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The James Caird Society Newsletter has now reached its 18th issue
Sixteen colour pages make up the latest JCS Newsletter, edited by Dorothy Wright, who includes a range of recent news embracing a host of items about all things Shackleton. It is a beautiful production, and was designed by JCS Committee Member David McLean in association with Strathmore Publishing Services.

Read the entire Newsletter on line in .pdf format

The initial page ('Caird on the curriculum') draws attention to the burgeoning interest of schools in the Shackleton story and the James Caird, which an increasing number of school age pupils - from at least 12 schools - have recently visited.

The James Caird is the centre of these schoolchildren's attention
Much if not all of the credit for this continuing success belongs to the Keeper of the Archives at Dulwich College, Calista Lucy. She has produced a beautifully crafted and memorable lecture on the rigours of the Endurance expedition with its hard-won but happy outcome, and has many ways of delighting and interesting schoolchildren of all ages.

Children listen aghast to the story of the James Caird
Full of human touches, it is as entertaining as it is gripping, to judge by the children's wide-eyed and enthusiastic reactions when she delivers it to them at Dulwich. A lot of information is imparted and insights generated.

The story is new to children this age - and equally fascinating
As if to prove the children's enthusiasm and gratitude, drawings of the James Caird duly emerged. They reflected the fact that such a story can be fascinating and absorbing to children of all ages and ability.

One child's view of the James Caird
The James Caird emerges in glorious technicolor, by way of a thank-you to Calista
The JCS Chairman, Admiral Sir James Perowne, pays tribute to the capable organisers and the quality of the sermon (by the Rt. Revd. Richard Chartres, Bishop of London), readings and music (directed by Andrew Carwood) at the British Antarctic Expedition's centenary service at St. Paul's Cathedral. Captain Scott's grandson, Falcon Scott was one of the readers; Sir David Attenborough another.

Scott and his closest officers, with Ernest Shackleton top rightNot Scott himself, but a lighter moment during Captain Scott's last expedition
Plans are forging ahead for the proposed Centenary Book to commemorate 100 years since Shackleton's Endurance expedition. The book will consist of the best contributions to the JCS Journal hitherto, selected by editor Stephen Scott-Fawcett. The introduction will be by Dr. Ann Savours, and the afterword by Polar Historian Stephen Haddelsey. The special Subscriber Copy will cost £90 + P&P, and the Standard Copy £50 + p&p.

In addition, the Editor points out that there are still some back copies of the JCS Journal available. Numbers One and Two (splendidly edited by Dr. Jan Piggott) are out of print - a good reason for subscribing to the Centenary Book. But a few copies of nos. 3-6 can be obtained from the present Editor, Stephen Scott-Fawcett, price £10 (members £7.50) + £3 p&p at or Apt 6, Sutherland House, Cromer, Norfolk , NR27 0AQ, UK.

Read the entire Newsletter 18 in .pdf format

It is not always realised just how munificent a benefactor Sir James Caird (1837-1926) was - especially to his home city of Dundee. The Sir James Caird Travelling Scholarship Trust (The Caird Trust) was set up by Sir James's sister, Mrs. Marryat, a year after his death, in 1917. It especially benefits young musicians, who have included some famous and emerging musical names amongst them. The phone number is 01382 and the contact email

It is on her sails that the Alexandra Shackleton will depend for a safe passage across the stormy South Atllantic
There is a particularly splendid centre-page spread of colour pictures, focusing on the launch of the Alexandra Shackleton, an aptly-named replica of the James Caird destined under Tim Jarvis's leadership to reenact the crossing in 2013; the boat is shown garlanded as part of the moving launch ceremony; especially interesting is the picture of under deck, which gives a good idea of the cramped yet not inadequate space; although in frost, ice, hail and heavy seas the picture must have been very different!

Cramped or cosy? Let's brew up a pan of hoosh. Julian Woodall, who acted as support medic on the Alexandra Shackleton's Sea Trials, with experienced mountaineer WO Baz Gray,
Philip Rose-Taylor, the skilled sailmaker, can be seen taking his lead from the restored sails of the original James Caird. Trevor Potts, the first to reenact the crossing (albeit not the landing) performed the ceremony of stepping the mast, placing a coin in the mast-hole following tradition; Alexandra herself, our JCS President, officially named the boat and enlivened the setting with striking pink attire.

Master sailmaker Philip RoseTaylor measures up detail on the James Caierd at Dulwich
The Epic Expedition team consists of: Expedition Leader Tim Jarvis; Capt. Darren Naggs (skipper of the Alexandra Shackleton); WO Baz (Barry) Gray, who will lead the mountain crossing; and PO Sebastian Coulthard RN, Bosun of the expedition. There will also be two other (to be confirmed) members to make up the six, in line with Shackleton's own team: Shackleton, Worsley, Crean, McNish, McCarthy and Vincent.

A two-page spread is thus, appropriately, devoted to an article by Sebastian Coulthard about the expedition. Especially enlightening is the detailed information he shares about the meticulously careful construction of the Alexandra Shackleton. A keel of larch, keel of strong English oak and upper deck of Scots pine provide a robust frame; the masts are of Douglas fir. Especial care was given to reproducing the right kind and size of sail. Thus, although the boat is, Seb observes, 'poorly ventilated, damp and dark', it may hopefully, at least, prove safe.

