Shackleton Orders the Shooting of Chinaman – The Nimrod Expedition.

On This Day – November 21st 1908. The first of Shackleton’s ponies, is killed. On November 3rd 1908, Ernest Shackleton, Eric Marshall, Jameson Adams and Frank Wild, left Hut Point. Their destination, as Shackleton had put it, was “the last spot in the world that counts as worth striving for” – the South Pole. It was not Shackleton’s first attempt at reaching the pole, as he had joined Robert Falcon Scott and Edward Wilson, on the Discovery Expedition’s southern journey in 1902. The aim of that endeavour was “to get as far south in a straight line on the Barrier ice as we can, reach the Pole if possible, or Continue Reading →

On This Day – 1st January 1908 – Nimrod

The Nimrod departs for Antarctica On the first of January 1908, the Nimrod under the command of Ernest Shackleton set sail from the port of Lyttelton, New Zealand. In an effort to save fuel Shackleton had arranged to have the Nimrod towed until they reached the waters of the Antarctic circle. Despite having scientific and geographical objectives, the main aim of the venture was that of being first to reach the South Pole. Given that Shackleton had always considered his physical demise on the return march of Scott’s ‘Furthest South’ record on the Discovery expedition, as a source of personal embarrasment, the Nimrod campaign was always going to be his Continue Reading →

Commentary on Chris Turney’s Why didn’t they ask Evans? – by Bill Alp

Why didn’t they ask Evans? Perhaps it was the claim that he had unearthed previously unpublished documents, that would prove that Edward Evans had deliberately sabotaged Scott and his Polar Party, as they returned from the South Pole, that rankles most, regarding Chris Turney’s article. Aside from the actual accusation, that is. The five men died in truly wretched circumstances, slowly consumed by the inhospitable Antarctic environment that enveloped them. Levelling an accusation of blame at one man, for the protracted tragedy, most certainly requires not only proof, but a complete examination and acknowledgement of all materials pertaining to the matter. This of course is not the case. The article Continue Reading →

How the loss of Shackleton’s Socks changed the course of Antarctic History

The Nimrod Expedition (1907 – 1909). How the loss of Shackleton’s Socks changed the course of Antarctic History On December 6th, 1908, as Ernest Shackleton, Frank Wild, Eric Marshall and Jameson Adams scaled Antarctica’s Beardmore Glacier; Socks plummeted to his death, lost to one of the many crevasses that fractured the pathway to the polar plateau. He was the last to die, of the four ponies that had started the southern journey. Many of the unfortunate beasts had perished in Antarctica prior to the loss of Socks, and many more would die on subsequent expeditions, but the death of this particular pony would have ramifications that reverberate to this very Continue Reading →

Antarctic Huts – Frozen Time Capsules of the Heroic Age.

Antarctic Huts. Scott’s Discovery Hut – Hut Point Antarctica. Discovery Hut was built by Robert Falcon Scott during the Discovery Expedition of 1901–1904 in 1902 and is located at Hut Point on Ross Island by McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Visitors to Antarctica, arriving at either the US Base at McMurdo or New Zealand’s Scott Base are likely to encounter Discovery Hut as both are located on Hut Point. Discovery Hut is just 300m from McMurdo Base. The hut has been designated a Historic Site or Monument (HSM 18), following a proposal by New Zealand and the United Kingdom to the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting. Some confusion arises because Discovery Hut can Continue Reading →

On This Day – January 13th 1914

Public Announcement of Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition On This Day – January 13th, 1914.   On this day in 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton publicly announced his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, which had been in planning for quite some time. The main objective of the expedition was to cross the Antarctic continent, via the South Pole, from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea. The journey would be a gruelling 1,800 mile trek, in the harshest and coldest conditions on the planet, but this did not seem to deter those who applied to be among the crew. In all, Shackleton received almost 5,000 applications, from which he picked 56 men, to sail south aboard Continue Reading →

On This Day – January 9th 1909

Shackleton Reaches New Farthest South Record Nimrod Expedition 1907-1909 On January 9th 1909, Ernest Shackleton, Frank Wild, Jameson Adams and Eric Marshall reached a new Farthest South record of 88° 23′ S, far surpassing the previous record of 82° 17’S, achieved by Scott, in December 1902. Shackleton along with Edward Wilson had accompanied Scott on that occasion, and it was a laborious effort. After their support teams had turned back, on November 15th, the three men began the gruelling task of relaying their loads. They dragged half their provisions forward for a distance of one mile, and then walked back to their remaining supplies, and hauled them forward again. It Continue Reading →

Remembering Sir Ernest Shackleton

Sir Ernest Shackleton. Photo Collection. A collection of photographs of the great Irish explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. These pictures give a very brief outline to an immense and heroic career, which was forged on the ice of Antarctica. Shackleton’s first venture south was aboard the Discovery (1901-1904) with Robert Falcon Scott, and he was invalided home after suffering from scurvy on the homeward leg of their farthest south journey. Shackleton next led his own expedition, the Nimrod (1907-09), where he got to within 97 miles of the South Pole. In 1914 he again sailed for Antarctica, hoping to cross the entire continent by foot, via the South Pole, which had Continue Reading →

On This Day – January 5th 1922

Sir Ernest Shackleton dies at South Georgia Shackleton-Rowett Expedition The expedition ship the Quest arrived in South Georgia on January 4th 1922. Sir Ernest Shackleton was sailing South again. This expedition which had been financed by Shackleton’s friend, John Quiller Rowett, intended circumnavigating Antarctica. Tom Crean who was now married, had politely refused Shackleton’s request to join him on the expedition, stating that he now had ‘a long haired pal’ to look after. Two of the crew on board when the Quest left Plymouth were Boy Scouts, James Slessor Marr and Norman Mooney, who had come through a rigorous competition, before being selected by Shackleton, for the honour of travelling Continue Reading →