skip to primary navigation skip to content


You are not currently logged in

Alias: Curly

Title: Sir

Dates: 1869-1926

Nationality: British

Awards: None

Daniel Gooch was born near Denbigh, in north Wales, where his father Sir Henry Daniel Gooch, owned a slate quarry. He was the grandson of the first Sir Daniel Gooch, Bart, who was the chairman of the Great Western Railway from 1865 to 1889 and MP for Cricklade from 1865 to 1885. The younger Gooch was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. In 1896 he married May Monro, with whom he had two sons and two daughters. Sir Henry died in 1897, and Daniel succeeded him as the 3rd Baronet of Clewer Park.

In 1907 Sir Daniel purchased Hylands House and Estate near Chelmsford, which he proceeded to enlarge and modernise, including installing electricity and telephones. The family had a reputation for its marvelous parties and fetes, including a memorable celebration for the coronation of King George V. Gooch also pursued his passion for breeding greyhounds, participating in the local hunt, golfing, and sailing.

Shackleton had originally intended to have an expert dog driver named George Ross accompany the expedition, but when Ross arrived in London from Canada, Shackleton was put off by his drinking and his insistence on a life insurance policy, and the arrangement fell through. Shackleton next considered Hjalmar Gjertsen, who had been first mate on Fram during Amundsen's Norwegian Antarctic Expedition 1910-12 (Fram). But Fridtjof Nansen, the sage of polar exploration, was dubious about Gjertsen's dog-driving experience, so that too fell through. At the last minute, Sir Daniel, an ardent supporter of Shackleton, agreed to fill the position.

Gooch, nicknamed 'Curly' by the other expedition members, enlisted as an able seaman and sailed with the dogs to Buenos Aires. 'There never was a better disciplined AB afloat that Sir Daniel Gooch,' Wild wrote. 'He obeyed all orders promptly & … was possessed of a keen sense of humour.' Unfortunately, by the time Endurance reached Grytviken, Gooch had learned that the government was requisitioning Hylands House as a military hospital. Sir Daniel insisted that the most modern medical equipment be installed (at his own expense), and he felt it necessary to return to England to oversee the work. So he sailed back from South Georgia.

In 1920 Gooch sold Hylands and moved to Totton, near Southampton, where he could more actively pursue his sailing. But his wife died after a long illness in 1921, and in 1923 one of his legs was amputated. He died from pneumonia in 1926 at the age of 57.

Related expeditions...