Alexandra Shackleton with Trevor Potts, the first to attempt to recreate Shackleton's boat journey, watch the launching of the Alexandra Shackleton
Much more fascinating detail is given in Seb's very full article on pp 6-7 of the Newsletter, which is heartily recommended to readers.

Read the entire 16-page Newsletter in .pdf format

JCS Committee member David McLean furnished an entertaining but surprisingly insightful 'parody' of Shackleton, listing the 'Boss''s imagined advice to the forthcoming Shackleton Centenary Expedition. Stephen Scott-Fawcett pays an additional tribute to Captain Scott's expedition by briefly reviewing Scott's Forgotten Surgeon, a biography of Discovery expedition member Dr. Reginald Koettlitz. He praises the striking unfamiliar photographs and archive material included. (A fuller review is promised for JCS Journal No. 7.)

Scott's forgotten surgeon: Dr Reginald Koettlitz of the _Discovery_ expedition
Ireland played an important place in Shackleton's background, and in his heart: he consistently referred to himself as 'An Irishman'. The event celebrating the centenary of Shackleton's Nimrod lecture in Dublin, a piece on living descendants of Shackleton's forebears, and a striking picture of the President, Hon. Alexandra Shackleton, with the President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, make an attractive 'Irish' page (see also the 'Irish' page here on the JCS Website). Alexandra's visit to Belfast in late 2011, and to the famous Giant's Causeway (Clochán na bhFomhórach), the coastal area comprising some 40,000 massive blocks of layered basalt, in Co. Antrim, prior to the Shackleton Autumn School, is also covered.

The Hon Alexandra Shackleton meets President Michael D. Higgins together with composer and Shackleton enthusiast Michael Holohan
The most enduring of these 'Irish' items is the exhibition Endurance: Shackleton's legendary Antarctic Expedition, promoted by the AMNH (American Museum of Natural History) which, having run its course visiting some 35 locations wordwide, and been seen by perhaps 2 million people, on the initiative of John O'Reilly and others has found a permanent home at Dun Laoghaire, the port of Dublin, at the old Carlisle Pier, where a replica of the James Caird and Frank Hurley's monochrome images will form a central part of this important and impressive exhibition.

Get details here of the 12th Annual Autumn Shackleton School at Athy

Also in the Republic of Ireland, The 12th annual Shackleton Autumn School will take place at Athy, Co. Kildare from Fri 26 to Mon 29 October 2012.

This year's Shackleton Autumn School runs from Fri 16 to Mon 29 October
One of the key events of the year has been the release, and showing on BBC Television, of Angie Butler's moving film about Frank Wild. Thanks to her efforts, following a hunch based on a 1966 newspaper cutting (referring to 'a chapel') Wild's long-mislaid or forgotten ashes were located in a cemetery chapel at Braamfontein (close, by happy chance, to her parents' grave, so she was familiar with the location). Even more ingeniously, she and a helpful cemetery worker located Wild's casket hidden behind another in the packed vaults below the chapel. The casket and a striking memorial stone made in England describing Wild as 'Shackleton's right-hand man' were transported to the Falkland Islands and on to South Georgia, where on 27 November 2011 the casket and ashes, carried by Wild's great-niece Julie George, were interred close to Shackleton's grave at Grytviken. Two cards secured to flowers from Wild's funeral in Johannesburg in 1939, one from his wife Trixie, were attached to the wreath which Angie Butler laid on the new grave.

Frank Wild's new grave, with its imposing inscription, which lies close to Shackleton's in the whaler's' cemetery in Grytviken, South Georgia
Angie Butler's company Ice-Tracks ( will be running a Frank Wild Anniversary voyage in November 2012. Details from

Alexandra Shackleton with Angie Butler, who discovered Frank Wild's ashes and initiated their return to South Georgia
As usual, a list of some of the President's busy programme of Shackleton-related events is given. To celebrate the creation of a new Whyte and Mackay Scotch whisky to match that of Mackinlays found beneath Shackleton's
hut, a dinner was held - most aptly - at Channings Hotel, which embraces the house where her grandfather and grandmother, Ernest and Emily, used to live while he was Secretary to the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

Channings Hotel, Edinburgh, which incorporates the property in which Emily and Ernest Shackleton lived during their time in the Scottish  city
Her fellow-speaker was Tim Fright, great-great nephew of Frank Wild (Tim -appropriately - was a key back-up member of Henry Worsley's Matrix-sponsored Shackleton Centenary Expedition), the interment of whose ashes she also witnessed in South Georgia.

Tim Fright, Frank Wild's great-great-nephew and a key support of the Shackleton Centenary Expedition
In Norway she witnessed the opening of a fine exhibition at Oslo's Fram Museum (Fram was the name of Nansen's flat-bottomed polar ship, which he offered to Shackleton) to celebrate the centenary of Roald Amundsen's conquest of the South Pole. Important also were the events at Portland and Dublin mentioned above; and the service to commemorate Captain Scott and his companions at St. Paul's Cathedral on 29 March 2012.

