Polar Castaways, by Richard McElrea & David Harrowfield

Polar Castaways, by Richard McElrea & David Harrowfield (History)

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Polar Castaways: The Ross Sea Party (1914-17) of Sir Ernest Shackleton

When Sir Ernest Shackleton's dream of crossing Antarctica foundered with his ship Endurance in the ice of the Weddell Sea in October 1915, he doubtless wondered how this would affect his support party on the other side of the continent. He could not communicate with them and tell them no longer to proceed.

The task of the Ross Sea party was to lay the vital depots to support Shackleton's traverse party. Theirs was a hard task. They were under-financed, inadequately prepared — and unlucky. In May 1915, shortly after arriving at Cape Evans on Ross Island, their ship Aurora was blown out to sea from its moorings, and drifted in ice for nearly a year before it could be freed. Ten men were left ashore, completely isolated from the outside world, and without proper equipment and supplies. Notwithstanding, they remained true to their responsibilities and laid depots across the Ross Ice Shelf to Mt Hope, but at great personal hardship and cost.

Remarkably, after some 85 years, this book is the first in-depth account of the Ross Sea Party, the drift of the Aurora and the relief expedition under the command of polar veteran Captain J. K. Davis. The book fills one of the last major gaps in the literature of the 'heroic era' of polar exploration. It has been written almost entirely from primary sources and includes a number of photographs never previously published, as well as maps and other illustrations.

From: Polar Castaways: The Ross Sea Party (1914-17) of Sir Ernest Shackleton, by Richard McElrea & David Harrowfield

Chapter One: An expedition to cross Antarctica

IN THE EARLY YEARS of the twentieth century, an expedition to cross the continent of Antarctica was, by its very nature, an extremely hazardous enterprise. Those embarking on such a venture would be cut off from civilisation, and any hope of rescue or assistance, if needed, could be thought of only in terms of months, if not years. Communication by wireless, although successfully pioneered by the Australian explorer Douglas Mawson during his expedition of 1911–14, was fickle at best. Navigating through ice-filled waters in sailing ships augmented by steam engines of limited capacity was an arduous prospect, and sledging parties would have to cross unknown ice-covered terrain in a hostile climate with inadequate food supplies and using equipment that was primitive by today’s standards. This era has become known as the ‘heroic age’ of Antarctic exploration and would draw to a close when the survivors of Shackleton’s Ross Sea party stepped ashore in Wellington, New Zealand, on 9 February 1917.

British explorer Ernest Shackleton,1 born in County Kildare, Ireland, in 1874, had been twice disappointed in his polar endeavours. As a member of the National Antarctic Expedition (the Discovery expedition) he was sent home in March 1903 after the first season on account of ill health.2 As leader of the 1907–09 British Antarctic Expedition (BAE), also known as the Nimrod expedition and surely one of the most unheralded ventures of the era, he failed in his attempt to reach the South Pole, turning back at 88° 23’ S on 10 January 1909.3 Two years later he wrote to Wellington solicitor Leonard Tripp: ‘I do not feel settled down myself at all. I long for the unbeaten trail again.’ Shackleton’s solution to this wanderlust was an ambitious plan to cross the continent of Antarctica, an enterprise he named the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (ITAE).

Despite James Cook’s crossing of the Antarctic Circle in January 1773, it would be almost 50 years before the first sightings of, and landings on, Antarctica were made. Contention about who was first to sight the continent has been well documented, with the names Thaddeus Bellingshausen, Edward Bransfield and Nathaniel Palmer featuring prominently.4 From November 1840 to April 1841, James Clark Ross voyaged into the sea to be named after him and discovered what he termed the Great Icy Barrier.5 (By the early twentieth century, this was known variously as the Great Ross Barrier, the Great Ice Barrier or simply the Barrier. It is now the Ross Ice Shelf.) Over 30 years later, HMS Challenger became the first steamship to cross the Antarctic Circle.6 British expeditions led by Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton reached inland from the Ross Sea in the first years of the twentieth century, but just how little was then known of the regions south of the Weddell Sea is illustrated by the Scottish explorer William Bruce, who noted as late as 1911:

