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Shackleton items from the Archives

A letter of application to join Ernest Shackleton's Endurance expedition

Shackleton received over 5000 applications including this letter from 'three sporty girls' who were keen to be considered alongside the men.

44 Kensington Gds Sq
Hyde park
January 11th 1914

Dear Sir Ernest,
We 'three sporty girls' have decided to write and beg of you to take us with you on your expedition to the South Pole.
We are three strong, healthy girls and also gay and bright, and willing to undergo any hardships that you yourselves undergo.
If our feminine garb is inconvenient, we should just love to don masculine attire. We have been reading all books and articles that have been written on dangerous expeditions by brave men to the Polar-regions, and we do not see why men should have all the glory, and women none, especially when there are women just as brave and capable as there are men.
Trusting you will think over our suggestion,
We are Peggy Pegrine Valerie Davey and
Betty Webster
P.S. We have not given any further particulars, in case you should not have time to read this, but if you are at all interested, we will write and tell you more about are greatest wish.

All photographs from this article