Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration 3 – Ernest Shackleton.

Ernest Shackleton

(Image ID: corp2866, NOAA At The Ends of the Earth Collection)

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, CVO, OBE (15 February 1874 – 5 January 1922) was an Anglo-Irish explorer. Born in Kilkea, Ireland, Shackleton was a member of four Antarctic expeditions, three of which he led. After the Nimrod Expedition, 1907–09, he was knighted for his achievement in establishing a record furthest south latitude at 88°23’S, 97 nautical miles (180 km) from the South Pole.

Shackleton is renowned for leading the unsuccessful Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, often known as the “Endurance Expedition”, between 1914 and 1916. When the Endurance became trapped in the ice and was destroyed. Shackleton led his men to refuge on Elephant Island before heading across 800 miles (1,300 km) of the Southern Ocean to South Georgia, in an open boat with five other men. Upon reaching the remote island, Shackleton and two others crossed severe, mountainous terrain to reach a whaling station, from which he was able eventually to rescue his men on Elephant Island. All the men on Endurance survived their ordeal after spending 22 months in the Antarctic, although three men of the supporting Ross Sea party lost their lives.

Shackleton\'s James Caird party.

Above: Sailors from the wrecked ship Endurance launch the lifeboat “James Caird” from the shore of Elephant Island, April 24th, 1916. This photograph [free for public domain distribution] was captured by Frank Hurley during the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition and published in the United States in Ernest Shackleton’s book, “South”, in 1919. (Source: http://www.photoseek.com)

Shackleton died in 1922 during another Antarctic expedition and was buried on South Georgia island. (Source: Wikipedia)

The excellent site Windows to the Universe has some excellent information on the Magnetic Pole and Polar Exploration. You can find the link here:

LibriVox has South! The Story of Shackleton’s Last Expedition 1914-1917 and at the end has a short original recording by Ernest Shackleton about the expedition. Link here:

NOAA Photo Library: has some excellent images. Link here:


The hut at Cape Royds, Ross Island, was built in 1908 by Ernest Shackleton’s NIMROD expedition. This photo shows how it appeared in 1956. Today it is under the auspices of New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust.

Shackleton\'s Hut

Photograph by: Dick Prescott, National Science Foundation. Date Taken: 1956.

~ by abstraktbiblos on Friday, 23 May, 2008.

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