There are two theories regarding the Antarctic continent: one, that it is one continuous land mass; the other, that it is divided by a channel from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea.7

The idea of a transcontinental crossing to prove which of these theories was correct was not new. Bruce himself had issued a prospectus for such a journey,8 and had outlined his plan in greater detail to the Royal Scottish Geographical Society on 17 March 1910. He estimated the expedition would cost £50,000, and hoped it could sail by the following year.9 In the event, he could not raise the necessary funds.

Bruce had earlier led the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, which achieved significant exploration in the Weddell Sea, reaching 74°1’S, 22°W in March 1904 and naming Coats Land after two brothers who had funded the expedition.10 During the ITAE in Endurance, Shackleton would put great reliance on Bruce’s excellent work and live to regret passing up an opportunity to make landfall at a place he would name Glacier Bay, south of Bruce’s farthest south position.11

Wilhelm Filchner and his German South Polar Expedition in January 1912 reached 77° 45’ S, 34° 34’ W in the Weddell Sea, proximate to what would be named the Filchner Ice Shelf. The expedition ship became beset in the ice and drifted north for nine months. Filchner’s original plan, also thwarted through lack of funds, followed that of William Bruce, as did Shackleton’s. There would be two ships in wireless communication with each other; the main party would sail as far south as possible into the Weddell Sea, and from there set out on a southern sledge journey while a support party would approach over known territory from the Ross Sea side.12

Late in 1913, Shackleton published a 30-page prospectus setting out his plans for an expedition that would leave England in the summer of 1914 with the objective of crossing the Antarctic continent from sea to sea, thereby ‘securing for the British flag the honour of being the first carried across the South Polar Continent’.

His proposal met a mixed reaction. Bruce’s response (‘one explorer should not stand in the way of another, in such matters’)13 contrasted with that of Felix König, who claimed priority for Austro-Hungary in the Weddell Sea and protested strongly to Shackleton.14 Lord Curzon, president of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), showed some enthusiasm for the proposal.

It was a task that was worthy to be undertaken by an Englishman … crossing the Polar zone from sea to sea, and discovering what lies in that great white blank [is] one of the few great achievements in exploration that are still open to the human race.15

However, Sir Clements Markham, the 84-year-old former president of the RGS, dismissed it as a ‘useless journey … geographically of no value, and entailing a great waste of money …’ He opined that a journey without laying depots would be ‘simple when in the hands of a capable leader. It is no more than Amundsen did.’ Markham predicted, accurately as it transpired, that ‘the task of laying a line of depots of provisions … seriously complicates the work of the Ross Sea Party, and increases the difficulty …’16

In March 1914, Shackleton put his proposals to a committee of the RGS,17 although he had little wish to meet with the society and anticipated the grudging response he would get from what he considered a ‘hide-bound and narrow’ institution.18

Addressing the committee, he said the crossing of the continent, a distance he estimated of some 1,800 miles,19 would be undertaken by six men (he would later propose a larger party) and 120 dogs. He planned to travel from the Weddell Sea over unexplored territory to the South Pole, first reached (from the opposite direction) by Roald Amundsen’s Norwegian party in December 1911.20 The expedition would then travel westwards by reference to the Queen Maud Range, discovered by the Norwegians, and link up with depots to be laid by a second party, travelling overland from the Ross Sea to the Beardmore Glacier. Shackleton knew much of this latter route well, having pioneered the ascent of the glacier in 1908.

The sledging dogs would be half-breed huskies (husky-collie, husky-St Bernard or husky-wolf crosses)21 and, following Amundsen’s example, would be progressively killed to provide food for the remaining dogs, estimated to number 25 by the end of the crossing.