The imposing and modernistic design of Norway's Fram Museum, commemorating the great Arctic explorer Fridtjof NansenA view from above of the Fram, inside the museum
Lifeboats attached to the side of the restored Fram The striking, ship-like interior of the Museum - shop and library
There are reports of two lectures: that by Dr. Jan Piggott, former Dulwich College archivist and a founder committee member of the Society, who gave an inspirational lecture on Scott and Shackleton, exploring the strengths and foibles of both these two great men; and that by Richard Paterson, the Master Blender for Whyte & Mackay Scotch Whisky distillers of Glasgow, on the 100-year-old Highland Malt discovered under Shackleton's hut.

Plans are afoot to sail the Sir Ernest Shackleton, Trevor Potts's boat used on his recreation of the James Caird journey in 1994, from Scotland to the Scott-Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, arriving in July, as a centrepiece to the planned exhibition to celebrate the Endurance centenary. Lectures en route are planned, and you can even volunteer as a crew member!

Trevor Potts astride his splenmdid replica the Sir Ernest Shackleton, built by McNulty's shipyard on Tyneside
An ancient bellows-type camera similar to that used by Frank Hurley was included in the exhibition at the Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, has now been acquired by Dulwich College for its display alongside the James Caird. The camera allows children both to hear and to see the kind of landscape and images Frank Hurley captured in Antarctica. Visitors young and old can put their heads under the back photographic hood and experience the kind of sensations Hurley would have felt, reliving what life was like during the crew's Antarctic ordeal.

An older pupil takes advantage at Dulwich of a view through the 'Hurley' bellow-type camera
The number and quality of pictures which Dorothy has included in Newsletter 18 is truly remarkable. Its colourful appearance and choice of images are both superb. This is certainly a document to treasure, and surely a fine commentary on Shackleton events.

Read the entire 16-page Newsletter in .pdf format




English Touring Opera have officially announced that their opera for children in Spring 2015 will be 'Shackleton's Cat'. It will be a retelling (with some licence) of the great story of the James Caird and the rescue of the men on Elephant Island.

A sketch of Mrs. Chippy by Grace Turzig, crew member Walter How's nieceWolf Howard's characterful painting of Mrs.Chippy - catch it at the Liverpool Museums
YOU CAN HELP. There is a nationwide scheme which allows donations to be matched 'like for like'. So anything you give to help the production is automatically doubled.

There is a competitive element: different companies challenge one another for funds. It is important to donate as early as possible during the day: from 10 a.m. THURSDAY 4, FRIDAY 5, SATURDAY 6. (Later in the day is possible, but each day's 'doubling' funds are finite.)

Go directly to the donation page

It is hoped James Caird Society members or Shackleton enthusiasts may want to give them a small helping hand. Every little counts, even a few pounds.

Their official press release states: 'As part of the fundraising for Shackleton's Cat, ETO is participating in "The Big Give" Christmas Challenge. As you may know, this scheme provides match-funding for projects as a way of raising money for charities.'

From 10 a.m. on Thursday 4 December, 'donations made via "The Big Give" website towards Shackleton's Cat can be doubled, so for a donation of £20, Shackleton's Cat would receive £40 (or £45 with Gift Aid!). Any donation, from £5 to £5,000, can be matched.'

How it works, From Thursday, donate now!
Please do consider helping and put your own mark on something that promises to be among the liveliest parts of our Shackleton Centenary celebrations.

Go to the donation page

Further information, if required, from : David Burgess, English Touring Opera. 020 7833 2555. facebook/englishtouringopera

WINNER 2014 Olivier Awards - Outstanding Achievement in Opera

A famous explorer in her own right, Mrs. Chippy felt happiest with 'Chips' McNish at his work table




The author, biographer and lecturer Michael Smith
Michael Smith has done as much as anyone to bring to life major figures of the British and Irish Antarctic tradition.

Michael Smith's new bioography of Shackleton, published by The Collins Press
His biography of Tom Crean (An Unsung Hero: Tom Crean - Antarctic Survivor), bringing much to the fore about the Irishman who like Frank Wild went on so many expeditions, is already legendary. Michael has even retold Tom's story for Children: Tom Crean - Ice Man is also available in Irish, Fear San Oighear; and Shackleton's life is retold for children too: Shackleton - The Boss

Visit Michael Smith's website for details of his books and lectures

Michael has honoured Irish Antarctic pioneers with Great Endeavour, a survey of 200 years of activity at the Poles. He has also reached out to Captain Scott's last expedition with I Am Just Going Outside, a biography of the brave and selfless Captain Oates. These books and others are published by The Collins Press.

