Sir Ernest Shackelton

1874 – 1922   Explorer

Born in Ireland, Shackelton became a sailor at 16. He took part in the 1901 Scott expedition to Antarctica. Other trips to the South followed, with Shackelton being knighted in 1909 for his services.  In 1914, he led another expedition south, but his ship, the Discovery, became trapped in the ice and sank. Shackelton eventually managed to get his crew to desolate Elephant Island, but there was no way to call for help, little food and insufficient room in the lifeboats to move them all. Shackelton chose six men to go with him in a small open lifeboat and sailed over 1,000 km across the most hostile seas in the world to arrive successfully on the south shore of South Georgia. There was a British whaling station on the north side, but the seas were too rough and food too short to sail around, so Shackelton led a completely untrained and unequipped team across very rugged mountains to arrange rescue for those still on Elephant Island. It was an amazing story of leadership, courage and seamanship, unparalleled in history – not one man died.

Navy Lodge No. 2612


“Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all.”