Shackleton claimed that his crossing party would be self-sufficient and that the support party, intended only as a safety factor, would be travelling over a known route and carrying out a relatively straightforward task. The auxiliary barquentine Aurora, from Mawson’s 1911–14 expedition and procured at a bargain price, would service the Ross Sea party, which would leave from Australia in November 1914. The depots they would lay would be sufficient, in Shackleton’s words, ‘to help us along and give us a little addition to our supplies’. His ploy in understating the importance of the support party is in contrast to his approaches to the Admiralty a few months later. The RGS committee, which was openly sceptical, made the token gesture of contributing £1,000 ‘on Lord Curzon’s personal initiative rather than because the Society as a whole is strongly supporting the scheme’.22

It was proposed by Sir Ernest that funds for the expedition would be raised by appealing to wealthy individuals and not by public subscription, which ‘causes endless book-keeping worries’, he told the committee. Even if funds did permit, he said it was unlikely that wireless communication between the expedition ships and bases could be established because of the distances involved and conditions expected.

Shackleton did have a promise, given in December 1913 by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George, of a government grant of £10,000, half to be paid in 1915 and the balance in 1916. The offer was conditional on Shackleton’s obtaining elsewhere the ‘full balance of the funds required for the expedition’.23 In making this approach to the government, however, Shackleton had not first consulted with the Admiralty, apparently thus ‘indicating that [the ITAE] was not considered as being connected in any way with naval requirement’.24 He then spent some time over the next few months combating the cantankerous First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill.

Shackleton eventually asked the Admiralty to lend naval personnel for the Ross Sea ship. The Merchant Service, he said, would man the Weddell Sea ship:

The Ross Sea ship will have the onerous work of landing a party to proceed south to establish communication with the trans-continental party, and after that will hold a roving commission to chart, sound and survey as much as possible of the Ross Sea quadrant of the Antarctic and the navigable seas between that continent and New Zealand and Australia. For this purpose I would ask for the loan of three executive officers and fifteen to twenty men. The ship will not be wintering in the Antarctic and therefore in the event of war, these men would not be away from touch with civilisation for more than three months and could immediately return to their duties if necessary.25

In another memorandum, Shackleton assured the Admiralty that he proposed to pay these men from the funds of the expedition.26 He asked if he could have ‘one of the ships fitted out in a [sic] Admiralty dockyard’, but failing this, perhaps he could be lent ‘the necessary chronometers, surveying instruments and sounding gear’. Neither of these requests, he pointed out, would create a precedent.

Shackleton continued to press Churchill:

Let me assure you that I will return the men safe and undamaged from the Expedition, as far as God wills it … I really want to have a naval wing to the expedition on the Ross Sea side for navigational purposes … Regent Street holds out more dangers on a busy day than the five million square miles that constitute the Antarctic Continent.27

Churchill appeared to partially acquiesce ‘now that [Shackleton] only wants one officer’. Sir Ernest was pressing for the appointment of Colonel Thomas Orde-Lees, whom he described as ‘a first-class motor and all-round man’.28 In the event, Orde-Lees travelled on Endurance and proved a difficult personality. However, a fortnight later the Admiralty, perhaps mindful of some unsatisfactory matters following Shackleton’s first expedition in 1909, stated that no officers would be available but instruments could be lent.29

In July 1914, Sir Ernest approached the Australian authorities requesting personnel for Aurora from the Royal Australian Navy for five months from December 1914. He proposed that the crew would return to other naval duties from May or June 1915, and be required in December 1915 for a further voyage only if the transcontinental party had not crossed from the Weddell Sea in the first season.30

There was some enthusiasm in Australia for the idea, which would also have the merit of saving the cost of a relief ship being sent to the government meteorological station at Macquarie Island. The Commonwealth Naval Board recommended acceptance subject to ‘a Captain or Chief Officer with polar experience [being] appointed, as the Royal Australian Navy cannot supply this officer’. They had in mind Captain John King Davis, who had served as first officer with Shackleton on Nimrod and captain of Aurora with Mawson.

