, Manitoba and given to (and well used by) my husband's grandfather A.C. Wood.

Watch engraved
"presented to A.C. Wood by Lieut Sir Ernest Shackleton June 3, 1910"

This date is prior to the 1914-16 Antarctica expedition but I believe Sir Ernest was in Winnipeg, Manitoba to unveil a plaque for the newly formed Women's Historical Society.

Any information on possible value would be greatly appreciated.

Reply to Aldous, John re. Shackleton Books (posted by JCS Web Editor, 20 Apr 2009, 09:06)

If you go to you will find a number of suggestions for your reading about Shackleton. Possibly the most useful for your immediate purposes would be Caroline Alexander's bestselling and well illustrated book Endurance, of which you will find good second hand copies are available from Amazon. For those especially interested in the James Caird, the best is Harding McGregor Dunnett's book Shackleton's Boat which you will also find listed there. There are some earlier biographies of Shackleton by M&J Fisher, Alfred Lansing etc.; a range of large format pictorial books, such as The Shackleton Voyages by Julie Summers and David Rowley, published by Weidenfeld and Nicholson (new edition 2003); and Roland Huntford's very full and up to date biography is still available in paperback from a range of sources including and Amazon.
Huntford's landmark 1990s biography Shackleton, still available in paperback

book (posted by aldous john, 15 Apr 2009, 23:18)


I'm interested in reading material regarding Shackleton, I know next to nothing about him. Could anyone advise me as to a good book to start with?

Many thanks,

John Aldous

Shackleton & Leadership (posted by Simon, 6 Apr 2009, 15:56)

Are there any books or articles that are directly linked to leadership?

Arrol-Johnston (posted by Peter Gross, 2 Apr 2009, 06:57)

Can any one tell me what happened to the Arrol-Johnston car that was taken down to the Pole? I see one of the wheels is still there and the skis for the front, but no other information seems to be available.

(See also entries below from Alvaro Casal Tatlock and G.M.Naul, plus accompanying pictures - Ed)

BBC Timewatch 4 April 2009 - an amendment (posted by Giles Hobson, 26 Mar 2009, 20:12)

Further to my previous posting, 'Timewatch: In Shackleton's Footsteps' is now to be broadcast on BBC2 from 8.40-9.40 p.m. on Saturday, 4 April, 40 minutes later than the previously scheduled time.
'Nimrod descendants' Will Gow, Henry Worsley and Henry Adams prepare to make their attempt on the South Pole: their recreation of Shackleton's inward journey from the Ross Sea culminating in his 'Furthest South' of January 1909 can be seen on BBC Timewatch.

The James Caird (posted by Tom Burke, 20 Mar 2009, 22:01)


I was wondering would you have knowledge of how the James Caird, was brought to England from South Georgia island in 1919.
I would appreciate any information that you may have surrounding that event.

Tom Burke

Wally Herbert (posted by JCS web editor, 17 Mar 2009, 01:19)

A memorial evening in honour of Sir Wally Herbert, pioneering polar explorer, and his travelling companion, the leading glaciologist Dr. Fitzroy (Fritz) Koerner, will be held at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Tuesday 7 April 2009 at 7 p.m. to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the 1969 British Trans-Arctic expedition and their epic achievement in reaching the North Pole.

Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR ( Doors open at 6.15. The map room bar will be open before and after the celebrations. Admission to the RGS is free for this event and no booking is necessary. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Kari Herbert at The celebrations will include film, story-telling, tributes from leading polar figures and reminiscences from the Herbert and Koerner families.

Wally Herbert's's daughter, Kari Herbert of Polar World, also writes that in recognition of the actual anniversary (29 May 2009) she is endeavouring to find funding to digitise approx 1,500 - 2,000 historic polar images from the Herbert Collection, a valuable and even essential record of her father's time in the Antarctic and Arctic, as well as of the British Trans-Arctic Expedition, which would then be made available to researchers online. The project needs just £3-4,000 pounds and can start as soon as funding is amassed. If anyone can offer help, suggestions for funding or actual financial assistance, please do contact Kari Herbert at
Wally Herbert and his team at the Pole, 29 May 1969

Message from Pam White (posted 14 Mar 2009, 20:36)

I have 4 books written by Thomas Birks The Victory of Divine Goodness, The Ways of God,Matter and Ether, Difficulties of Belief. They have labels in the front stating Ernest H. Shackleton. Inside, they have the words Ernest Noel. One says something like Trin Cole 58 or 53.
The date of publishing and the handwritten notes within the chapters corespond with his life. How can I research to find out if they belonged to him. Any direction you can give me would be appreciated

BBC Timewatch on Shackleton: 4 April 2009 (posted by Giles Hobson, 10 Mar 2009, 23:56)

Forum viewers, contributors and members may wish to have early warning that on Saturday 4 April the BBC's Timewatch series will be transmitting an edition devoted to Shackleton's 'Nimrod' Expedition and the recently concluded Shackleton Centenary Expedition.

The hour-long programme is scheduled for broadcast in the UK on BBC2 from 8.00-9.00 pm. on Saturday, 4 April.

(NB this timing has now been amended to 8.40 p.m. - see fresh entry above - Ed.)

Ernest Shackelton signed half sheet stamps (posted by Frank Balistreri, 14 Feb 2009, 00:44)

hello all, I have in my posession a half sheet of stamps from the Nimrod expedition. they are in good condition. they were examined by Christie's and Southerby's and are genuine. most importantly, they are inscribed "the first polar stamps ever issued, to capt. W.F.Steveason from E.H.Shackelton, postmaster" the stamp sheet bears the number 2378090. I am very curious as to who Capt.Steveason was and if this article (item) is important. any help would be apreciated, sincerely, Frank Balistreri

To Dave Kearns re Blackborow (posted by JCS Web editor, 14 Feb 2009, 00:10)

Dave - I assume you got in touch with Perce's grandson, John Blackborow, in South Wales before making the trip to Newport to see Perce's grave?
Perce Blackborow (left) with Mrs.Chippy on board 'Endurance'; and (right) in later life.

EHS Naval Cap badges (posted by Colin Evans, 7 Feb 2009, 15:43)

Could someone please tell me the Cap badge EHS has in the photos of him in Naval uniform ?
There appear to be 2:
One like an oval badge - see Photo attached (of Kenneth Branagh as Shackleton).
The other like a regular naval badge with a crown and gold laurel leaves.

Shackleton's 'South' (posted by JCS web editor, 6 Feb 2009, 21:39)

Giorgio (see below) may find this picture of the cover of Shackleton's 'South' useful.

It is taken from the First Edition, First Impression of Shackleton's 'South' (Wm. Heinemann, 1919), in the original midnight-blue cloth, with spine and upper cover lettered in silver and a large block of the Endurance in silver, plus colour frontispiece, folding map and 87 plates.

It is offered for sale (as of today) at £3,000 sterling (Stock Code 40424) sterling by the antiquarian bookseller and Rare Book Dealer of the Year Peter Harrington - visit their website,

From an impressive stock Harrington's also currently offer three further copies of the First Edition, at £3,750, £3,750 and £3,500 sterling respectively; and two copies of the First Edition, New (Second) Impression - issued by Heinemann one month after the First - at £950 and £975 sterling respectively. Call +44 (0)20 7591 0220 or see their website for fuller details.
Shackleton's South, First Edn., 1919

Nov 2008 - Visit to S.Georgia and Elephant Island (posted by Tim Franey, 26 Dec 2008, 11:38)

I have just returned from a cruise that included visits to S.Georgia and Elephant Island.

As an Old Alleynian (former pupil of Dulwich College, 1955-64) I grew up with the James Caird housed in a part of the new swimming pool buildings constructed in about 1956. I have always wanted to visit S.Georgia, the start and finish of Shackleton's Endurance expedition. So to stand by his grave at Grytviken, as well as to see (we could not land because of bad weather) Elephant Island, was an achievement of a lifelong ambition.

At Grytviken Museum, I presented on behalf of the School a print of the James Caird in the North Cloisters. Hopefully it will be put on display with many other exhibits about Shackleton displayed there, which include some donated by OA's from around the world.

Blackborrow (posted by Dave Kearns, 10 Dec 2008, 17:49)

Hello there Perce married one of my dads family,I have been looking into my family history from Pill in Newport,where the Blackborrows and us the Kearns family all lived for a while in the same street.I say for a while it seems my grandad moved around the area quite alot to avoid the rent man,dragging my dad and his brother and many sisters with him.We recently visited Newport to visit uncle Perces grave but could not locate it this time.Have saved many pictures from web and am going to create a folder for my lad to keep to keep the memory of that trip alive.

Elephant Island (posted by Stephen Scott-Fawcett, 20 Nov 2008, 22:39)

D Beauvoisin asks about the 'Dudley Docker' and 'Stancombe Wills'. Sadly, they were left to their fate on shore.

Message from D Beauvoisin (posted 31 Oct 2008, 19:35)

Does anyone know whatever happened to the shelter left on Elephant Island or was it just left there.

Endurance blueprints (posted by Stephen Scott-Fawcett, 10 Oct 2008, 12:26)

Fernando asks about the Endurance blueprints. Shane Murphy informs me that they are at the Hvalfangstmuseet, the whaling museum in Sandefjord, Norway. You will need to write and request information. Go to

If anyone manages to get a page of the refrigerator blueprint, Shane would be pleased to receive a copy - email

Also, take a look at

Ernest Shackleton Autumn School (posted by Seamus Taaffe, 22 Aug 2008, 10:00)

The details of the 8th Ernest Shackleton Autumn School are now available at The weekend will run from the 24th-27th October 2008

8th Ernest Shackleton Autumn School

Endurance Blueprints (posted by fernando bustos, 4 Aug 2008, 18:29)

Dear Gentlemen:

Is there a way to get hold of a copy of Endurance's blueprints? I see others have enquired on this Forum regarding this subject though I could find no published reply.

Could you please comment?

Congratulations for a most fine web page.

