Ernest Shackleton

By: Mick Yates

The story of Ernest Shackleton is one of the greatest survival stories of all time. To his great chagrin, he became seriously ill on Scott's southern expedition of 1900 and had to return home. In 1907, he led an expedition to the South Pole in the Nimrod, but it is for his successful failure in the Endurance for which he is most famous.

After a series of problems, the team landed on Elephant Island, an inhospitable island of rock and ice, just in time to face an Arctic winter.

Shackleton and two fellow explorers set off in a 22 foot boat across one of the roughest seas in the world, to reach South Georgia and help. Landing at South Georgia, 15 days later, they still had to cross mountains and glaciers to reach the whaling station at Stromness.

It was three and a half months before the crew on Elephant Island was finally rescued, but rescued they were.

Shackleton led his team through unimaginable hardship; he inspired and encouraged them, a man of courage and determination.

Zoë Williams


Shackleton: An Irishman in Antarctica - Jonathan Shackleton & John MacKenna (2002).