Shackleton’s success in raising approximately £60,000 with the help of private supporters, some of whose names (such as Dame Janet Stancomb-Wills, Mr Dudley Docker and Sir James Caird) are consequently part of polar history and geography, is well recorded elsewhere. The gift of £24,000 from Caird, a Dundee jute magnate and millionaire, made ‘the expedition financially safe’, wrote Sir Ernest to a supporter.31 Contributions ‘ranging from 2s 6d upwards’ came from all classes of people – ‘omnibus drivers, miners, and metropolitan policemen’.32 However, his fundraising fell well short of his target, perhaps by as much as £40,000.

The outbreak of war on 4 August 1914 almost stopped the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition in its tracks. ‘The present war has altered matters,’ the Naval Secretary cabled Shackleton on 27August 1914.33 However, most observers thought it would be a short war, likely to be over in a matter of weeks or months,34 and the party left with Churchill’s brusque blessing. There would be many critics who would question why it embarked at all, and Shackleton was to go to some lengths to explain and justify the decision.35

The Ross Sea party was to receive considerable government and public support in Australia, but that would be negated somewhat after the ship sailed for Antarctica because of what Davis described as the ‘haphazard and badly organised state of this section of the expedition’.36 That the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition embarked at all was attributable entirely to Shackleton, and the responsibility for inadequate financial support of the Ross Sea party must inevitably rest with him. 

Sir Ernest Shackleton originally intended to appoint Æeneas Mackintosh as one of the party of five men that would cross the Antarctic continent from the Weddell Sea coast under his command.37 By the time he met the committee of the RGS on 14 March 1914, however, the expedition leader had changed his mind. When asked who was to be the commander of the Ross Sea party, Sir Ernest announced that it would be Mackintosh.38

Shackleton needed a reliable and experienced man to lead the support party, and Æeneas Lionel Acton Mackintosh seemed to have most of the attributes that would be required. Born in India on 1 July 1879 of British parents,39 he attended school in England, then, from the age of fifteen, trained on the skysailyard ships Cromdale and Mount Stewart before moving to the P&O Company as a junior officer on RMS Victoria. Importantly, he was a Shackleton protégé, having served as second officer on the Nimrod in 1907–09.40 There he gained some sledging experience as a member of a party of four men with eight dogs, under the leadership of Ernest Joyce, that laid a depot at Minna Bluff from 16 January to 19 February 1909.41

Mackintosh had lost his right eye when struck by a cargo hook while unloading stores at Cape Royds a year earlier. Although the damaged eye (later to be replaced with a glass version) was removed by the ship’s surgeon,42 Mackintosh then went to New Zealand instead of wintering over, before returning the next season.

After the Nimrod expedition, Mackintosh and Davis, under the direction of Sir Ernest, travelled to Hungary to assist Douglas Mawson, who was investigating for Shackleton an allegedly rich but undeveloped reef of gold-mining ore at a village called Nagybanya in the Carpathian Mountains.43 Mackintosh then spent three months at the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean, unsuccessfully searching for Spanish treasure. He received his commission as sub-lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve in July 1908, during his time on the BAE. He later resumed a more orthodox lifestyle, married in 1912, and was assistant secretary to the Imperial Merchant Service Guild in Liverpool when appointed to the ITAE in 1914.44

Shackleton’s appointment of Mackintosh to lead the support party in 1914 was made in the knowledge of an incident that had almost cost him and another man, Thomas McGillon, their lives near Cape Royds in early January 1909.45 Mackintosh and three ‘volunteers’, at the direction of the master of Nimrod, Captain Frederick Evans, had set off with the mailbag and other supplies to cross the pack ice to Cape Royds, a distance of some 32 miles. Two of the men soon returned to the ship because of exhaustion, but ‘Mr Mackintosh decided to push on which was a very risky undertaking’, wrote one of the seamen on Nimrod.46 Some nineteen hours after setting out (and an overnight camp), the pair had found themselves adrift on the sea ice, eventually reaching the safety of land near Cape Bird through desperate efforts. In Mackintosh’s own words, the ‘business had been very near ending my life, and what is worse I am responsible for my good mate’.