Great Endeavours - the achievements of Irish polar explorers The bestselling biography of Irish Antarctic  legend Tom CreanScott's loyal companion, Captain Oates
A scientist of stature not too proud to scrub floors: the Endurance's James Wordie   A tragic end: Crozier, distinguished in both north and south Polar regionsThe new volume, aptly timed for the Shackleton Endurance centenary
Michael reached further back in history to explore the life of Francis Crozier (1796-c1848), the captain of HMS Terror and finally the commander of the disastrous Franklin expedition hoping to discover the North West Passage. And he has boldly researched the life of Sir James Wordie, geologist on the Endurance and later Master of St. John's College, Cambridge, with James Wordie: Polar Crusader (published by Birlinn Books), a major new addition to Shackleton and Antarctic studies.

Now Michael Smith has turned his considerable skills to the great man himself, updating the story by offering his own fresh overview, drawing on recent scholarship and undertaking meaningful researches of his own, significantly to further our knowledge of 'The Boss'.

The BossSurvivor of the cold - Man of Ice
Ernest Shackleton: By Endurance we Conquer promises to be the most significant new development in Shackleton studies since Roland Huntford's Shackleton.

Buy Shackleton - By Endurance We Conquer from Amazon UK as book or on Kindle

Following a series of lectures in Ireland at Waterford, at Athy Heritage Centre and in Dun Laoghaire, the port of Dublin, Michael Smith will be lecturing in the UK: perhaps most notably, he will talk at Sydenham Community Library, in the very South London borough where Ernest Shackleton spent his early teens, at 7.00 on Tuesday 18 November (0208 778 1753). On Sunday 23 November he will lecture at the Stables Theatre, Hastings at 3.00 p.m. Early in the new year he will be at Robertsbridge and East Grinstead in Sussex before continuing his appearances in Dublin and Belfast, Wexford and County Clare.

Advancing Education about the Antarctic pioneers is another key part of Michael Smith's wide-reaching work
View the new Shackleton book in paperback

View Michael Smith's new Shackleton Book in Hardback

The Collins Press is one of the liveliest publishers based in Ireland, and for several years has specialised in Polar literature and advancing the cause of great figures of Antarctic and Arctic exploration
View the full range of books at The Collins Press




Shackleton's famous boat captivates the imagination of schoolchildren of all ages and ability
Dulwich College is extraordinarily lucky in having Sir Ernest Shackleton's remarkable boat, the James Caird. The great Antarctic explorer was a boy there in the late 19th century.

Now it is possible not just for teachers to take their classes to visit the famous boat, which saved the lives of so many men, but also to hear the full story fascinatingly and entertainingly told by a real expert, who knows how to bring this gripping tale alive for young children.

Children gather around as Calista begins her dramatic story
Mrs. Calista Lucy, the College Archivist, has already delighted droves of young listeners with her retelling of events, so life-like that you almost feel you could be there. The story is exciting, the events dangerous, Shackleton and his crew members brave and heroic, and the tale of the nerve-wracking boat journey in the James Caird to get help one of the most nail-biting ever told.

Full of human touches, not forgetting the dogs (and ship's cat!), Calista's tale is one that would excite any wide-eyed young listener. And the fact that the very boat which carried them to safety is right there, just feet from you, really brings the whole saga alive.

Young children are just as fascinated as their elders
Contact Calista at Dulwich College Archives (020 8299 9201 or the main no. 693 3601) or email Not to be missed!

One colourful view of the James Caird asailA younger pupil's view of the James Caird, again with a thankful message




Sir Ernest Shackleton may be a legend for the courageous way he rescued all his men from certain death in the icy Antarctic, but he is not yet a household name in all junior - or even senior - schools.

That may be about to change, thanks to the fact that the small boat the James Caird in which Shackleton and five men risked their lives by sailing across 800 miles of the most terrible seas in the world to fetch help for his party, still exists. The James Caird is based at Dulwich College, which was Shackleton's old school in South London, and anyone, yes anyone, can go and visit it.

That especially applies to schoolchildren, thanks to an initiative by Mrs. Calista Lucy, who as Archivist at Dulwich College has special responsibility for Shackleton's remarkable boat, which is displayed in the College's spacious North Cloister.

Children from many parts of London have already been amazed and astonished by the story of the precious boat, and afterwards talk about little else, especially as Shackleton's fascinating exploits and cramped and terrifying boat journey are recalled in a talk by Calista specially designed for schools.

Calista tells of waves almost 100 ft. high, ice that cracks under your feet, pulling sledges across treacherous icy terrain, and of life on a remote polar island with almost no hope of rescue. Not surprisingly, children are very impressed by the hardship Shackleton's men suffered, and by their amazing bravery. There are other artefacts: Shackleton's sledge can be seen on the wall, and a polar uniform such as perhaps he would have worn; and can try on mittens - fingerless gloves designed to preserve heat. Just being in the presence of such a famous boat is a hugely exciting experience.

One recent young visitor writes in response to his recent visit: "I was so excited and thrilled to see this iconic Antarctic boat. If you don’t know Shackleton’s tale I recommend you to do so. What an amazing thing to have in your school! You would learn more by staring at that boat, and thinking of Shackleton’s story, than in a year of classroom lessons!'

Would you like to see the James Caird and learn about Ernest Shackleton? Could you show the bravery that Shackleton and his men did? Get your teacher to contact Calista at
It may prove a dream come true!