Kind regards,
Fernando Bustos

Shackleton in Kennington (posted by S. Martin, 10 Jul 2008, 14:32)

I read somewhere that,at some point in his life, Shackleton lived at 63 Kennington Park Road, London SE11.

I cannot remember where I read this but I wonder if anyone can verify it for me. I live in Kennington Park Road.

Thank you

Ernest Shackleton Autumn School (posted by Seamus Taaffe, 19 Jun 2008, 09:09)

The 8th Ernest Shackleton Autumn School will be held in Athy, County Kildare Ireland on the weekend of the 24-27th October 2008.

Now established as the premier Polar event in Ireland, the Ernest Shackleton school attracts visitors from all over the world.

Full details of the weekend will be available at the website ( from the end of June. By the end of May preliminary details will on the website of the Athy Heritage Centre-Museum.

Thomas Crean (posted by Richard J. Moran, 17 Jun 2008, 12:18)


This is a message for John Crean who posted a question on the 6th November 2007, regarding a possible family connection through his great grandfather to the late great Tom Crean.

I am conducting some genealogical research into his origins in and around Annascaul in Co. Kerry, Ireland, with a view to a Biography.

I would therefore be very interested if you could contact me through the following email address:

Likewise, if any potential relatives would like to get in touch, I would be most grateful.

Many thanks and best regards,

Richard J. Moran.

JCS Journal Number Four (posted by Stephen Scott-Fawcett, 5 Jun 2008, 22:27)

I thought folk might like to know that the next issue of the JCS Journal (Number Four) is now at the printers and is due to be published in October 2008.Items include: An original essay by Michael Smith on the Nimrod Expedition 1907/9; Comments on and extracts from McNish's Diary; An account of the Antarctic Treaty; Background articles by Michael Rosove and Meredith Hooper regarding their recent publications; Letters to the Editor, 3 book reviews and more beside. I have included some original pen and ink illustrations by Grace Turzig (Walter How's niece) and some fine photos of Palmer Station and its penguin colonies. The front cover contains an original oil painting of Shackleton(by Martin Gowar) commissioned by me last year. Martin was at Grammar School with me back in the late sixties. Stephen Scott-Fawcett (JCS Journal Editor)

marston painting (posted by Penelope Nelson, 5 Jun 2008, 02:21)

Can anyone please tell me the price gained at auction in 2006 by that Marston painting of the Aurora?

thank you

Penelope Nelson
Sydney Australia

(At CHRISTIE'S POLAR SALE at King Street, London on Wed 27 Sept 2006, a Marston oil painting 'Aurora Australis', of interest because Marston painted t on venesta board and the back of the painting has stenciled lettering. This is the same material used for binding the book 'Aurora Australis'. The estimate was £15,000-20,000.)

Book - 'Shackleton's Boat: the Story of the James Caird' (posted by Lenny Taylor, 29 May 2008, 23:05)

To Chris Taylor (below)
If you go to the website you can find copies for sale. The least expensive copy now listed is US $56.80.

Men wanted for Hazardous Journey (posted by Amy Jane Ward, 29 May 2008, 13:38)

In a message dated 28/05/2008 11:00:37 GMT Daylight Time,

I wonder if anyone can help me?

I am looking to purchase the original newspaper article that Shackleton ran, the one which reads...

"Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success. Ernest Shackleton"

I would be grateful for any leads or suggestions towards tracking down the original newspaper advertisement.

Many thanks in advance.


(The advertisement must have run in 1913 or 1914. Despite many attempts we have been unable to locate this famous article although we still believe it to be genuine. However in the absence of firm evidence, Roland Huntford (Shackleton, p 365) casts doubt on this, although produced no evidence to the contrary. - Ed)

WANTED: Shackleton's Boat book (posted by Chris Taylor, 14 May 2008, 15:20)

I would like to get hold of a good copy of 'Shackleton's Boat: the Story of the James Caird'. The publishers have run out of copies and the Amazon site is either from the USA or way over priced. I would like to get a copy as a gift for my godfather in NZ for his 85th as Shackleton is one of his heroes.

Endurance (posted by John Turnbull, 10 May 2008, 00:53)

Sorry, I made a mistake the name below is not Pattern but Leonard Patten. Thanks John Turnbull

Vessel Endurance (posted by John Turnbull, 6 May 2008, 03:00)

I have a sketch done by Leonard Pattern with kind regards to Len Hoare. This was sketched at the West Indies Dock in June 1914 of the Vessel Endurance. Could anyone tell me anything about it please. Thanks John Turnbull

Arctic Kites - Flip Byrnes (posted by Richard Sunderland, 1 May 2008, 15:24)

Austalian Flip Byrnes,great granddaughter of Frank Hurley (photographer on Shackleton's Expedition) is currently with my son Christopher Sunderland, his fiancee Rachel Owen and 2 others on the 640km Arctic Kites Expedition. They are crossing Greenland from east to west coast, using skis and ski sails.
See full details at:
and also:
(See also article on the main JCS News page - Ed.)

Mysterious Watercolour... (posted by Rupert Maas, 10 Apr 2008, 04:17)

We have this watercolour, and we don't know who it is by, but its age and authenticity are apparent. David Wilson has told us that it is not in his opinion by his uncle Dr Edward Wilson. It is too abstract and the handwriting is not his. He did however suggest that it might have been done by Apsley Cherry Garrard. Has anyone got an opinion about it? I would be grateful if you would email us directly ( as well as post to this forum because I am not a regular visitor!

20th Century British
Glacier Glow by Night
Water-colour; inscribed 'Glacier Glow by Night'; further inscribed 'Glacier gleaming by night. Only a rough sketch but gets the feathery feel of the rocks and the uncanny gleam ... heavy cloud';
4.25 x 8 inches

EXHIBITED: The Campden Gallery Ltd (old label)

Glacier watercolour

Lost Men (posted by Martin, 31 Mar 2008, 23:03)

In reply to Marcus Light's enquiry about Shackleton's lost men, check out the book by Lennard Bickel, "Shackleton's Forgotten Men"

I've read Bickel's book, "Mawson's Will" which was a superb account of Mawson's tragic expedition. " Shackleton's Forgotten Men" has excellent reviews and is next on my list to buy.

Good luck...

"Shackleton's Forgotten Men" is published by Pimlico (Random House, 2001). See also Denis O'Connell's reply "The Ross Sea Shore Party" below - Ed.

Polar Medal (posted by Michael Smith, 28 Mar 2008, 14:33)

In response to Ken Wood's question about the four men from Endurance who were denied the Polar Medal, they were:

Holness, McNeish (or McNish), Stephenson and Vincent.

Polar medals (posted by Ken Wood, 27 Mar 2008, 05:55)

I am great admirer of Shackleton and his men, in fact I teach his Leadership principles. Can anyone please tell me who were the four men who were denied the Polar Medal?

I know of McNish & Vincent: who were the others?

Many thanks

Ken Wood
Adelaide, Australia

Publishing in the Antarctic. Shackleton (posted by Denis O' Connell, 25 Mar 2008, 10:08)

Just a little trivia for those who revel in minutiae.

I recently visited the Alexander Turnbull reference library in Wellington NZ to view an original copy of 'Aurora Australis' (the 1907-1908 edition, 'Printed at the Sign of 'The Penguins' by Joyce and Wild and published at the Winter Quarters of the British Antarctic (Nimrod) Expedition, 1907 during the Winter Months of April, May, June, July, 1908. Illustrated with Lithographs and Etchings by George Marston; with an introduction by Mary P. Goodwin and contributions by T. W. Edgeworth David ('Ascent of Mount Erebus'), Nemo, A Messman, Putty, Lapsus Linguae, A.F.M., Shellback, James Murray, and Douglas Mawson.)

It is a fascinating book, if only for the conditions under which it was constructed. The paper used by Wild and Co. had a watermark with the makers 'Abbey Mills, Greenfield' and I assume all copies were constructed with this supply from Abbey Mills.

I have worked in the paper industry for about 20 years and had never heard of this company until recently. Last year a friend of mine died; and in the clearout of the lady's house, a book of paper samples from 'Abbey Mills' was discovered by the relatives and was presented to me as no one else wanted it. There was no mention of Greenfield in the sample book and it remained a mystery. Now the loop has been closed as I had worked on a site (in 1998) which was then known to me as 'Robert Fletchers, Greenfield'. This company has now sadly gone as well. It was situated in Greenfield, near Oldham, Manchester.

Lectures available via the Society's web pages? (posted by Barry Goldstein, 21 Mar 2008, 19:37)

I just received the announcement of Paul Rose's lecture. I would love to attend this lecture (and all the others over the years), but that's not going to happen, given that I live in the US.

It would serve all of the membership that for one reason or another cannot attend the lectures in person to have something from them posted on the Society's web pages. At least the text, though in this day and age it would be relatively easy to make the actual lecture available, with sound and picture(s) as delivered.

Is there any chance of this ever happening?



HURLEY PHOTO (posted by Douglas Cluff, 16 Mar 2008, 20:58)

I've seen two different photographs of the James Caird being launched. One shows it being launched with just one mast, like the Photo on the James Caird Society home page. The other is the photo in both "South" and Frank Hurley's book. They show the boat being launched with two masts. Any thoughts or information would be most hephful.

Dominic Beauvoisin (posted by Christopher Beauvoisin, 10 Mar 2008, 18:52)


Apart from my interest in Shackleton I notice a question raised by a Dominic Beauvoisin who is surely a relative of mine. Would it be possible I wonder for you to put us in contact please?

Many thanks

Shackleton in Margate: Web address for the Downing Street petition (posted by Stephen Pavelin, 7 Mar 2008, 13:14)

The petition can be accessed at the following address:

Shackleton in Margate: 10 Downing Street Petition (posted by Stephen Pavelin, 7 Mar 2008, 09:45)

I would like to draw to the attention of the membership of the James Caird Society an online petition at the 10 Downing Street website (in the People and Organisations section).