After four days of recuperation, Mackintosh and his companion set out for Cape Royds over high terrain on the slopes of Mt Bird, leaving behind the tent and mailbag. Searchers from Nimrod found these four days later, a discovery that raised hopes because it had been feared that the missing men might have been carried away on an ice floe. ‘[Mackintosh and McGillon] started off for Cape Royds, armed with two days provisions, and a Primus lamp, nothing more – madness!’ an incredulous member of the search team wrote.47

The two men survived the ensuing alpine journey to Camp Royds without any crampons or other basic equipment. Near the summit of Mt Bird, at an altitude of some 5,800 feet, McGillon slipped down a ‘yawning chasm’ and was rescued from a fragile ice ledge by Mackintosh’s improvising a rope using pack straps and a waist belt. Their stove and most of their provisions could not be retrieved. On an impassable ‘hotbed of crevasses’ the hapless pair had to climb higher in an effort to find a route, and they resorted to crossing a crevasse by a narrow ice bridge. ‘The idea of Hell was not comforting … one slip, or the breaking of the bridge, would have precipitated us into the black depths below,’ wrote Mackintosh. Unable to descend or ascend, at McGillon’s suggestion they put themselves ‘in the hands of the Providence that guided us throughout’.48 Mackintosh recalled:

… if we had to die, it was better to go in this way than die of starvation at the bottom of a crevasse, so we took our lives in our hands; dug our knives deep in the snow to act as brakes; stuck our heels well in, and let go. Down we went, the knives were soon torn from our grasp, but we managed to keep our heels in the snow, and the packs on our backs acted as brakes … when we brought up at the bottom in safety we could scarcely believe it.

The two men were soon overtaken by a blizzard but were later found by chance near the Cape Royds hut. Shackleton had noted that the pair ‘had a narrow escape from death, and probably would have never reached the hut had not [Bernard] Day happened to be outside watching for the return of the ship’.49

By 1914, Shackleton was presumably prepared to overlook this reckless journey in 1909 and regard it as a valuable learning experience. In fact, Mackintosh’s appointment as leader of the Ross Sea men may have been a consolation prize for a man whose eye injury probably ruled him out of contention for the polar party.

Shackleton needed a spot on the ITAE to reward Ernest Edward Mills Joyce, another loyal supporter from earlier days. ‘On this expedition he will have charge of the dogs at one of the bases,’ he stated in the 1914 prospectus.50 By the time he named Mackintosh as leader of the support party, Shackleton had decided that Joyce should also be part of that group.

On the Discovery expedition, Joyce had been a member of a six-man party, led by Lieutenant Michael Barne, that laid a depot south-east of White Island over eight days in September 1903. Spring temperatures went as low as -67°F and Joyce suffered severe frostbite to his face and foot. He also went with Barne on another sledging trip in November 1903.51 On the Nimrod expedition, he led the four-man party, including Mackintosh, that laid a depot at Minna Bluff on 26 January 1909. The dogs hauled over a hundred pounds of supplies per animal on this journey, and at times three men rode on the sledge, which averaged over 30 miles per day. The party then trekked southwards of the Bluff to search for Shackleton’s overdue polar party before returning to base. Although not a major venture, this was an impressive and efficient exercise.