The website has devised a number of assemblies for Primary Schools, and one of these is especially designed to tell the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton's Endurance expedition in a way that makes it accessible and fascinating for Primary School pupils.

The site draws attention to a number of pictures on the web suitable to illustrate the Endurance story.

The story of the ship's sinking, the men's escape from the ice, the voyage of the James Caird, the mountain crossing on South Georgia and the rescue of the 22 men is all told in detail and in a way that brings the saga alive for young children.

The story ends with a very appropriate prayer.

Other stories of heroic feats can also be found on the same website, including that of Sir Vivian Fuchs's Transantarctic crossing in 1957, which completed the journey Ernest Shackleton had hoped to make.



Resources on the web giving a vivid account of Sir Ernest Shackleton's life, leadership and achievements continue to emerge.

One useful one to note for schools is that found in the 'Academic Kids' encyclopedia, which helpfully draws together and makes available material from a wide range of sources.

The site also offers LINKS to a wide range of other information for Shackleton fans.




The story of Ernest Shackleton is one of the most gripping tales ever told.

Here it is retold in a strikingly well-written narrative lasting just a little over 5 and a half minutes.

Visit the link below to hear his story, beautifully illustrated with a sequence of striking and well-chosen still photographs.

You can also read comments on the video. One response runs 'As a huge admirer of Sir Ernest Shackleton, I thought this video was great, despite the slightly halting commentary, which was neverless precise and to the point, covering the most important features of his story. The illustrations used were inspired.'




To accompany the new exhibition in Liverpool of Hurley's extraordinary photographs, Endurance - Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure, running from the widely acclaimed one man theatre show 'Tom Crean's Story' offers the chance to find out out more about the incredible tale behind them.

Ideal for younger and older Shackleton enthusiasts alike, and a particularly entertaining and gripping introduction for children of school age, 'Tom, Crean's Story' will be staged in the first floor performance space of the Merseyside Maritime Museum.

The dates and times of performance run through October and November 2010 into December, and will be as follows:

Sunday 3 October 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30pm
Saturday 9 October 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30pm
Saturday 16 October 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30pm
Saturday 23 October 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30pm
Wednesday 27 October 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30pm
Saturday 30 October 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30pm
Saturday 6 November 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30pm
Monday 8 November 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30pm
Saturday 13 November 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30pm
Saturday 20 November 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30pm
Saturday 27 November 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30pm
Saturday 4 December 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30pm
Saturday 11 December 2010 1.30, 2.30 and 3.30pm

Not to be missed!




Two most enjoyable (and thoroughly well-informed) short quizzes on Shackleton's life and the story of the Endurance expedition, as well as a range of other 'explorers' quizzes, can be found at the imaginative 'Playquiz' website.

Some of the questions you may answer with ease: one or two are designed to catch you out.

Test your knowledge of the 1914-1916 saga and see how your final score compares.



Paul Moxon, composer of
Paul Moxon, a composer who has already composed a Titanic Suite, has recently completed an exciting Shackleton-related project: a new orchestral work telling the story of Shackleton's "Endurance" expedition. The 40 minute Suite is for orchestra and solo voice. The third movement is entitled The James Caird ('Farewell/ Against the Might of the Sea/ Hope Fulfilled'). Plans are now afoot for both a World Premiere in 2008 and a recording of the new work.

Paul has contacted the JCS Forum to say that for those who would like a sneak preview, one of the main themes, "On the Seas", can be found at The extract is taken from the first movement of "Endurance" and describes Shackleton's great ship as she ploughs through the South Atlantic towards the Weddell Sea and a meeting with destiny.

Listen to the musical extract from "Endurance"

He adds "I wanted it to have a lot of movement in the music with a strong and rousing nautical feel but at the same also convey a sense of mystery and uncertainty as they head towards the great unknown. "On the Seas" was actually one of the earliest themes written for the piece and the motif is revisited throughout "Endurance"."




How many dogs did Sir Ernest Shackleton take with him on his Endurance expedition? Were they faithful companions? And why did he take them?

Shackleton's plan was to be the first, with just a handful of his men to cross the entire continent of Antarctica. For this, he needed furry friends - in fact he took 54 - to draw the sledges carrying all-important supplies, and sometimes men.

Frank Hurley, Shackleton's photographer, gives some idea of how valuable the dogs were to the men: 'How dreary the frozen captivity of the ice, but for the dogs,' he wrote.

The 54 sturdy and eager dogs, whose average weight was 85 lb., were divided into 6 teams of eight or moret, looked after by five expedition members: the two expedition doctors, Dr. Macklin, and Dr. McIlroy, who kept them in fine fettle; the painter George Marston; second officer Tom Crean; the deputy leader Frank Wild; and the amazing photographer Frank Hurley.

Several dogs died - perhaps as many as 15 - at the isle of South Georgia or before the expedition set out; but there were some new ones! Six puppies were born to two of the dogs, Sue and Sally (four of her cute, tiny pups appear in a famous picture of big-hearted expedition member Tom Crean, from Ireland.