It reads: We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to support the erection of a statue in Margate Harbour to commemorate Shackleton's Endurance expedition.

Message from JCS website editor (posted 29 Feb 2008, 13:11)

Many thanks, Giles, for this most useful message, which has now been acted on (see the JCS website's Films section).

As you indicate, it would appear this BBC drama-documentary is still not available in anything bu North American format; one hopes this may be corrected in due course.

'Shackleton - A Story of Survival' (posted by Giles Hobson, 28 Feb 2008, 18:19)

Previous contributors to the forum have made reference to the elusive 1982 BBC film, 'Shackleton' (a.k.a. 'Icebound in the Antarctic').

However, I can find no reference on the website to another BBC programme about Ernest Shackleton. It was originally broadcast in the UK in June 2000 as part of a three part series entitled 'Wilderness Men'. The drama documentary was called, 'Shackleton - A Story of Survival' and featured the actor David Yelland in the title role. The other two episodes detailed the North American trade route pioneers, Lewis and Clark and the German naturalist and explorer, Alexander von Humboldt.

The Shackleton documentary ignited my interest in what, until that time, had merely been a name vaguely associated in my mind with the era of Scott and Amundsen. At fifty minutes long it does not have the opportunity to expound at such length on the 'Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition' as, for example, George Butler's film, 'The Endurance'. Critics may submit that it skirts round some of the more insalubrious elements of the odyssey, such as Shackleton's confrontation with Harry McNeish.

However, to my mind, this is one of the finest programmes on Shackleton, with a very humane construal of the man by Yelland and some valuable contributions from, among others, Dr Mike Stroud and the late Sir Edmund Hillary.

The series has recently been released on DVD in the USA; not under its original title of 'Wilderness Men' but buried under the label 'Lewis and Clark and Other Adventurers', in deference to the episode that will doubtless have greatest resonance with American viewers. However, it is easily obtainable through various vendors in the UK. I have just received my copy via Amazon UK. It arrived from the USA in a fortnight and cost less than £10, including postage.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy, you will require a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV in order to be able watch it.
Lewis and Clark, a collection of three BBC films which includes Shackleton - a Story of Survival, dtarring David Yealland as Shackleton. Please note that the presently available DVD is in North American format, and therefore  not suitable for viewers in the UK without an appropriate playing apparatus.

ship model (posted by Robert Hauge, 23 Feb 2008, 19:44)

I am looking for sources of plans for any of Shackletons vessels including the James Caird. Ship model kits would also be of interest.

'Nimrod' Expedition car (posted by G. M. Naul Chestertown Maryland USA, 23 Feb 2008, 08:55)

Sir Ernest Shackleton took an Arrol-Johnson automobile (see also the entry below) to the Antarctic in his first expedition. I have long wondered whether this car, the first car on the continent (despite Volkswagen ads years ago) was returned to civilization and whether it is extant. Any information would be appreciated.

A ride in the Arrol-Johnston on the landmass near to the Ross Sea base

Shackleton's 'Endurance' dogs (posted by RD James Caird Society, 4 Feb 2008, 17:57)

Thank you for your query about the dogs, Michael. I wonder if anyone can help.
Frank Hurley's book 'Argonauts of the South', covering the Mawson and Shackleton expeditions, includes details of some of the dogs on both expeditions. 'How dreary the frozen captivity of the ice but for the dogs,' he wrote.
There were 54 dogs in total, average weight 85 lb., divided into 5 teams of roughly eight, looked after by Macklin, McIlroy, Marston, Wild and Hurley, in readiness for the planned crossing. Several dogs died (15 - Lansing p 45; some died at South Georgia before the expedition set out), but six puppies were born, including the four seen in the famous picture with Tom Crean; two are represented on Crean's statue outside the South Pole Inn, Anniscoul, Ireland.
The 'Endurance' dogs included Samson (the largest in size, shown in Hurly's famous picture of Hussey), four year old Shakespeare (leader of Hurley's team, and nicknamed 'Tatcho', possibly by Hurley), Bob (ow 'owd Bob', Shakespeare's brother), Jasper (the heaviest at 132 lb.), Lupoid, Soldier (leader of Wild's team, red in colour, a bloodhound and wolf cross: 'Numbers of time I have taken the team out seven or eight miles, then given the order 'Home, Soldier' and have actually gone to sleep on the sledge and wakened to find myself alongside the ship': Leif Mills, Frank Wild, p.223), Sailor (the idlest of Hurley's), Sally and her four pups (Roger, Nell, Toby and Nelson), Sue and her two pups (two survived of a litter of 11). Two 'older' pups are mentioned, one Grus (Macklin's diary, quoted in Lansing) and another called Sirius (Lansing p 74). Shackleton claims (Introduction to 'South', p xvii) that he named a dog after each 'of the Public Schools of England and Scotland (that) helped to purchase the dog teams': for several reasons, a slightly dubious claim, However in 'South' Shackleton does mentions more than ten dogs: Amundsen, Con, Hercules, Nigger, Oscar, Peter (Hurley's 'Bony' Peter), Pinkey, Pompey, Snapper and Towzer (Shackleton's spellings). Frank Worsley mentions Steamer (Endurance, p. 47) and Satan (p.48), for a time the pack leader. Three others mentioned by Hurley appear to be 'Endurance' dogs: 'Bummer', Colonel (no relation to Orde-Lees) and Saint (whom Shackleton also mentions).
Samson (top left) Soldier (top right) Owd Bob (bottom left) and Lupoid (bottom right) plus four unidentified dogs. (the dog at bottom far right is just possibly also Samson, looking less well groomed.)

the Dogs on Endurance (posted by Michael Davis, 4 Feb 2008, 13:54)

I am looking for the names of the dogs that were on the Endurance.
I wonder if anyone has any information on this.
Thank you.

Tom Crean famously 'adopted' these four pups

Shackleton 1980's BBC film (posted by Phillip Christman, 26 Jan 2008, 18:12)

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the voyage of "Endurance" it may well be time to lobby the BBC to re-issue on DVD their 1980's miniseries on this event.

RD's reply to D. Beauvoisin's question concerning this film is good information. Thanks for this.

Now, let's get started on our lobbying effort as the next six and a half years will fly by.

Nowhere can I find anything about this 1980's film. I've tried the BBC and and all they have is the 2003 film starring Kenneth Branaugh. I'm writing to each of them recommending a re-release on DVD of the 1980's miniseries entitled "Shackleton".

The more who write, the greater the chances of success.

If anyone knows of a source for copies of this film, please post it on the Forum.


plans for the endurance ship (posted by cristina, 21 Jan 2008, 22:56)

Where can I get the plans for the Endurance ship, as I would like to make a scale model, or are there any kits available?
I am too interested to get it, here in Spain is impossible. Thank you very much.

Answer to D. Beauvoisin (Shackleton Film in the 1980s, 25 Dec 07) (posted by RD JCS website, 21 Jan 2008, 00:42)

Thanks for raising a very valuable, important point. The film you refer to is (I think) 'Shackleton', a first-rate 4-hour BBC feature film of the explorer's life, written by Christopher Ralling (a book by him accompanied the serial) and directed by Martyn Friend. It was made by the BBC in collaboration with The Entertainment Channel, Seven Network Australia and Television New Zealand.

'Shackleton' starred David Schofield as as an articulate (if insufficiently charismatic) Shackleton, John Watts as Frank Worsley and David Rodigan, giving a strong and memorable performance as Frank Wild. The producer was John Harris, and its original film score was composed in the classic British film tradition by Francis Shaw.

It was made in four parts of one hour each (later seen, as you point out, as 2 x 2 hr programmes): 'A Merchant Navy man', covers the early years; 'Our dead bodies must tell the tale' embraces the 'Nimrod' expedition and the assault on the Pole; 'Men wanted for Hazardous Journey' describes the 'Endurance' expedition up to the ship's sinking; and 'Cape Horn or South Georgia?' covers Ocean and Patience Camps, the escape from the ice, the voyage of the 'James Caird' and the crossing of South Georgia.

The film's cast includes Timothy Bate (Lord Curzon), Geoffrey Chater (Sir Clements Markham), Robert Lang, Robert James (Scott-Keltie, the scheming secretary of the RGS) Anthony Bate, Victoria Fairbrother (Emily Shackleton), Miriam Margolyes (the children's nanny!), Kevin Whateley (Jameson Boyd Adams), Andrew Seear (Dr. Eric Marshall), David Rodigan (Frank Wild), John Watts (Frank Worsley), John Flanagan (Tom Crean), Peter Dahlsen (Frank Hurley), Michael Hayward (George Marston), Leonard` McGuire (Harry 'Chips' McNish, Stephen Tate (Leonard Hussey) and John Wheatley (Perce Blackborow), with Benjamin Whitrow as Amundsen, Neil Stacy as Captain Scott and Paul Hastings as Dr. Edward Wilson.

Ralling and his team made strenuous efforts to do proper justice to the unbelievable boat journey and mountain crossing, neither of which seemed wholly satisfactorily addressed in the otherwise splendid Branagh and Imax films. This makes it all the more regrettable that Ralling's film is no longer available from the BBC and remains very hard to come by.

For Ralling, see See also the reference elsewhere on the JCS website, at
The BBC pioneer, Head of Documentaries, film-maker and naturalist Christopher Ralling (photo - BBC Wildlife), whose films about Livingstone, Darwin and Thor Heyerdahl are as widely admired as his tremendous feature film, 'Shackleton'. It is greatly to be regretted that the last is, seemingly, no longer available.

