Ernest Shackleton 2.15.13 Thought of the Day


 

 

“Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all.” — Ernest Shackleton

 

 

 

 

 

Sir Ernest Shackleton

Sir Ernest Shackleton (Photo credit: Marxchivist)

Gentleman and adventurer…

 

Captain, March 1917, Cover of the popular Engl...

Captain, March 1917, Cover of the popular English magazine with Ernest Shackleton back from his epic expedition South This picture is the copyright of the Lordprice Collection and is reproduced on Wikipedia with their permission Source URL http://www.lordprice.co.uk/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=Antarctic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

Ernest Henry Shackleton was born on this day in Kilkea, County Kildare, Ireland in 1874. Today is the 139th anniversary of his birth.

 

 

 

 

 

Ernest was the second of ten children born to Henry and Henrietta Shackleton. His father was a land owner, but he gave up farming for medicine shortly after Ernest’s birth. When the boy was six the family moved to Sydenham, London, England. He joined the merchant navy at 16.

 

 

 

 

 

Shackleton went on his first polar journey in 1901. He was chosen to join Robert Scott on an expedition to the South Pole. He, Scott and one other companion “trekked towards the South Pole in extremely difficult conditions, getting closer to the Pole than anyone had come” [BBC History] before turning back.

 

 

 

 

 

He returned to Antarctica as the head of expedition in 1908 aboard the Nimrod. “He was knighted on his return to Britain.” [Ibid] But it was his third journey to the South Pole that is one of legend.

 

 

 

 

 

Endurance final sinking in Antarctica

Endurance final sinking in Antarctica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In 1914 Shackleton and the crew of the Endurance headed south determined to cross the Antarctic continent via the South Pole. The ship was trapped in the ice of the Weddell Sea in 1915 and was crushed in October.

 

 

 

 

 

Shackleton’s crew had already abandoned the ship to live on the floating ice. In April 1916, they set off in three small boats, eventually reaching Elephant Island. Taking five crew members, Shackleton went to find help. In a small boat, the six men spent 16 days crossing 1,300 km of ocean to reach South Georgia and then trekked across the island to a whaling station. [Ibid]

 

The men on Elephant Island were rescued in August, and, amazingly, no one in the crew died.

 

 

 

 

 

Launch of the James Caird from the shore of El...

Launch of the James Caird from the shore of Elephant Island. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

His memoir of the journey was published in “Endurance”  in 1919. (If he had any luck on the journey it was in taking along Photographer Frank Hurley who took stunning still and motion pictures of the Endurance and her crew.)

 

 

 

 

 

Shackleton made a finale trip south in 1922, this time bent on circumnavigating Antarctic. He made it to South Georgia Island. On January 5, he had a heart attack and died.

 

 

 

Glimpse of the Ship ['Endurance'] through Humm...

Glimpse of the Ship [‘Endurance’] through Hummocks, 1915 / photographed by Frank Hurley (Photo credit: State Library of New South Wales collection)

More reading:

South: The Story of Shackleton’s Last Expedition (1914-1917) by Sir Ernest Shackleton

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

And watch:

Shackleton – The Greatest Survival Story of All Time (3-Disc Collector’s Edition) Starring Kenneth Branagh

South Starring Ernest Shackleton, Frank Worsley, J. Stenhouse, et al. (The original silent movie by Frank Hurley)

 

 

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About ritalovestowrite

Freelance writer, graphic designer, musician, foodie and Jane Austen enthusiast in Northern Baltimore County, Maryland. As a writer I enjoy both fiction and non fiction (food, travel and local interest stories.) As an advocate for the ARTS, one of my biggest passions is helping young people find a voice in all the performing arts. To that end it has been my honor to give one-on-one lessons to elementary, middle and high school students in graphic design and music. And as JANE-O I currently serve as the regional coordinator for JASNA Maryland and am working on a Regency/Federal cooking project. View all posts by ritalovestowrite

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