Prior to his Antarctic experiences, Joyce’s career had followed something of a family tradition: his grandfather and father had both served in the Royal Navy, and Ernest himself joined up in 1890 at the age of fifteen. He received a thorough training on sailing ships, his first trip being to Iceland. When the Discovery called at Simons Bay, South Africa, in October 1901, Joyce was chosen to join that expedition from among 400 Royal Navy volunteers who, with the Boer War over, were eager for action of a different kind.52

After the Discovery expedition, Lieutenant Michael Barne gave Joyce a flowing testimonial:

I have served with Ernest Joyce in two ships – first HMS Cordelia, 1895–6, second in the Antarctic ship Discovery 1901–4, and can say with perfect confidence that I have never come across a more trustworthy, honest, sober and hardworking man …53

Joyce was promoted to petty officer first class but left the navy in 1907 when, along with fellow Discovery member Frank Wild, he joined the British Antarctic Expedition. According to an often-told story, Shackleton was looking out of his office window in Lower Regent Street, London, when he recognised Joyce ‘on the top of a passing omnibus’ and sent his secretary in pursuit.54 Thus Joyce’s acquaintance with the ice was renewed and he travelled south on Nimrod. However, his hopes of being in the polar party were dashed when Dr Eric Marshall advised Shackleton that Joyce was not fit enough for the journey.55 He also suffered his share of frostbite, being afflicted again in October 1908.56

Following the Nimrod expedition, Joyce delivered 38 dogs from Copenhagen to Australia for Mawson and anticipated appointment to that leader’s expedition.57 On 12 October 1911, The Times reported:

The King conveyed to Mr Ernest Joyce who is leaving England today to join the Australian Antarctic Expedition as zoologist his ‘best wishes for the success, good health and safe return’ of the explorers … The expedition will leave Australia on 27 November …58

The royal announcement proved to be premature, as Mawson did not appoint Joyce to his expedition.59

Joyce stayed on in Australia for the next four years, working as wharf master at Bowen, North Queensland, and then managing a hostel for seamen on behalf of the Sydney Harbour Trust.60 It was there that he received a letter from his old leader, written on 22 February 1914 and published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 29 June:

Sir Ernest’s letter to Mr Joyce reads:

‘Following my cablegram, I will take you on the expedition subject to certain conditions. I propose to have the expedition divided into two sections – the Weddell Sea section and the Ross Sea section. The party for the Weddell Sea will include the transcontinental party. The Ross Sea section will consist of a party of six men, who will lay a depot at the foot of the Beardmore Glacier for the transcontinental party, and will possibly winter in either our old hut or the Cape Evans hut. This programme can be adopted if the full amount of money necessary for the expedition is forthcoming. In the event of that not being so there will be but one ship, and that will be the Weddell Sea ship, and one small party for the transcontinental journey. I do not anticipate the latter alternative, but if that occurs – and I will know shortly – I cannot promise you a position in that party unless there is a wintering party as well.’

Then followed the conditions to be observed. Among them, Sir Ernest stated that Mr Joyce would be attached to the Ross Sea party, in charge of stores, sledges and dogs.

‘If necessary’, the letter continues, ‘I might send you to the north-west coast of America to pick up the dogs. The shore party for the Ross Sea would be in command of an officer, to whom you would be responsible. The Ross Sea section would leave an Australia port about November 1, and land a shore party as early as possible. This party would proceed to lay out a depot at the foot of the Beardmore Glacier, returning then to the hut, and would either be part of the complement of the ship, if sea exploration was done, or, if too late for the ship, would remain at winter quarters until the following year, supplementing this work by again proceeding to the Beardmore Glacier, and perhaps ascending the same on the lookout for the southern party’.

Mr Joyce welcomes the opportunity. He knows perhaps more of the transport and stores side of a polar expedition than anybody else …

Mr Joyce has written to Sir Ernest Shackleton accepting his offer, and is daily expecting further details as to when he would leave, and where he is to join the party.61

Both Mackintosh and Joyce were Nimrod men but from completely different backgrounds. In the published letter of appointment, Shackleton clearly spelt out who was to be in charge of the support party. Mackintosh was that person and was known as ‘the Skipper’ or ‘the Captain’ by his men on the expedition. In later years, Joyce was to seriously misrepresent this chain of command.