Team reaches South Pole (posted by Bert Wilsley Cheshire, 18 Jan 2008, 23:34)

Fellow readers of the Forum may be glad to hear Doug Stoup and Richard Dunwoody of the Iceaxe team, the American and Briton who have been reenacting the journey Shackleton hoped to make in 1915 from the Weddell Sea to the Geographic South Pole on his Endurance expdition, successfully reached the Pole today Friday. A fine achievement.
They have posted full details at their website, (Richard was best known as a champion jockey).
Richard and Doug photographed beside the Amundsen-Scott Centre, which now abuts the South Pole

Shackleton's Birth (posted by Seamus Taaffe, 15 Jan 2008, 11:07)


Just to re-assure you re Shackleton's birthplace. He was born at Kilkea, County Kildare about 7 miles from me, as the crow flies, as I type this email. The Shackleton family moved from Yorkshire in the late 17th century to the village of Ballitore, County Kildare which is a few miles from Kilkea.

A group of local Shackleton enthusiasts, to commemorate Shackleton's achievements established an annual autumn school here in Athy in 2001. It has been a great success. For further details see the website -

Ref research ship RRS Shackleton (see David Reid's message below) (posted by Nathan Bradbury, 10 Jan 2008, 10:31)

Thanks for the posting David, I am very interested in any photos you may have, and basically finding out about your times with my dad. He died a few years ago and the family dont know much about his earlier years.
I would very much appreciate it if you could contact me, I remember him talking about you, if I have the right person.
You can contact me on, or call me on 07905 875423

Shackleton birthplace enigma (posted by Doug Butler Adelaide, 9 Jan 2008, 03:36)

I'm perplexed at the contradictory statements about Shackleton's birthplace. Many respectable references (and by far the majority of websites) give it as Kilkea Co. Kildare (in the middle of Ireland), but quite a few give it as Kilkee Co. Clare (on the west coast).
I lean to the latter, as it is favoured by some quite old references, but does anyone have better documentation?

In reply to Nathan Bradbury (posted by David Reid, 7 Jan 2008, 16:13)

Ref. Nathan Bradbury's request (see 'Crews on the Shackleton', 30 Aug 2007 below) for photos or information re. the research ship RRS Shackleton:

I was with your father on 1960 expedition. We subsiquently went to Orkney Islands on a one year fishing trip, I visited your father when he was involved with a light house project. You were a young boy who I remember. What information do you require, regarding antartica 1960 expedition?

Shackleton series in the 1980's (posted by D Beauvoisin (posted on Christmas Day), 25 Dec 2007, 20:23)

I am trying to obtain a copy (of a video) from the 1980's which showed the epic voyage of Shackleton.
All that I can remember is that it started at 8 and ran till 10pm and was shown during the week. Unfortunately I cannot remember what channel it was on, or what year it was.
Can anybody help or advise?

Dominic Beauvoisin

Shackleton School (posted by Seamus Taaffe, 5 Dec 2007, 08:01)

At the recent Ernest Shackleton Autumn School, The Hon. Alexandra Shackleton, President of the James Caird Society and granddaughter of the explorer, launched 'Nimrod', the new Journal of the School.
'Nimrod' contains a variety of articles on Shackleton/Polar matters and will be published on an annual basis hereafter. This inaugural issue has articles by Bob Headland on the genesis and history of the Antarctic Treaty, Bob Burton on Shackleton at South Georgia, Jim McAdam on the Shackletons and the Falklands, Joe O'Farrell on Polar literature and David Murphy on Francis Leopold McClintock. There is also a series of book reviews on Shackleton related publications.
'Nimrod' is available for order from the Athy Heritage Centre-Museum, co. Kildare, Ireland. See their website ( for contact details
The first issue of 'Nimrod', the new Journal of the annual Ernest Shackleton Autumn School, located close to the explorer's birthplace.

The James Caird at the Boat Show (posted by RD James Caird Society website, 23 Nov 2007, 14:28)

Very good to hear from you again, Trevor (see Trevor Potts below) - and thanks for your helpful clarifying answer to John Crean's query about reenactions.

Readers of the JCS Forum may be interested to know that a different kind of 'reenaction' will take place shortly, from 1-9 December 2007, when the James Caird once again leaves Dulwich to be proudly displayed at the Whyte & Mackay London Boat Show at Earl's Court. It will first be seen on the Press Day on Friday 30 November, and then will be on view to the general public and all Shackleton enthusiasts from Sat 1st to Sunday 9th Dec. Opening hours are 10-7 most days, with late opening till 9 p.m. on Thurs 6 Dec only, and an early closure at 4.00 on Sunday 9th, which is the last day.

More details can be found at (This Whyte and Mackay Boat Show in December should not be confused with the official London Boat Show, which takes place in January).
Harding Dunnett, Founder of the James Caird Society and author of the book and film 'Shackleton's Boat', with Commander John McGregor OBE, on the James Caird Stand at the London Boat Show in 1994, which (given the wide interest shown)led directly to the founding of the Society. Harding Dunnett was assisted by members of his family and by the Hon. Alexandra Shackleton, the explorer's granddaughter.

re-enactment of Shackleton's Boat Journey (posted by Trevor Potts, 13 Nov 2007, 00:17)

In reply to John Crean's enquiry regarding Shackleton's Boat Journey, which his Great Uncle Tom Crean took part in, it depends what John means by 'the Boat Journey from start to finish'.
Myself and a crew of three others (one woman and two men), sailed in a replica of the 'James Caird' from Elephant Island to South Georgia between 24th December 1993 and 5th January 1994. Our boat was unaccompanied by any support craft and had no engine, only sails and oars. We were unable to land on EI owing to heavy swell and so left from near Cape Valentine once the Icebreaker had departed over the horizon.
We did not sail into King Haakon Bay owing to a severe storm; we sailed eventually round the far side of South Georgia to Stromness, and then to Grytviken.
We also did about half the mountain crossing in reverse, starting from Stromness.
About two years later an Irish group (Frank Nugent, Paddy Barry) attempted the same journey in a similar-sized boat (not a replica, as it had a small transom stern) called, in honour of John's ancestor, the 'Tom Crean' Unfortunately they capsized in heavy weather and were rescued by the yacht 'Pelagic' that was their support vessel. This trip was filmed for Irish TV.
Sometime about this time Aarved Fuchs did the journey, but started at Hope Bay (although Shackleton when getting from the ice to EI never went anywhere near Hope Bay) and sailed to Elephant Island, where he was met and assisted by his yacht the 'Dagmar' (which carried the film crew). He then sailed (in his boat 'James Caird II' to King Haakon Bay where he was met and assisted (towed) ashore by the Dagmar (which apparently was not in support during the trip?). They then completed the traverse.
Arved's website ( states his ('Shackleton 2000') is the first and only re-enactment, as he did the whole journey unsupported from the ice (he presumably means Hope Bay). Fuchs was sponsored by Jack Wolfskin outdoor equipment. There is (was a few years ago) some information in English translation on this German website.
I have recently had my 1 hr video of the expedition transferred to DVD. I also give lectures about the expedition.
For more information, Trevor can be contacted through his website

Trevor Potts
Trevor's specially made boat the 'Sir Ernest Shackleton', seen aboard the Russian Icebreaker & Polar Cruise Ship 'Kapitan Klebnikov' prior to the four (Trevor Potts,  Robert Egelstaff, Vicky Brown and Chris Smith) embarking  on their 800-mile sea journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia. 'In the Wake of Shackleton' was the first reenactment of Shackleton's arduous voyage.

Dudley Docker (posted by Roderic Dunnett, 10 Nov 2007, 18:50)

Apropos Craig's splendid response to William McPherson's earlier photo enquiry, readers may be interested in this additional picture of Dudley Docker.
It relates to a visit in 1923 by HRH the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) to the factory at Small Heath, Birmingham, which was the epicentre of Dudley Docker's feverish engineering activity.
After a rapid growth (1881-1902)in civilian production of paint and varnish, largely for carriages and railway wagons at home and abroad, Docker acquired a railway rolling stock company and at the same time, through his association with British Small Arms, an interest in firearms, cars (briefly), cycles and motor-cycles - for which the BSA name became legendary. In 1902 he formed a massive conglomerate, the Metropolitan Amalgamated Railway Carriage and Wagon Company, a merger of five rival companies to which others were then added, which from 1914 emerged as one of the UK's key manufacturers of guns, armoured vehicles and finally tanks for the First World War effort.
In the picture below, Dudley Docker is second from left, next to the mayor and (presumably) lady mayoress; to their right is the H. R. H. Prince of Wales, looking perhaps not over-enthralled at this celebration of Midland engineering genius. (If anyone can identify others from the photo, that would be most welcome).
Docker's stance in the picture is typical: alert, jovial, the face of a lively conspirator. Ironically it was in 1916, when Shackleton and his lost 'Endurance' expedition which he sponsored, returned safely, that Docker suffered most dramatically from the almost Churchillian gloom and despondency which occasionally seriously affected him.
Such was the Small Heath conglomerate's contribution to the war effort, and such was Dudley Docker's personal significance at the hub of British industry, that Winston Churchill himself visited the factory towards the end of the war, enjoying the hospitality of Docker's comfortable home at Kenilworth, near Coventry.
Famed as a 'fixer' putting together mergers and business deals, and as a master of persuasion, Dudley Docker's unique energies were largely responsible for the subsequent creation of the future Confederation of British Industry.
Dudley Docker (second from left) and the future King (fifth from left) at the Birmingham Small Heath works, 1923. The second of Shackleton's three lifeboats, which got the men safely to Elephant Island and was then inverted to form a hut for the 22 stranded men, was named the 'Dudley Docker', following Docker's joint sponsorship of the 'Endurance' expedition.

The James Caird at Dulwich (posted by the Hon. Secretary, 6 Nov 2007, 19:43)

Dear Maureen,

Just to confirm our reply to you, yes, the James Caird will be at Dulwich College all through November and until mid/late December, when it will be travelling to Earls Court in London to be displayed at the London Boat Show.
It was at the Boat Show in 1994 that the Caird was first displayed by Harding Dunnett and Alexandra Shackleton, and this led to the founding of the James Caird Society.
We do hope you and your husband will greatly enjoy your visit and feel inspired by the boat.
Yours sincerely,
pp Mrs. Pippa Hare, Hon. Sec.
The 'James Caird' at the London Boat Show, October 1994. While the boat was on display, Trevor Potts was completing his journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia aboard his replica, the 'Sir Ernest Shackleton'.

