Shackleton Celebration

Thursday 14th January, 2016|Category: Shackleton

More than 100 years ago the Endurance sank beneath the ice on the Weddell Sea, near Antarctica.

Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition was an attempt to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent. 

After Shackleton stayed at The Duke of Cornwall Hotel on 7th August 1914, the expedition left England and sailed via Buenos Aires and South Georgia before departing for the Antarctic on December 5. But early in the journey the ship and its 28-man crew became trapped in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea. 

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It drifted northward throughout the Antarctic winter of 1915 and was crushed and sank on November 21 1915, stranding the crew on the ice.  After months spent in makeshift camps on the ice, the party took to three lifeboats to reach the inhospitable and uninhabited Elephant Island. 

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Shackleton and five others made an 800-mile open boat journey in the tiny James Caird boat to reach South Georgia, crossing the island on foot to raise the alarm, before returning to rescue those still stranded.  The final members of the crew were finally rescued in August 1916, after a 22-month fight for their lives. All 28 people on the expedition survived. 

To celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the rescue, there has been a release of Royal Mail special issue stamps. The set of 8 can be purchased from the hotel for just £19.95. The hotel has a bedroom dedicated to Shackleton, to commemorate the night he stayed at The Duke before his expedition.  For further information, please contact 01752 275850.

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