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What ’ s i n a Name?

One day you all might be lucky enough to be in the position to have to chose a name not for the f ami l y dog or rabbit but for your OWN children…. So that gave me a thought about todays’ assembly…

Now , I have checked on the School database and to my knowledge there is no one here by The Name Of‌


Which is a shame because the story I am going to tell you means you will all have to call your children



Let me begin‌

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The beginning of the twentieth century was an time for polar exploration. Expeditions from Britain and Norway fought to be the first to discover and conquer the Poles. The nation was gripped by the triumphs and tragic defeats of these adventures‌

On of these Explorers was Ernest Shackleton.

From an early age, Shackleton knew he wanted to be an explorer and after leaving Dulwich College, he qualified as a ship’s master. At the age of 24 and went on to participate in five Antarctic expeditions. After the second, the 1907–09 Nimrod Expedition, he was knighted and greeted as a hero for reaching further south than any previous expl or er !

In 1914 just before the outbreak of the first World War he planned to go the South Pole again

Imperial TransAntarctic Expedition And this is his Story.

The plan was to cross the continent of Antarctica. Two ships were to be used ; Endurance and Aurora

Endur ance would carry the main party into the Weddell Sea, aiming for Vahsel Bay from where a team of six, led by Shackleton, would begin the crossing of the continent

Luckily the whole expedition was recorded by an Australian Photographer And film maker called

Frank Hurley.

It is his original film and negatives that we see; the following images from the expedition had an adventure of themselves being carried and taken in the most extreme of circumstances.

Attempting to free the ship from ice

As the ship moved southward, early


was encountered, which

slowed progress. Deep in the Weddell Sea conditions gradually grew


worse until, on 19 January 1915, Endurance became fast in an ice floe. On 24 February, realising that she would be trapped until the following spring, Shackleton ordered the abandonment of ship's routine and her conversion to a winter station.She drifted slowly northward with the ice through the following months. When spring arrived in September the breaking of the ice and its later movements put extreme pressures on the ship's hull causing water to flood in‌

Frank Hurley filmed this following footage as Shackleton’s expedition ship, the Endurance, is enclosed with pack ice. The ship’s crow’s nest fell only 10 feet from Hurley yet he continued filming. After the ship collapsed, Frank Hurley courageously boarded the Endurance to


his glass slides and film footage. Unable to carry them all, Hurley destroyed up to 400 plates. The film and photographs you see are a testament to his extreme courage to record Under extremely severe conditions the trip home.

On 21 November 1915 the wreck slipped beneath the surface

two months

For almost Shackleton and his party camped on a large, flat floe, hoping that it would drift towards Paulet Island, 250 miles away. On 9 April their ice floe broke into two, and Shackleton ordered the crew into the lifeboats, to head for the nearest land. After five days at sea the exhaust ed men landed their three lifeboats at Elephant Island. This was the first time they had stood on solid


ground for days. Shackleton's concern for his men was such that he gave his mittens to photographer Frank Hurley , who had lost his during the boat journey. Shackleton suffered frostbitten fingers as a result

Shackleton knew that Elephant Island was too remote to be rescued from so He bravely decided to set out in one of the lifeboats to reach South Georgia Where he could reach help‌ He chose the heaviest and strongest boat the James


With some modifications Shackleton chose Six men & provisions for a month and set sail

The whaling stations at South georgia Island were a


staggering  nautical miles  (920 miles) Away across the southern ocean in winter gales. They set sail on 24 April 1916

They landed on the 8th May

They had done it…. Historian Carol Alexander commented: "They could hardly have known—or cared—that in the carefully weighted judgement of authorities yet to come, the voyage of the James Caird would be ranked as one of the greatest boat journeys ever accomplished" But they were on the wrong side of the Island ! After a few days rest Shackleton then decided To climb over the South Georgia Mountain range to get help. They had no map or mountaineering Equipment. They arrived 36 hours later.

The three remaining crew living under the up turned boat.


Shackletons men were rescued.

On his return from the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition In May 1917 Shackleton found a Europe at War. Several of the Endurances Crew joined up to fight and were killed or wounded. Although Unqualified as a diplomat, he nevertheless tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade Argentina and Chile to enter the war on the side of the Allies. He returned home in April 1918 and began a lecture programme but suffered from ill health.

In 1920, tired of the lecture circuit, Shackleton began to consider the possibility of a last expedition The goals of the venture were imprecise, but a circumnavigation of the Antarctic continent and investigation of some "lost" sub-Antarctic islands were mentioned as objectives

He set sail on the 24th Sept 1921 and arrived in South Georgia on the 4th January‌

Ernest Shackleton died of a heart attack at 2.50am on 5 January 1922 in his Cabin on board the expedition ship Quest - He was


At his families request he was buried in the Grytviken cemetery in South Georgia. His Doctor Macklin wrote in his diary: "I think this is as "the Boss" would have had it himself, standing lonely in an island far from civilisation, surrounded by stormy tempestuous seas, & in the vicinity of one of his greatest exploits." The James Caird is kept at. Shackleton’s old SchoolDulwich College in South London.

South Georgia from Space.

Apsley George Benet Cherry-Garrard a polar explorer in his book The worst journey in the world wrote

For a joint scientific and geographical piece of organisation, give me Scott; for a Winter Journey, Wilson; for a dash to the Pole and nothing else, Amundsen: and if I am in the devil of a hole and want to get out of it, give me

Shackleton every time"



t is only recently that Shackleton’s exploits and heroic leadership skills have been

fully realised. An American management book called ‘ Shackletons Way’ was an international Bestseller and told the story of the Endurance expedition as an example Of how to manage people and there are University Course dedicated to unravelling and discussing his role as a great leader

But the next time you are playing in the snow or planning your D of E Expedition or indeed thinking what to call your Rabbit or heir…

…Maybe it might be worth thinking about


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