Unknown Man - to Craig Poore (posted by William McPherson Aberdeen Scotland, 6 Nov 2007, 18:36)

Thanks so much for replying to my tentative enquiry in May. It is fantastic that you have come up with an answer to my puzzle, and that the man in the picture is Shackleton's sponsor Dudley Docker.
I have now located the book you mention ('Dudley Docker - Life and Times of a Trade Warrior' on Amazon and the picture I posted does indeed appear onthe cover, as you said.
Old D.D. appears to have been quite a figure in Midlands industry - I hadn't realised he was so important and influential. I'm surprised he didn't get honoured with a knighthood. Smart of Sir Ernest, to have nabbed him for the 'Endurance' expedition, and naming one of the James Caird's fellow lifeboats after him.
All best wishes,
Dudley Docker - Life and Times of a Trade Warrior by R.P.T. Davenport-Hines

Boat Journey (posted by John Crean, 6 Nov 2007, 13:05)


I would like to know if there has ever been an actual re-enactment of the epic boat journey from start to finish.

I live in the USA, My grandfather is of Irish parents who came from Ireland from county Kerry. It is believed that my great grandfather (grandfather's father) and Tom Crean were brothers or cousins.

Thank You
John Crean
Tom Crean, Shackleton's Irish colleague, veteran of four Antarctic expeditions, who took part in the 800-mile voyage aboard the 'James Caird' and the crossing of the South Georgia mountains. He is believed to be a close relative of John Crean's great-grandfather.

James Caird (posted by Maureen Patrie, 4 Nov 2007, 20:50)

Is the James Caird currently at Dulwich College? I'd appreciate an early response as I leave the States for England on Wednesday the 7th November and it is my plan to journey down to Dulwich if the James Caird is currently there. Thanks for the help.

Reply to William McPherson - re: unknown man (posted by Craig Poore, 26 Oct 2007, 03:35)

William - The man pictured appears to be Dudley Docker, one of the three patrons for whom Shackleton named a life boat. Mr. Docker lived from 1862-1944 and was a very prominent business man. In fact, the picture you posted appears on the cover of the 2004 book "Dudley Docker: The Life and Times of a Trade Warrior." The book is available on Amazon if you'd like to know more.

James Caird Exhibition in America? (posted by W. Ebber, 17 Oct 2007, 08:02)

Does anyone here know if/when the James Caird is scheduled for its next exhibition tour in America? Sincere thanks in advance for any information.

Primary School e-assembly about Sir Ernest Shackleton (posted by Lillian McMahon, 15 Oct 2007, 15:31)

We at Teaching Expertise ( have just published an e-assembly for Primary Schools about Sir Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic expedition and have included a link to your website.

The Primary School e-assembly (with the special mention about The James Caird Society) is at

You may also like to know that next month (from his departure on 3 November 2007) our own Antarctic explorer, Geography teacher Phil Avery, makes his own expedition to the southernmost part of the globe. Phil will be posting a regular blog for us from Antarctica. It can be found at

kind regards,
The Endurance in the Ice, 1915 - photo by Frank Hurley. One of several striking Endurance pictures available as a sepia poster or black and white print from Lillian's Australian website,

Perce Blackborow (posted by Roderic Dunnett, 8 Oct 2007, 23:31)

Thanks for your enquiry, Dave (see below).
A good place to begin such enquiries is at where you will find a list of Blackborow relatives. You and your father don't appear on it yet, so you may want to contact Antarctic Circle's Webmaster to notify him. Perce died in 1949 and his son James also died quite recently, but John Blackborow, Perce's grandson, who - as you rightly say - lives in Newport (where Perce's grave can be found), and the next generation of his family are very much in contact and maintaining the tradition. John is a loyal member of the James Caird Society, as this picture of him at the IMAX Shackleton film opening confirms. I am sending you John Blackborow's contact details by email (assuming you do not have them already), as he is definitely the best person to make your enquiries of regarding all things Blackborow and especially family matters.
I hope this of some help. Best wishes,
Roderic Dunnett
JCS Web Editor
John Blackborow on excellent form at the 2001 Royal  Opening of George Butler's critically acclaimed IMAX Film

uncle blackborow (posted by Dave Kearns Northampton, 4 Oct 2007, 07:38)

I am researching one of my uncles from Newport, South Wales, Perce Blackborow, am trying to get as much info as I can, but keep hitting dead ends. I want to find out for my father who is getting on in years.
Former stowaway Perce Blackborow, now ship's steward, with Mrs. Chippy, the carpenter's cat, photographed by Frank Hurley aboard Endurance.

The Ross Sea Shore Party (Richards) (posted by Denis O' Connell, 11 Sep 2007, 12:31)

If my memory serves me correctly, a question was posed some time ago about the death of men in the Antarctic during the Imperial Transantarctic (Endurance) Expedition. I recommended a book as titled above and I can advise anyone who might want a copy that I saw some for sale at Discovery Point very recently, indeed I purchased a copy as I had only heard about the book prior to purchasing. These books do not appear to be advertised and can be difficult to get. A reprint of course, but worth it for the tale alone.
Tel. No. for Discovery Point 01382 201245. I hope this makes at least one person happy.
Regards Denis

Ernest Shackleton Autumn School (posted by Seamus Taaffe, 5 Sep 2007, 09:49)

Just to remind everybody that that the 7th Ernest Shackleton Autumn School will be held in Athy, County Kildare, Ireland on the weekend 26th-29th October.

Full details can be found at where there is a fully downloadable brochure available.

JCS JOURNAL No.3 (posted by Stephen Scott-Fawcett, 3 Sep 2007, 22:50)

Hello, I am the new editor of the JOURNAL. I would like to express my gratitude to the many folk who have taken the trouble to write to the Society in such a positive manner, following publication of JCS Journal No. 3. in April 2007.

The good news is, I am busy working on the next edition (due Easter 2008, or thereabouts). It is shaping up well.

A message to all members - this is YOUR Journal. If you feel you have something to contribute and/or you would like to request topics for future coverage please feel free to contact me on

In order to fund the next issue additional/new sponsors are being sought. If you would like to publicise your business in Journal No. 4 this is your chance to make an impression! Send me your details by email or write to me at Shackleton House, Burrell Close, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6DT.

Crews on the Shackleton (posted by Nathan Bradbury, 30 Aug 2007, 15:54)

Hi, I am looking for help with the history of the research ship the Shackleton. My late father was a member of the crew on board in what we think was the 1960's. I know he travelled to Antarctica, South Africa amongst other destinations.

I am looking for photographs, or any information from these voyages, and don't know where to look. Any help would be appreciated in tracking this info down.

Best Regards

Message from Enid Leverson (posted 21 Aug 2007, 19:54)

Funnily enough, Marci, I'm not sure I believe you.

The Quest's Cat, Questie (posted by Marci Jarvis, 21 Aug 2007, 16:35)


Although there is a lot of information about Mrs. Chippy, the cat who accompanied Shakelton aboard the Endurance, it is much more difficult to find anything about a small black cat named 'Questie'. This cat was aboard the Quest during Shakelton's last expedition.

I attached a scan of Questie with Scout Marr on a stamp from Tristan da Cunha. The inscription reads: Scout Marr and Ship's Cat Questie."

Any informatin would be greatly appreciated.
This souvenir sheet from Tristan da Cunha was issued in July. One of the stamps shows Questie, who was aboard the Quest with Shakleton 1921-1922.

Irish Explorers (posted by Roderic Dunnett, 31 Jul 2007, 10:45)

Thanks for your enquiry, Andrew
In the first instance, can I suggest you address your query to Michael Smith, author of Tom Crean - An Unsung Hero. Michael is extremely knowledgeable on the subject and often lectures about Crean and Shackleton. Michael can probably best be contacted via the Collins Press in Cork, +353 (0)21 434 7717 or if you would like it I can send you his contact details. See also his comments at
I expect you have tried Margaret Walsh at the Athy Heritage Centre, co. Kildare (+353 (0)59 863 3075, She will probably be able to put you in touch with Aidan Dooley, the actor who plays Tom Crean in his own one-man show, so as to seek his opinion.
There is some useful information online about Tim(othy) McCarthy, who accompanied Shackleton and Crean on the James Caird boat journey and was later the first Endurance member to be killed at sea in the Great War, in 1917. Most obviously, try (which also contains several different, albeit low-resolution, photos; and also (NB: underscore not dash) which features the McCarthy brothers (Mortimor and Timothy) and contains additional information on Forde, Keohane and Bransfield.
Also have a look at or order via your library Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the great Antarctic Explorer by Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell, a landmark book which looks at precisely those enduring qualities of leadership, inventiveness, loyalty and teamwork that you are probably seeking. It's available from Longitude Books (, Amazon UK and other suppliers.
The pioneering book _Shackleton's Way_, about the lessons business and team leaders can learn from Shackleton

Shackleton's legacy (posted by Andrew Moore, 30 Jul 2007, 20:31)

I am writing an M.A. essay for a Museum Studies course and I have decided to prepare a fictive Exhibition Plan based on Irish polar explorers.
Can I ask the members of this group as to what you would consider as the main personal characteristics of Shackleton which have provided such an important legacy to not only explorers of today but also to our modern society in general and what lessons do you think we can learn from him?
Many thanks,
Andrew Moore, Dublin.

Namesake (posted by Colin Ernest Tucker, 28 Jul 2007, 06:06)

I heard a story from my father a few years ago that a member of our family was associated with Ernest Shackelton, the result was that my father (now in his 80's) is named Ernest Quest Tucker (lives in Bristol) and i likewise was named Colin Ernest. Can anyone throw any light on this matter i seem to recall the story had somethng to do with the ship the Quest.

