The Epic Antarctic Journey Of Ernest Shackleton
This year will mark 100 years since Ernest Shackleton and his team saw their ship, Endurance, become stuck at sea and eventually sink, leaving the men stranded for 14 months. And what better way to commemorate the brave seamen than with a collection of 1st class stamps?
A Mark Of Remembrance
Keep your eyes peeled this January for a special collection of stamps from The Royal Mail that will celebrate the brave voyage of Ernest Shackleton and his men. Although now privatised, the company will continue its 50-year tradition of paying homage to significant anniversaries. Amongst these special stamps will be events such as the Queen’s 90th birthday, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and the 500th anniversary of the founding of The Royal Mail. But what exactly happened during Shackleton’s voyage that made it so great? After all, their ship sank, leaving them stranded for nearly two years.
Well, the story of Shackleton’s Endurance voyage is that of bravery and teamwork. After becoming stranded on Antarctica, all seemed lost. However, Shackleton was able to lead all twenty-eight of his men back to the safety of the UK.
Patience Is A Virtue
In 1914, Shackleton made his third expedition to Antarctica, onboard Endurance, in an attempt to make the first ever land crossing. Early in 1915, the ship became trapped between ice at the Weddell Sea and sank ten months later. By this point, Shackleton and his men had already abandoned the ship to live on ice, surviving on salvaged supplies and, later on, heavily relying on seal meat as a staple source of food.
After months spent in a makeshift camp (which had been aptly named Camp Patience) Shackleton and his team took three lifeboats to reach the uninhabited Elephant Island. Upon reaching this land mass, Shackleton and five of his men took an 800-mile journey in an open-air boat to the island of South Georgia to raise the alarm, before returning to rescue the remaining crew members. This great rescue attempt took a further three months.
Home Sweet Home
By the time all the men had reached home, their mission was nearing the 22-month mark. In fact, it wasn’t until the team had returned that they were even aware Great Britain was in the midst of World War I, in which many of the men went on to serve. Shackleton would eventually carry out one final Antarctic expedition, which left London in September 1921. He died of a heart attack only four months later while his ship was anchored at South Georgia.
If you would like to discover Shackleton’s surroundings for yourself, instead of relying on pictures from a stamp, then give our representatives a call and we can discuss your very own polar expedition. However, we can guarantee it will probably be a lot more comfortable.