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In 1915, Shackleton and his men were confronted with one of the worst disasters in Antarctic history: their ship had been crushed and then sunk, the outside world was unaware of their predicament or location, food was scarce and any chance of survival was remote. They were marooned on sea ice that broke apart and then had to sail through dangerous waters to a desolate island. The ‘James Caird’, a small lifeboat was transformed into an ocean-going vessel that six men sailed across the worst seas in the world to South Georgia. Here, three of them crossed an uncharted mountain range and raised the alarm. After three aborted rescue attempts, the Chilean Navy’s tug ‘Yelcho’ finally rescued the remaining men.
This major centenary exhibition at The Polar Museum will commemorate all the men that sailed with Shackleton aboard the ‘Endurance’ telling the story of the expedition with biographies of all the men and ‘Mrs Chippy’, the ship’s cat. The exhibition will also honour the Ross Sea Party, three of whom lost their lives, that laid the supply depots on the other side of the Antarctic continent for the planned crossing by Shackleton and his companions. The exhibition provides an opportunity to display a range of the Scott Polar Research Institute‘s archival material and museum collection along with artifacts from the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London and other private collections.
‘We had suffered, starved, and triumphed, grovelled down yet grasped at glory, grown bigger in the bigness of the whole’. We had seen God in his splendours, heard the text that Nature renders. We had reached the naked soul of man’
By Endurance We Conquer: Shackleton and his Men
The Polar Museum
22 September 2015 – 18 June 2016