Group portrait (posted by Eunice Carswell Baltimore, 13 Jul 2007, 08:43)

I am slightly puzzled by this photograph, taken in South America. It shows, at rear, six members of the Endurance crew. The centre (seventh) man is allegedly unidentified, though I wonder if he perhaps could be. The lady is also as yet unidentified; and the man in the front is alleged to be Shackleton, although I find the likeness puzzling, to the point of making me sceptical. Yet why else would these six rescued crew members be gathered together in Buenos Aires, in October 1916, for such a formal occasion? (Note the front man's attire, and also that Thomas McLeod is wearing his Bronze Polar Medal from Discovery.) And why only six? Were they the tail end of the party?
Bakewell, McLeod, Stephenson, Holness, Green and How surround an unidentified man. At front (allegedly) Sir  Ernest Shackleton with an unnamed lady.

Shackleton and cocaine 2 (posted by Trevor Potts, 5 Jul 2007, 22:53)

Further to my previous posting I looked up the list of rations taken on the Southern journey during the 1907-09 expedition. No mention of anything called Forced March but in the medical chest they had among other things; one tube of iron and arsenic composition, one tube of crete aromat cum opio?, one tube of morphine sulphate and two tubes of cocaine hydrochloride. Hardly being aided by "a product based largely on cocaine" as alleged in the Times. The two volumes of "Hints to travellers" carried on the southern journey puzzled me. And finally in their food ration they carried over 22 lb of Plasmon? No I have no idea either.
And thanks Roddy for your kind words.

Message from JCS website Coventry (posted 4 Jul 2007, 22:38)

Incidentally, Trevor's message reminds me of that occasion which was so crucial to the founding of the James Caird Society. In the picture below you see Harding McGregor Dunnett, the Society's Founder and author of Shackleton's Boat: The Story of the James Caird, with the Society's later Hon. Treasurer, Cmdr. John McGregor. John's father, Paymaster Commander J.H.McGregor, was Harding Dunnett's double cousin. Tragically he was killed along with over 800 other seamen during World War Two when his ship, HMS Neptune, struck a mine in the Mediterranean. John has subsequently founded his own Association and website (including a Forum) at, and has drawn together hundreds of descendants and relations of members of the crew.
Harding McGregor Dunnett (on the left) took charge of displaying Shackleton's recently restored _James Caird_ at the Earl's Court Boat Show in 1994. His 'helpers' included Hon. Alexandra Shackleton and Cmdr. John McGregor, OBE (right). It was here on the stand that the daily reports  from Trevor Potts and Robert Egelstaff on the 'In the Wake of Shackleton' expedition were received.

Trevor Potts and the 'Sir Ernest Shackleton' (posted by Roderic Dunnett JCS Website, 4 Jul 2007, 21:34)

Thanks for your interesting message to the Forum, Trevor: even more importantly, you remind me of an appalling omission on the JCS website - especially as yours was the first and in several senses the most important to date of all the various follow-up 'Wake of Shackleton' expeditions. You were there at the start: it was the ripples made by the four-man crew on your plucky James Caird replica (The Sir Ernest Shackleton) which helped fan the whole revived interest in Shackleton, as 'Zaz' and my late father Harding McGregor Dunnett could vouch. Many of us remember the excitement as your daily reports from the South Atlantic were relayed to the 1994 London Boat Show at Earls Court, where the James Caird was first displayed after restoration (before the James Caird Society even existed!) We'll do our best to rectify this oversight: you and your intrepid team undoubtedly deserve better.

Meanwhile, I wonder if anyone can shed light on any aspect of your inquiry about Shackleton and cocaine?
Trevor Potts, who in 1994 led the 'In the Wake of Shackleton' Expedition, the first to make a successful sea crossing from Elephant Island to South Georgia, and subsequently made the mountain crossing which Shackleton, Worsley and Crean made in desperate circumstances to get help for their comrades on May 19-20 1916.

Shackleton and cocaine (posted by Trevor Potts, 4 Jul 2007, 20:26)

An article in the Times on Saturday 30th June about the war on cocaine ('Waiters join the war on drugs as cocaine use soars in Spain') mentions Shackletons use of cocaine on expedition. On a sidebar to the main story under the heading drugs of choice the following is printed "Ernest Shackleton was aided in his explorations by Forced March, a product based largely on cocaine".
Does anyone have any more information?

It is a long time since I visited the website and I think the forum is an excellent idea. The latest Journal was also excellent. Sorry to see that my expedition "In the wake of Shackleton" still does not merit a mention on the website.

Endurance - Composition (posted by Paul Moxon, 1 Jul 2007, 19:00)

Just wanted to say what a wonderful forum this is and to give an update on "Endurance".

Currently my musical composition "Endurance" (mentioned in the 'Arts' section above - see Shackleton and Endurance in Music) is being prepared for both a World Premiere performance and a recording, probably in 2008.
If anybody would like a sneak preview, you can hear one of the main themes "On the Seas" at The piece is taken from the first movement and describes the great ship as she ploughs through the South Atlantic to a meeting with destiny.

All the best

Shackleton at The Firs (posted by RD JCS Website, 28 Jun 2007, 10:37)

In answer to Crispin Smith's enquiry (8 or 9 items below), I'm glad to report that yes, we do have a picture of The Firs School in Sydenham, and Shackleton indeed appears in it.
The picture must date from around 1884-6, when Ernest Shackleton would have been aged between 10 and 12. And he appears in the photo just where you might expect him to be - top dog, alone in the window as if presiding over everyone else, and looking utterly confident.
The school was run by "the redoubtable" Miss Higgins (in the photo below Shackleton) and her Chief of Staff, Miss Parry" (presumably in the spectacles on the right). Two other unnamed teachers are also pictured.
Ernest Shackleton (in cap at the top of picture) shortly before he left Fir Lodge Preparatory School to attend Dulwich College, in South East London. From Dulwich he went straight into the Merchant Navy at 16.

Mt. Shackleton (posted by Allan Arkwright, 26 Jun 2007, 14:12)

I see there have been several replies to my reqt for info about Mt Shackleton. The pic is first rate. Thanks to all you folks for replying and also for the maps ect.

The woman behind Shackleton (posted by Katrina Leghorn SA, 26 Jun 2007, 08:15)

This very charming photo, which a reader very kindly emailed me, shows Emily Shackleton (in white) in distinguished company in the summer of 1914, shortly before the sailing of the Endurance and the outbreak of the Great War.
Shackleton can be seen on the left, and Frank Wild is just behind Emily on the right. The two ladies nearest Shackleton are the Dowager Queen Alexandra and her sister the Princess Maria Feodorovna (though I am not sure which is which!) The original photo caption also says the child is Princess Louise, but I think it is almost certainly Eddie - Edward Shackleton, the future Lord Shackleton (b July 15 1911), who would have been three almost to the day (South West India Dock, London 16 July 1914).
The women are Queen Alexandra and her sister, a member of the Russian royal family, and Emily Shackleton, wearing white. The occasion was recorded by Queen Alexandra herself, a keen photographer. The child is Shackleton's younger son, Edward, later a significant figure in British politics and a sturdy friend of the Falkland Islands. His daughter Alexandra is President of the James Caird Society.

Lost men (posted by Marc Light, 25 Jun 2007, 17:32)

Mr.O'Connell thanks so much, it is v encouraging to receive a helpful reply and some details and suggestions. I didnt realise there was a 2nd ship. I will look out details of that book you mention, it sounds interesting and important. I'm also interested in the Sea Scouts someone mentioned below. Thanks again.

Reply to Marcus (posted by Denis O Connell, 25 Jun 2007, 13:07)

Hi Marcus, I am no expert on Shackleton and from what little I know I would be inclined to say yes, men died on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. The book South details the second ship, Aurora, which landed on the opposite side of the continent at Mc Murdo sound. Some of these men died through a system of malnutrition, cold and misadventure. The captain of the ship and two others had attempted a journey across the sea ice and although we have no account of what actually happened, it is thought they perished in a state of extreme hunger and hardship. I have to say I have not studied this in great detail and I might have some detail wrong but no doubt, men died. Try a book called The Ross Sea Shore Party by RW Richards.
Regards Denis

Shackleton's men (posted by Marcus Light - Rathbone JSch, 20 Jun 2007, 11:16)

I am interested in Ernest Shackleton. I heard in class that Shackleton never lost a man. But my friend told me he thought he had, not on the Endurance but on one of Shackletons other expeditions.

Can any one say if this is true and in what circmstances the men died?

Message from Eleonor Southgate (posted 19 Jun 2007, 17:56)

And even Mrs Chippy was a man!!!

Message from Katrina Leghorn Cape Town (posted 19 Jun 2007, 11:46)

Don't all you men seem to be missing the female side of things? I note that Rose expressed an interest in Shackleton's mother (see picture below and Trisha's reply), but I think we should not forget that Ernest had (I think) six sisters - what about all of them? Nor should we forget his long-suffering wife Emily, who had to put up with his heading off into the wild for much of their marriage. I suppose that is where she felt he was happiest. But it must have seemed a long and not always happy time for her, bringing up three children during those long, lonely gaps.

Message from Ben Carterton Osterley (posted 18 Jun 2007, 15:41)

Several people seem interested in Shackleton landmarks. I was much struck by this aerial picture of the Shackleton Range, which is clearly one of the most striking landmarks on the edge of the Weddell Sea, close to Coats Land where Shackleton had hoped to land. Ben.
A bracing view of the wide-sweeping Shackleton Range, which forms part of Coats land and is one of the main East Antarctic ranges

Message from Richard Gurney (posted 17 Jun 2007, 12:16)

Thanks to you both for the info about Mt. Shackleton and other prominent Shackleton landmarks - it's very detailed and fascinating and also a terrific help. Richard

Shackleton's Scout(s) (posted by Rory Keltie, 16 Jun 2007, 13:39)

If anyone knows the name of the Sea Scout(s)who went with Ernest Shackleton on his last voyage (the one on which explorer sadly died) could they reply to this. It would be great if there was a photo/pic too. Thanks

Message from Crispin Smith (posted 16 Jun 2007, 13:29)

I once lived not far from 'The Firs' school in Chester, and there was also a 'Firs' school in nearby Sale, Cheshire. I see Sir Ernest Shackleton when a boy attended a Firs School in S.London, nr. Dulwich. I wonder if anyone has a picture of him when he was a pupil there?

