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Shackleton items from the Archives

Articles by Alexander Hepburne Macklin

The following article is by Alexander Hepburne Macklin:

About the author

Alexander Hepburne Macklin was born in 1889 in India. He worked for a short period as a deck-hand before reading medicine at Manchester University.

Macklin joined the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition [Weddell Sea Party], 1914 - 1916 (leader Ernest Henry Shackleton), as surgeon on Endurance.

After Endurance was crushed in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea, the party escaped in boats to Elephant Island. Six men led by Sir Ernest Shackleton made an epic voyage from Elephant Island to South Georgia to seek help from the Stromness whaling station and in August 1916, Macklin and his companions were rescued from Elephant Island.

During the First World War, he was awarded the Military Cross while on the Italian front and served in Russia with Shackleton.

Repatriated and demobilised, he became surgeon to the Shackleton-Rowett Antarctic Expedition, 1921 - 1922, treating Shackleton in his final illness.

He wrote the appendix on the medical work of the Quest expedition in Frank Wild's Shackleton's last voyage (London, 1923), a practical guide to the recognition, prevention and cure of ailments likely to be met with in the polar regions, with a section on the care of sledge dogs.

Macklin saw service in the Second World War and until his retirement in 1960, held appointments in Dundee Royal Infirmary and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, in addition to being physician-in-charge of student health and lecturer in social medicine at Aberdeen University. He died in Aberdeen, Scotland, on 21 March 1967.

Published work: Medical [report] in Shackleton's last voyage. The story of the Quest ... from the official journal and private diary kept by Dr A.H. Macklin by John Robert Francis Wild, alias: Frank Wild, Cassell and Company London (1923) SPRI Library Shelf (*7):91(08)[1921-22 Shackleton]

Rebecca Stancombe.