Other Endurance dogs included Samson (he was easily the biggest!), four- year-old Shakespeare (nicknamed 'Tatcho'), Bob (ow 'owd [old] Bob', Shakespeare's brother), Jasper (the heaviest at 132 lb.), Lupoid ('wolf-like' because of his ears), Soldier (red in colour, a mix of bloodhound and wolf.Frank Wild sings places. Many times, he says, 'I have taken the team out seven or eight miles, then given the order "Home, Soldier" and have actually gone to sleep on the sledge and wakened to find myself alongside the ship!'

There was also Sailor (he was a weeny bit idle, Hurley tells us), Sally and her four pups (named Roger, Nell, Toby and Nelson), and Sue and her two pups (sadly only two survived from her litter of 11). Two 'older' pups are mentioned, one called Grus (Dr. Macklin recalls) and another called Sirius. Sir Ernest Shackleton claims that he named a dog after each 'of the Public Schools of England and Scotland (that) helped to purchase the dog teams': perhaps a slightly exaggerated claim, But he also mentions more than ten dogs: Amundsen, Con, Hercules, Nigger, Oscar, Peter (Hurley, an Australian, called him 'Bony Peter'), Pinkey, Pompey, Snapper and Towzer. Frank Worsley, the Endurance's skipper, also mentions Steamer and Satan. For a time Satan was the pack leader.

The website Endurance Obituaries goes further: it records the names of 66 dogs - out of a total of 69 (perhaps some died on the way out). Their names include over a dozen of those mentioned above and below, but omit several.

Included are Bob, Bo'sun, Bummer, Gruss, Hercules, Jasper, Lupoid, Sailor, Saint, Sally, Samson, Satan, Shakespeare, Snapper, Soldier, Sue and Wolf. The list of the other dogs reads: Alti, Amundsen, Blackie, Bristol, Brownie, Buller, Caruso, Chips, Dismal, Elliott, Fluff, Hackenschmidt, Gruss, Jamie, Jerry, Judge, Luke, Mack, Martin, Mercury, Noel, Paddy, Roger (puppy), Roy, Rufus, Rugby, Sadie, Sammy, Sandy, Side Lights, Simian, Slippery Neck, Slobbers, Snowball, Snowball, Songster, Sooty, Spider, Split Lip, Sporty, Steamer, Steward Stumps, Sub, Swanker, Sweep, Tim, Upton and Wallaby.

Several of these were named after members of the crew. McIlroy's team leader was Wolf. Hurley's was Shakespeare. Dr. Macklin had Bo'sun as his. Tom Crean's team was led by Surly; Marston's by Steamer (not listed above); and lastly, Soldier was the leader of Frank Wild's team.

Two others mentioned by Hurley appear to be Endurance dogs: (as well as Bummer), Colonel and Saint.

Sadly the sinking of Shackleton's ship and the abandoning of the Transantarctic crossing was to spell the end for the dogs. When the party escaped from the ice, a very dangerous, freezing journey in three boats, the dogs who had been such faithful friends - in their kennels on board deck, on walks and sledge journeys, and playing on the ice - had to be put down. So did the ship's cat, Mrs. Chippy, who belonged to the hardworking carpenter. Everyone was desperately sad and upset - but it had to be done.

All the expedition members had different memories of different dogs. It is nice that we still have pictures of some of them, climbing off the ship, sitting patiently as the Endurance fin ally breaks up and sinks, or playing around with members of the ship's company. To the men, the dogs had been trusted companions, and they retained fond memories of these much-loved friends.



One of the most lively and useful sites for school students wanting to learn about Antarctica, about the great explorers (not just Shackleton) who went there, their ships and their crews, is 'Cool Antarctica' (

A lot of trouble has been taken to put painstakingly researched detail onto this site. There is a huge number of really good photographs, and also a lot of information about the various expeditions.

There are also some fascinating 'questions and answers' giving interesting facts about Antarctica and its very cold climate.


If you want a really cool version of the story of Antarctic exploration, including the amazing adventures of Shackleton, try surfing to the 'Cool Antartica' website. There are some terrific pics of the frozen continent, and a lively summary of the history of Antarctic exploration.

Tents pitched during Ernest Shackleton's 'Nimrod' expedition of 1907-9. Painting by George Marston.Penguins from the Cool Antarctica site
The History of Exploration - see Cool Antarctica's 'Antarctic Timelines'

Surf the Cool Antarctica website



The website of the Natural History Museum in London has a section specially devoted to Antarctic Heritage and Conservation.
On the website you can read about Shackleton's hut (used on the Nimrod expedition of 1907-9) and its conservation, about the difficulties of working in the the Antarctic winter, and also read the internet diary (known as a 'blog') of those who are working to restore the huts and ensure they are preserved for the future.

Visit the NHM website's Polar section

It describes what it's like to spend time in Antarctica conserving artefacts from the explorer's hut left behind by Ernest Shackleton in 1908.