Message from Walter Greenspan (posted 16 Jun 2007, 11:45)

This picture from a German website also gives a quite clear picture of where the Shackleton Range is located on the overall map of Antarctic.
Where exactly is the polar range of mountains named after Sir Ernest Shackleton?

Message from Wally Greenspan (posted 16 Jun 2007, 11:39)

I see there is some interesting information on the Shackleton Range recorded at the US National Science Foundation website
The north-south running coast of Coats Land, on the Weddell Sea, showing the location of the Shackleton Range, which was named by Sir Vivian Fuchs's Commonwealth Transanantarctic Expedition in 1957.

Mt. Shackleton (posted by Will Steer nr Perth WA, 15 Jun 2007, 21:46)

I think this is the picture referred to. There is also a Mt. Shackleton in the Canadian Rockies, in British Columbia; but this is the imposing mountain in Antarctica, also named after the explorer. It is 1,465 m high, steep and abrupt on the west, and is located between the Leay and Wiggins Glaciers on the west side of Graham Land. Also known as Shackleton Peak, it was first located by the French Antarctic Expedition (1908-10) of Jean-Martin Charcot.

The Visit and Learn site mentions a Shackleton Ice Shelf, and two Shackleton Inlets, a) a 10 mile wide reentrant between Cape Wilson and Cape Lyttelton discovered by Scott, Shackleton (then Lieut. E. H. Shackleton, RNR) and Edmund Wilson in 19012 and b) a Shackleton Inlet in Greenland, which country also records a third Mt. Shackleton. records a fourth, a hill named Mount Shackleton near to the small townsite of Shackleton, which located in the central agricultural region of Western Australia, 209 km east of Perth and 32 km west of Bruce Rock. Another (Ukrainian) website seems to indicate a fifth Mt. Shackleton (1,600 m), at or near Peterman Island, off the Western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula at 65.12 S and 64.08 W. All are named after the British explorer.

The Shackleton Range (80 degrees 30 8242 S 25 degrees 00 8242 W) is described as a mountain range in Antarctica, rising to 1875 m (6150 ft) and extending in a North-South direction for 184 km (114 m) and and East-West direction for 324 km (201 m) between the Slessor and Recovery Glaciers. Other locations named after Ernest Shackleton, including Shackleton Coast, west of the Ross Ice Shelf and (like the Beardmore Glacier) spanning New Zealand, U.S. and Russian Antarctic territories, and the Shackleton Icefalls that abut the Beardmore Glacier are listed on the Shackleton page of
Mount Shackleton in Antarctica. Imposing in itself, at 1,465m high it is less than half the height of Mt. Shackleton near Vancouver, Canada (3,338 metres, 10,951 feet).

Mount Shackleton (posted by Allan Arkwright Sale Cheshire to Jim Gurney, 7 Jun 2007, 20:31)

I seem to remember seeing a photo of Mount Shackleton on the James Caird Society's website somewhere. I think it was on the latest News page, where the most information can be found if you scroll down. It must have been about 12 to 15 items down then, I think in an item featuring the Beardmore Glacier (the route Ernest Shackleton used heading for the South Pole). I recall it was a very good photo, well worth looking out for.

Bespectacled Gentleman (posted by William McPherson Aberdeen, 7 Jun 2007, 20:08)

I'm still intrigued to know who the character below in the photo with a Shackleton connection is (see 'Unknown man' severeal items down this page). Could he be a shipbuilder, or prominent in the Royal Geographical Society. Or a sponsor perhaps? I thought originally he might be John Quiller Rowett, the Dulwich College contemporary who financed Shackleton's Quest expedition. He seems to have a twinkle in his eye. Does he not ring a bell with anyone?

Message from Trisha Purnham (posted 7 Jun 2007, 20:04)

I noticed that noone has yet replied to Rose Wesson's enquiry about a photo of Shackleton's mum. I hope this may help, Rose. It has been published in several volumes, including in Jonathan Shackleton and John Mackenna's's fascinating book about the Shackleton family, Shackleton: An Irishman in Antarctica (Lilliput Press, 25 Euros, 30 USD, 18 £UK). She looks a lovely lady,and it was sad she became ill for so many years, though not before having ten children! Her name was Henrietta and she married a Henry. Huntford mentions her unshakeable Irish optimism, and says she brought her children up well until her illness struck and hid her from the public eye for most of their time in Sydenham, South London.
Incidentally, although Tim McCarthy (b.1888), another incurable optimist, was killed on his first day in action in the Great War aged only 28, in March 1917, I believe his elder brother Mortimer (b.1882), who travelled with Captain Scott on three expeditions, survived till 1967, ie well into his eighties. Like Tom Crean he must have had some tales to tell!

Shackleton's mother, Henrietta Letitia Sophia Gavan. She came from both Irish and Anglo-Irish stock. Quite early after the family's move to London she became ill, and never fully  recovered.

reply to Jim (posted by Denis O Connell, 4 Jun 2007, 09:03)

Hi Jim,

It would be remiss of me not to mention a discovery made at the weekend. I decided to check the account which was first read by me in a penguin paperback 1999. I have since looked at a Heron publication from an earlier time and in it reference is made to Mc Carthy being over fifty years of age.
This is such a confusion and only heightens the frustration of doing any study. My next port of call is to check a first edition. Can anybody out there help?

Regards Denis.

Shackleton's slip (posted by J Burrell, 2 Jun 2007, 23:27)

I've checked in South and Denis is quite right - Shackleton does indeed say that Chips McNish was 'over fifty'. He writes, "McCarthy, McNeish, and Vincent had been landed on the Monday afternoon. They were already showing some signs of increasing strength under a regime of warm quarters and abundant food. The carpenter looked woefully thin after he had emerged from a bath. He must have worn a lot of clothes when he landed from the boat, and I did not realize how he had wasted till I saw him washed and changed. He was a man over fifty years of age, and the strain had told upon him more than upon the rest of us. The rescue came just in time for him."
If Sir Ernest was dictating to a copy-taker or ghost/assistant writer, he might possibly have made a slip of memory at that stage. Yet strange for him to forget that McNish was actually the same age as himself (or just a few months younger).

reply to Jim Burrell (posted by Denis O' Connell, 1 Jun 2007, 13:04)

Hi Jim,

It appears you are correct looking at his date of birth but as with all of this searching, there is so much conflicting evidence. What I remember of Mc Nish was that Shackleton (see 'South') was somewhat appalled at Chippy's physical condition when he saw him undress for a wash at the whaling station just after the rescue. He was just skin and bone and at this point Shackleton remarks " He was a man over fifty years of age, and the strain had told upon him more than upon the rest of us". As with all historical accounts there is every chance this was wrong and could even have been a typing error.

Regards Denis

McNish (posted by Jim M Burrell, 30 May 2007, 14:16)

There is a very good entry on McNish or McNeish in the online Wikipedia. Incidentally it says he was born on 11 September 1874 and died on 24 Sept 1930, so he would have been 40 at the time of the Endurance expedition.

About McNeish (posted by Elinor Tait NZ, 30 May 2007, 13:15)

For those keen on McNeish, another page worth visiting, Denis, is (may I suggest)
Which gives a brief resume of McNeish's career based on a talk by John Thomson (Worsley's biographer), including the final years after the war and McNeish's funeral here in New Zealand.

Mc Neish (posted by Walter Rowell , 30 May 2007, 13:03)

I'm afraid can't comment about the second photo Denis mentions (of the chap planing) as sadly it's not in either of my two editions of Lansing; however I do find that if you go to the page
you find some fascinating details about the family McNeish/McNish showing that the double spelling dates back to at least the 18th century. Many family members are listed there.
It turns out the McNeishes, who have Arran and Western Isles associations, were a 'sept' (whatever that is) of the clan MacGregor.

Reply to Oliver - Re Mc Nish. (posted by Denis O' Connell, 30 May 2007, 11:05)

Hi Oliver and many thanks for the reply which was helpful as I had not considered the age element of Mc Nish being 50 at the time.
The photo you posted is the correct one and I will briefly explian why I thought it might have been Mc Nish on the left. There is a photo of a man planing a piece of wood in Lansing's book and he is very likely to be Mc Nish although I could be wrong here as I'm sure others would have been able to do some woodwork too. He is doning the same clothes as the chap in the Shackleton photo and the cap is also similar. The open style neck which must have been cold has the effect of making a man look much younger in photos. Secondly, The hands are really quite large and well worked. It is a shame the eyes cannot be made out as Hurley's were quite distinctive and this would remove all doubt.
I am now reconcidering my first thoughts and remain less decided than ever as your comments have made me rethink.

Regards Denis

Journal (posted by Aidan Smith Stornoway, 29 May 2007, 23:18)

May I echo the views below of Mr. Makin, and also Mr Michiko in Japan. I had a sight of the James Caird Society Journal only the other day and I thought, what a splendid production it was. Packed with information, intelligent and highly worthwhile.

Message from Rose E Wesson Croydon (posted 29 May 2007, 16:14)

I am looking for a picture of Mrs Shackleton who was the mother of the famous explorer. Can anyone point me in the right direction? In hope! from Rose.

Message from Richard Gurney (posted 29 May 2007, 16:13)

Does anyone have a good picture of Mount Shackleton? Please reply to this message with photo if yes. Thanks

Message from Jim Fortescue (posted 29 May 2007, 15:40)

Incidentally, the two men pictured either side of McNeish (see Tim Southern's message in the discussion below) are Hussey and Greenstreet. Hussey (left), by the way, was the metereologist and Greenstreet (right) was I think the First Officer aboard Shackleton's Endurance.

