On This Day – February 25th 1877

The Birth Of A Legend – Tom Crean

The Irish Giant – Antarctic Explorer

On February 25th 1877, on a small farm holding, near Annascaul in Co. Kerry, the legendary Antarctic explorer Tom Crean was born. Tom was the seventh of ten children born to Patrick and Catherine Crean, and his early life would have been one of poverty, little education and plenty of toil on the family farm.

At the age of 15 Tom left home to join the British navy, and officially enlisted on July 10th 1893 at the age of 16. While serving on the Ringarooma, in New Zealand, an opportunity arose to join Captain Scott’s crew aboard the Antarctic bound Discovery. This was to be the first of three major Antarctic expeditions Tom Crean would be a member of, during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

British National Antarctic Expedition, 1901–04 (Discovery Expedition) under Robert Falcon Scott
British Antarctic Expedition, 1910 – 1913 (Terra Nova Expedition) under Robert Falcon Scott
Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914–17 (Endurance Expedition) under Ernest Shackleton

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