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Shackleton items from the Archives

Ernest Shackleton's Endurance diary, 1915

In August 1914 Ernest Shackleton and a crew of twenty seven set sail for the Antarctic in an attempt to cross the continent on foot. Disaster struck when Endurance was trapped fast in the pack ice, just eighty five miles from their destination. The ship was crushed like matchwood by the pressure, leaving the crew stranded on an ice floe. With three life boats and provisions salvaged from the sinking ship, Shackleton led the men to safety. The ordeal lasted 20 months. Shackleton kept this diary during the months spent marooned on the ice.

27 October 1915.
The end came at last about 5pm - she was doomed, no ship built by human hands could have withstood the strain - I ordered all hands on to the floe and as the floe near us was cracking we started to sledge all the gear.

30 October 1915
Snowy high temps all wet
Worsley self prospected, found way to fine safe old floe
Broke camp 2.
I lead pioneer party to break down pressure driftng and snowing hard: reach old floe 4 pm Too thick to see ahead camp dogs splendid 2 teams pull one boat keep Caird's photo dogs relay other sledges have 10 sledges 2 Boats.
Weather clearing 6pm wind NE ship still above water and 26 _
All cheerful shoot seal good hoosh this floe really is strong _
Many look on this as _ it is better so
Hurley splendid in fact all Wild same.