Message from Valerie Harkness Wellington (posted 29 May 2007, 15:22)

On the subject of Henry McNeish, the Endurances carpenter, raised by Denis O'Connell below, I know a lot of people feel some sympathy for him as despite voyaging on the James Caird he (like Vincent) didn't receive his Antarctic (or Polar) medal. However this close-up of his grave at Akaroa may be of some consolation and interest (see also the picture of the statue of Mrs. Chippy further down the page).
The grave of Harry McNeish (died 24 September 1930 in Wellington, New Zealand, aged 56)

Unknown man - could he too have a link to Shackleton? (posted by William McPherson Aberdeen Scotland, 29 May 2007, 15:06)

Like Denis and Alvar below, I too have a Shackleton question. I remember being told that this man (see pic below) had somthing to do with Shackleton's expeditions - though from his slightly dated appearance in the photo, he can't surely have been a member of the crew. It was suggested he might be a doctor or a scientist, or else have some connection with Shackleton's vessels, though whether Discovery, Nimrod, Endurance or Quest, or what, I can't say. Can anyone possibly enlighten me?
Picture of the gentleman in question: had he a Shackleton link?

McNeish (see various below) (posted by Tim Southern Portsmouth, 29 May 2007, 14:21)

We seem to be short of pictures of McNish (or McNeish). The best known one (included on the visit and learn site) is presumably this one of him shown amongst the crew on Endurance, of which this is a closeup.
Close-up of three men, of whom McNeish is the middle one

ref Denis's query re Shackleton photo (posted by Oliver Wagram, 29 May 2007, 11:58)

I imagine this is the memorable Shackleton photo Denis refers to below. The left hand figure (in a cap) is usually identified as Hurley, though presumably he must be managing to take the photo as well. Despite the Bowman book caption (see Denis's query below) I don't think it can be Mr. 'Chips' McNish/McNeish, who was actually one of the older members of the crew.
The spelling point is an intriguing one. I think it has been argued both ways. Shackleton certainly referred to the carpenter as 'McNish' at times; it says McNeish on his grave. Has anyone reached an authoritative final conclusion?
Things to do to pass the time on thousands of square miles of ice: Shackleton and friend skinning penguin, with a cheering stove

Chips Mc Neish (posted by Denis O' Connell, 29 May 2007, 10:15)

Just a trivial matter really. I have two books
with conflicting identification. The first by Gerald Bowman titled "Scott to Fuchs", identifies the person squatting next to Shackleton and skinning a penguin as Chips Mc Nish. Bowman writes that he knew Mc Nish (note spelling) quite well and served on board a few ships with him. Bowman also knew Shackleton.
Alfred Lansing's book "Endurance" makes a different identification on the same photograph as that of Frank Hurley. Actually I am enclined to think the latter is incorrect but can anyone say with conviction. Mc Neish is also spelt differently in Lansing's Book.
For clarification, The photo shows Shackleton sitting on the right with a very grey beard and wide brim hat while the other person, on the left, is squatting and skinning some small animal or bird. A stove is visible in the background.

Regards Denis.

Vincent and Visit and Learn (posted by Alvar Pederson, 29 May 2007, 09:26)

Denis - Very many thanks for your helpful reply, which confirmed my suspicions. There are some other pictures of Vincent on the "Endurance", with slightly curly hair, and he seemingly was a burly fellow, of substantial build. Some certainly saw him as a bit thuggish, though no doubt he pulled his weight when needed: it's a pity he wasn't a bit more like Crean and able to take the rough with the smooth, especially on the boat journey. (I haven't looked to see if Worsley has good things to say about him, before he fell ill).
As to the "Visit and Learn" website (The HMS Endurance Tracking Project,; see under 'Endurance Obituaries, including updates), thanks for this valuable advice - it's clearly a goldmine of information on the crew, and seems to be regularly updated as new information turns up.
I attach another picture which I believe is of Vincent, which some may not have seen.
Best wishes
bosun John Vincent

Message from James Concannon (posted 29 May 2007, 08:44)

Here's another photo - quite a famous one - of Vincent, snapped by Hurley aboard the "Endurance", for those who don't know it.


Reply to Alvar Pederson (posted by Denis O' Connell, 29 May 2007, 07:15)

Dear Alvar

In reply, the gentleman in the photo (see enquiry below and portrait in uniform) is John William Vincent and a good deal can be learned about him on a web site titled Just do a search on any "Endurance" crew member and this site is likely to crop up.
The photo of Vincent is late on in his life and he is dressed as captain in it. He was one of the crew who sailed from Elephant island to South Georgia (aboard the "James Caird"). By all accounts he was a powerful man and a bully.

Regards Denis

Photo of? (posted by Alvar Pederson - Norway, 23 May 2007, 18:11)

I believe this a photo of one of the members of Shackleton's Endurance expedition. From his looks he seems to have become quite a high-ranking officer, later on in his life. Can anyone possibly tell me who he is, and what happened to him?
A member of Shackleton's Endurance's crew (photo enlarged by editor).

Caroline Alexander (posted by Ed Carbery Hartford Connecticut, 12 May 2007, 14:31)

I thought Shackleton fans might like to know that JCS member Caroline Alexander, author of the bestselling book about Shackleton Endurance, has also written a book about Captain Bligh and the mutiny on the Bounty (see picture below), which was voted one of the best nine books of the year by the New York Times. On Amazon it markets over here at $11.25 (in UK at £6.99)
_The Bounty_ by Caroline Alexander, originally issued by Viking and published during 2004 in paperback by Penguin books.

McNEISH's CAT (posted by RD, 10 May 2007, 14:17)

Thanks for the message, Kieran, and it's a good question. You're right: Mrs. Chippy, the cat and ship's mascot, was a most important member of the Endurance crew. You're probably aware of Caroline Alexander's book 'Mrs. Chippy's Last Expedition' which gives a cat's-eye view of life on Shackleton's 1914 to 1916 expedition.
Harry McNeish, the ship's carpenter, emigrated to New Zealand and is buried there (as is another member of the party, Thomas Orde-Lees) in Karori cemetery, Wellington. It's there that the statue of Mrs. Chippy, by Chris Elliott, can be seen. It was put there in 2004 by the New Zealand Antarctic Society.
If you browse Google images for 'Mrs. Chippy' you should find several good photos of the statue, which shows the cat "looking relaxed, just as if he (not she!) was lying on 'Chips' McNeish's bunk." You can see probably the best collection online at , which retells Mrs. C's story briefly and very well. The most famous picture of the cat shows him sitting comfortably and possessively on the shoulders of the Endurance's stowaway and ship's steward, Perce Blackborow.
Mrs. Chippy makes friends with NZ Antarctic Historian Baden Norris, at Karori Cemetery, Wellington, where McNeish (McNish, 1874-1930) lies buried. The carpenter  moved to NZ's North Island in 1925 and worked on the waterfront; he died in 1930, aged 56. The headstone was erected in 1959 by the NZAS. (This photo is by Kim Griggs, with thanks to Antarctic Circle -

Ships cat (posted by Kieran Aged twelve Co Monaghan, 8 May 2007, 23:07)

I heard recently that someone put up a statue to remember Mrs Chippy, the ship's cat on Shackleton's Endurance trip. Can anyone tell me if thats true, and where it is? Is there a picture? (Our family's special hero is Tom Crean, but the cat is a firm favorite too!)

Journal (posted by Michiko, 7 May 2007, 11:16)

To Stanislav : -
Yes - a very high class journal. My husband and I, who are both Shackleton enthusiasts, have enjoyed reading it immensely here, on our return to Japan!

Journal Number Three (posted by Stanislaw Makin Vermont USA, 7 May 2007, 10:44)

I wonder if any JCS member felt the same as I did about the new James Caird Society Journal (Volume No. Three)? It seemed to me a very handsome and informative publication, and the printing and paper quality appeared first-class. I particularly enjoyed the article about Endurance Crew Member Walter How and the various Book Reviews.
The James Caird Society Journal, No 3 edited by Stephen Scott-Fawcett FRGS

Photograph of Alexandra Shackleton in Sydney (posted by RD JCS Website, 6 May 2007, 12:26)

Dear Anne,
Thanks so much for sending us the super picture. It captures the scene quite brilliantly and imaginitively, as I think our readers will agree, and recalls the significance of Shackleton's granddaughter as an ambassador for the Society, and also her key role in preserving and sharing with others across the world the memory of her grandfather.

Alexandra Shackleton with her father's boat (posted by Anne Brisbane Australia, 6 May 2007, 11:31)

This rather splendid picture of the Society's President, The Hon. Alexandra Shackleton, was taken when she visited the exhibition 'Antarctic Heroes...Triumph & Tragedy' at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, Sydney. It shows Sir Ernest Shackleton's granddaughter reflected in perspex glass as she gazes up at the James Caird, her grandfather's 23-foot boat, in which he made his famous rescue journey, on proud display. The boat formed the centrepiece of the display, which (according to the museum's website) attracted a staggering 146,268 visitors as well as record school numbers (some 15,571) from Primary and Secondary schools.
Alexandra Shackleton admires her grandfather's ship the James Caird on display in Sydney. The boat was loaned to the ANMM by Dulwich College and the exhibition 'Antarctic Heroes...Triumph & Tragedy' ran from 5 December 2002 to 4 May 2003 attracting  almost 150000 Visitors as well as record numbers of young people.

Launch of Shackleton forum (posted by Keith, 5 May 2007, 04:28)

The JCS Shackleton Forum was launched in May 2007. Members of the public visiting this site can post messages with or without photos. It can be used to ask questions about Shackleton, the expeditions, and the work of the Society, or to share information that you may have discovered.

The forum is moderated. This means that if you post a message, there will be a short delay before it can be read by other visitors to the site, whilst the message is checked by a member of the committee.

Sir Ernest Shackleton following his return from the ill-fated Endurance expedition and his famous 800 mile boat journey aboard the 23 foot James Caird


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