1. Shackleton was knighted 14 December 1909.

2. Scott 1905, ii, p. 172.

3. Shackleton 1909, ii, pp. 348–49.

4. See e.g. Jones 1982.

5. See e.g. Ross 1982.

6. See e.g. Reader’s Digest 1985.

7. Bruce 1911, p. 19.

8. Mill 1923, p. 184.

9. Quartermain 1981, p. 18, quoting Scottish Geographical Magazine, April 1910, pp. 192–95.

10. Headland 1989, entry 1317; Reader’s Digest 1985, pp. 160–63; Mill 1905, pp. 427–31.

11. Shackleton 1919, pp. 23–27.

12. Headland 1989, entry 1451; Hayes 1932, pp. 129–37; Reader’s Digest 1985, pp. 202–05.

13. Quartermain 1981, p. 19, quoting W. S. Bruce in Nature, January 1914, p. 533.

14. See e.g. Mill 1923, p. 201; Fisher 1957, pp. 297–99.

15. Prospectus 1913, SPRI.

16. Markham to RGS, February 1914, Colbeck papers, CM.

17. Report 4 March 1914, RGS.

18. Shackleton to Bruce, 20 August 1913, SPRI.

19. In fact, 1,740 nautical miles, including the proposed deviation westwards along the Queen Maud Range.

20. Headland 1989, entry 1438.

21. Cottesloe, ‘The Story of the Battersea Dogs’.

22. Admiralty memo, 7 February 1914, PRO.

23. Ibid., 27 February 1914.

24. Admiralty minute, 31 July 1917, PRO.

25. Shackleton to Admiralty, 2 February 1914, PRO.

26. Ibid.

27. Shackleton to Churchill, 27 February 1914, PRO.

28. Minute, W. S. Churchill, 28 February 1914, PRO.

29. Admiralty to Shackleton, 14 March 1914; Memo to First Lord, January 1914, PRO.

30. Shackleton to Commonwealth Government of Australia, AA.

31. Shackleton to W. Mather, 30 June 1914, SPRI.

32. The Times, 16 January 1914.

33. Naval Secretary to Shackleton, 27 August 1914, AA.

34. See e.g. Mill 1923, p. 202.

35. Shackleton 1919, p. xiv.

36. Davis 1962, p. 258.

37. Prospectus 1913, SPRI.

38. Report of meeting, 4 March 1914, RGS.

39. Baptism certificate, courtesy E. Dowler.

40. Davis 1962, p. 63.

41. Mackintosh 1990, pp. 105–21, has his own account of this journey.

42. Dr Marshall, assisted by Drs Michell and Mackay; Mackintosh 1990, p. 44.

43. Davis 1962, p. 138; Ayres 1999, p. 37.

44. Bedfordshire Times, courtesy E. Dowler; Mackintosh 1990, p. 134.

45. Mackintosh 1990, pp. 99–104; Shackleton 1909, ii, pp. 42–51. Spelling of McGillon from Agreement and account of crew, Nimrod. Referred to as a New Zealander in Mackintosh’s diary, 9 January 1914.

46. Bull diary, 3 January 1909.

47. Harbord dairy, 3 January 1909.

48. Mackintosh 1990, p. 101.

49. Shackleton 1909, ii, p. 48, referring to Bernard Day, motor expert on the Nimrod expedition.

50. Prospectus 1913, SPRI.

51. Scott 1905, ii, pp. 210–11; Yelverton 2000, pp. 259, 270.

52. Joyce 1929, p. 21.

53. M. Barne, November 1905, Admiralty, PRO.

54. Joyce 1929, p. 22.

55. Shackleton to Marshall, 21 October 1908, CM.

56. Marshall diary, 12, 13 July, 3 October 1908.

57. Mawson 1914, i, p. 26.

58. The Times, 12 October 1911, courtesy S. P. McElrea.

59. Mawson 1914, i, p.17.

60. Sydney Harbour Trust Office to Joyce, 16 July 1918, Curlett correspondence.

61. Sydney Morning Herald, 29 June 1914. 

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