He brought them all home


One hundred years ago today, the day was a Sunday, sank The Endurance.

It was the ship, actually more of a boat, from which Ernest Shackleton had hoped to enable his team to master the South Pole and conquer th’Antarctic.

I am indebted to both the RGS and BBC for bringing to my attention Frank Hurley’s splinteringly clear photographic account of what must have seemed the doomed record of a bizarrely timed expedition.

This link will get you to what I’ve just seen and clearly tells the story more authoritatively than I could.

Apart from the joy of hoping you see it, the reason it seems noteworthy is to applaud the ethic of ‘for its own sake’. I’m sure Shackleton was a beast of an egoist whose force of destiny drove his prudent historical placement. But that can’t have been all of it. Somewhere within his breadth and depth must have been nurtured the notion of striving to leap beyond his own, unsinkable endurance and inspire others likewise.

There seems something splendid in that.