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Shackleton items from the Archives

Ernest Shackleton

Ernest Shackleton, Frank Wild, Jameson Boyd Adams and Eric Marshall left winter quaters on 28 October 1908 to make an attempt on the South Pole. They reached within 180km of their goal and, although the pole was well within their grasp, Shackleton made the brave decision to turn back. He correctly calculated that if they carried on and reached the Pole, they would almost certainly die of starvation during the return journey.
On his return he famously remarked to his wife that he thought she would prefer a live donkey than a dead lion.

9 January 1909
'The last day out we have shot our bolt and the tale is 88.23° S 162° E. The wind eased down at 1 am. At 2 am we were up and had breakfast and shortly after 4 am started south with the Union Jacks and the brass Cylinder of Stamps. At 9 am hard quick marching we were in 88.23 and there hoisted H.M.'s flag took possession of the plateau in the name of H.M. and called it King Edward Plateau - Homeward Bound. Whatever regrets may be we have done our best'

All photographs from this article