Conservation in extreme temperatures during the Antarctic winter

The 'blog' is written by written by Robert Clendon, Amy Ng, Al Fastier, Natalie Cadenhead and Julian Bickersteth; and includes contributions from previous conservators Sarah Clayton, Nicola Dunn and Ainslie Greiner, who have now left Scott Base.

campsite at Cape Royds photographed by conservator Amy Ng
Read the 'blog'
Amy, who also took many of the very good photos on the website, writes:

'It’s great to have four new faces from the carpentry team joining us for the last leg of the 2006/07 Antarctic Heritage Trust Ross Sea Heritage Restoration Project summer programme.

They are: Gordon McDonald and Charley Brentnall (carpenters). Gordon is based in Canada and Charley is from the UK; Steve Brown (carpenter, New Zealand); and James Blake, a university student studying environmental sciences at Bristol University, who is participating in the programme as a general hand to the conservation carpenters.

Recip[e Boook discovered in the hut, photographed by Amy Ng, who describes how the conservators restored it
We will be camping at Cape Royds again. January will be an extremely busy month for all of us - the carpentry team will focus on conserving the structure of the hut and Robert and myself will concentrate on conserving a variety of artefacts including in-situ conservation of the cooking stove and acetylene lighting plant.'

Cups before and after conservation treatment (pic: Natural History Mseum/Antarctic Heritage Trust)



Are you any chance a penguin fan or fanatic? In that case you could do worse than visiting, which contains almost everything you could want to know, including many useful links.

There are penguin games, penguin video clips, penguin cartoons, shuffle the penguin, poke the penguin, Pokey the penguin - you name it, you'll probably find it there.

Penguins51 is the website of Karen Ronne Tupek, who is also a website designer. Karen is the daughter and granddaughter of polar, especially Antarctic, explorers. She was a member of her father's expedition to the high Arctic, very close to the North Pole, visiting historic sites important in exploration. She traveled in February 1995 to the Antarctic to visit a historic base, constructed by her father, where her mother became the first woman to visit and over winter in the Antarctic on their private expedition. Combining her profession with her heritage, she worked with the National Science Foundation to make his base an international historic site and to preserve it, and she contributed material to the site museum. Karen was able to fulfill her dream to ski in the Antarctic. She had returned five times and twice semi-circumnavigated the Antarctic continent.



After seven wonderful years of inspiring and educating young men and women to be leaders, educators, community builders, entrepreneurs, and stewards of the earth, the Shackleton School had finally closed its doors.

Its leaders and moving spirits, Luke O'Neill and Peter Clarke, write: 'While we are all saddened to see such a powerful and rewarding educational program come to an end, we feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to develop a remarkable expedition-based curriculum that worked. Without so many fellow believers by our side, we would never have been able to bring this dream to life. It is our sincere hope that the educational model we developed will take hold in schools around the globe, so that more young men and women will have the chance to explore their potential as leaders.'

If you would like to know more about Shackleton School's unique expedition-based curriculum, please contact Peter Clarke, former Head of School, at or Shackleton's founder, Luke O'Neill, at



Visit the International Polar Foundation website for a fascinating animation describing the Arctic and Antarctic.
There are many other bits of useful information on the site as well.

The International Polar Foundation's Education Zone



Plans are afoot (see above) to launch a Young Caird section, aimed at interesting younger readers in the story of Shackleton, his expeditions, the Endurance and the James Caird.

Initial sections, including a note of Shackleton-related publications for younger readers, will begin appearing on these pages in due course.



Sir Ernest Shackleton is a particular hero of Betty Bailey, who explains why his achievement is so important to her, and gives a good, readable outline of his most famous expedition on the 'My hero' website.

The sheer test of endurance that he faced, first leading his three colleagues to 'Furthest South' in January 1909 - the closest any man had ever come to the Pole at that time - and then in 1915-16 coping with the crushing of the Endurance in the ice, the loss of the ship, survival on the ice, the escape by boats and finally the appalling 800 mile boat journey in the James Caird so as to reach South Georgia and bring help to his stranded men ranks as one of the most extraordinary andb heroic exploration stories of all time.



For some time the Committee has been discussing the possibility of establishing a 'Junior Membership'. It is valuable and important to encourage younger persons to join - not only to safeguard the future of the Society, but also to meet the obvious interest in 'things polar' within the youth community: this is particularly demonstrated by the high volume of enquiries and 'hits' received through the James Caird Society website, as well as the keen response met when some of our members talk at schools and youth clubs around the country.

JCS Committee member Stephen Scott-Fawcett has investigated the various possibilities. He has met with some Dulwich College pupils to discuss ways in which the Society might provide activities of interest to them. Mr. Nick Hewlett, who teaches Geography, and three pupils were invited to attend the JCS Tenth Anniversary Dinner held on 14th May 2004 at the Scott-Polar Research Institute and Graduate Institute in Cambridge. Stephen also arranged for some students to attend lectures held by the JCS in Cambridge and Dulwich, respectively, and gave a short illustrated talk to the Middle & Upper Schools, and a lunch-time talk to Sixth Formers at Shackleton's old school. Meetings have been held with the Dulwich College Geography Society to explore the optimum way forward, with the intention of creating a formal link between the pupils and the James Caird Society. It is envisaged that the James Cairders could form an integral part of The James Caird Society and be under the same constitution. It is also proposed that there would be a separate (and distinctive) Notice Board erected at the College for pupils to be kept informed of membership issues, events etc.

