Vintage: Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1915 expedition to the Antarctic

Vintage: Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1915 expedition to the Antarctic


Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874 – 1922) was a polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic, and one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

Here is a collection of haunting photographs of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew’s struggle to survive against the odds in the big freeze of the Antarctic. Shackleton and his 28-man crew were left stranded on the thick ice, battered by extreme weather conditions and with none of today’s technologies to protect them.

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Setting out: Crew of the Endurance poses for a group portrait in 1915, early in their expedition to Antarctica to cross the continent on foot

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Desperate: The crew, hauling the James Caird behind them, after their ship the Endurance was broken up. Shackleton and five of his men made the 800-mile open boat journey to South Georgia Island in the tiny James Caird

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Eerie: More than 90 images have been digitised for the first time from the fragile glass plate and celluloid negatives stored at the RGS for more than 80 years

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Devastation: A photograph taken by the expedition photographer Frank Hurley shows the Endurance after it was crushed by the ice

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Grounded: The crew set out from London in August 1914, and sailed to the southern continent via Buenos Aires and South Georgia island

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Day-to-day: Never-before-seen images in the exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society reveal the daily struggles of the crew members

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Grounded: The crew set out from London in August 1914, and sailed to the southern continent via Buenos Aires and South Georgia island

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Frozen in time: Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew sailed to the Antarctic on the Endurance, but the ship became trapped in the thick ice


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