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Shackleton, Sir Ernest

Category: Explorer or adventurer

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, CVO, OBE FRGS (15 February 1874– 5 January 1922) was a polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic, during the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

Born in County Kildare, Ireland, Shackleton and his Anglo-Irish family moved to Sydenham in suburban London when he was ten.


From BBC web site – Ernest Shackleton

 ……… In 1908, Shackleton  returned to the Antarctic as the leader of his own expedition, on the ship 'Nimrod'. During the expedition, his team climbed Mount Erebus, made many important scientific discoveries and set a record by coming even closer to the South Pole than before. He was knighted on his return to Britain.

In 1911, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole, followed by Scott who died on the return journey. In 1914,  Shackleton  made his third trip to the Antarctic with the ship 'Endurance', planning to cross Antarctica via the South Pole. Early in 1915, 'Endurance' became trapped in the ice, and ten months later sank. 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. The remaining men from the 'Endurance' were rescued in August 1916.

 Not one member of the expedition died. 'South', Shackleton's account of the 'Endurance' expedition, was published in 1919.


This description provides a very short potted summary of the achievements of Sir Ernest Shackleton. But I would recommend you read his book ‘South’.



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