Good progress has already been made and in 2004 a new membership for younger people was established. Two Dulwich College students, Simon Glasson, the inaugural Chairman of the James Cairders, and web designer Christopher McMeekin have set in motion a new James Cairders website, which can be found at Stephen Scott-Fawcett is the Honorary Chairman.

The James Cairders share the aims of the James Caird Society: to preserve the memory, honour the remarkable feats of discovery in the Antarctic and commend the outstanding qualities of leadership associated with the name of Sir Ernest Shackleton (l874-l922), especially during the ill-fated but glorious Endurance expedition.

The natural contact the Society has with Dulwich College, which Shacklelton attended from 1887-1890, makes it possible to 'test' the idea of Junior Membership on home territory first. The intention is, however, to offer membership of The Cairders to other educational establishments, as well as private individuals, as soon as is practicable. One possibility might be for schools and colleges to become affiliated members.

All this remains for future discussion by the James Caird Society Committee. No final decisions have been made. Nevertheless, these are exciting times for the Society and, without question, it is important that we strive to promote the outstanding polar endeavours of Sir Ernest Shackleton to all generations, particularly the rising.

Those interested in Shackleton's early years might like to visit the Antarctic Circle site, an interesting and detailed source of varied Polar information, which notes: 'The Shackleton family moved to 12, Westwood Hill, Sydenham, London [SE26] in 1885; and from here young Ernest went each day to Dulwich College, a fairly distant walk away (I know because I've walked it!) The house now has a Greater London Council "blue plaque," installed in 1928 (by the then London County Council), that reads "Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922), Antarctic Explorer, lived here." Dr. Shackleton, Ernest's father, and the family remained at this address for 32 years. Back then the house was called 'Aberdeen House'; it's now called 'St. Davids'. Next door is St. Bartholomew's Church where the Shackleton family may have worshipped.'

It is hoped that, in time, The Cairders will expand into other schools in the UK and beyond.
- Stephen Scott-Fawcett, MA, FRGS, Honorary Chairman.



The British Schools Exploring Society reports on the official South Georgia website that in December 2003 – January 2004 Brigadier David Nicholls (Royal Marines retired) led a 30-strong expedition including 21 Young Explorers aged 18 to 24 to Chile, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

The British Antarctic Survey's ship, HMS Endurance, generously supported the Expedition.

In South Georgia the expedition was based in Husvik and carried out three objectives: to search for the stove left by Sir Ernest Shackleton below Break Wind Ridge, inland from Fortuna Bay (sadly after a thorough search with metal detectors in the very thick snow covering the glacier, it failed to turn up!); to ascend several previously unclimbed peaks (of over 4000 ft) in the Wilckens range; ascending via the Nuemayer Glacier to the Khol-Larsen Plateau (3,000 ft); and to scientific studies, including making a collection of vascular plants. While at Husvik the Expedition spent time helpfully cleaning up the Manager's villa and the radio shack, and doing renovation work at the Scandinavian whalers' cemeteries in Husvik and Leith.




by Connie & Peter Roop, illustrated by Bob Doucet (Hello Reader! series, Level 4)

This lively version of the Shackleton story designed for children aged 7-9 is published by Scholastic in its 'Hello Reader' series and issued in paperback.



by Monica Kulling (Step into Reading, Step 4), for reading level ages 9-12.
The book is published in paperback.



by Matt White : This book is designed for High Five Reading level readers




By Meredith Hooper. Available from National Maritime Museum, Greenwich following its successful Exhibition South - The Race to the Pole.

Ponko the Penguin and his friend Joey Bear like adventures. But searching for the South Pole is a very very BIG adventure...Ponko, a stuffed toy penguin, was used by Captain Scott's photographer Herbert Ponting to promote the film and photography work from his expeditions to the South Pole.

Leading children’s author Meredith Hooper brings Ponko the Penguin vividly to life in this tale of Antarctic adventure written specially for younger children.




The audiobook Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World : The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and the Endurance (written by Jennifer Armstrong and performed by Taylor Mali, four cassettes, four hours, for family listening and children aged l0 or above), published by Audio Bookshelf was voted 'truly outstanding' by the US Publishers Weekly :

'To give listeners a sense of the crew's journal entries found in the book, Mali intersperses his narration with various voices and accents. These provide a vivid picture of the cabin fever, loneliness, fear and suffering Shackleton's men endured, as well as their unquestionable courage.'



Shackleton, Endurance and the James Caird as you've never seen them before! A delightfully faithful cartoon version of the 1914-16 Endurance Expedition entitled 'You wouldn't want to be a Polar Explorer!' catches the celebrated saga of Shackleton and his crew as no other retelling has done before. For lighter moments - not to be missed



Those interested in Shackleton as an educational subject in class for young readers and enthusiasts will find the WGBH/Nova site map especially useful in tracking down valuable materials. The website is connected with the splendid WGBH/Nova Imax film Endurance : Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure.

A series of information sheets on Antarctica is also available on the New Zealand-based International Centre for Antarctic Research (ICAIR) site.



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