Row, row, row your boat

Actonbooks

It was January 100 years ago when things turned badly wrong for 28 or so British Antarctic explorers under the command of Ernest Shackleton. Nowadays people jog up Kilimanjaro for charity and text home while they are doing it, but at the turn of the century there were still mountains unclimbed and places in the world unseen by human eye. And when you went to these places, they were, to coin a Shrek meme ‘far, far away’. The end was nigh though for explorers seeking firsts. Shackleton had wanted to be the first to the South Pole, but was beaten by Norwegian Roald Amundsen in 1911.

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Sir Ernest Shackleton

Though World War One had begun he was encouraged to set off to complete the challenge he set himself as consolation prize. The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition was just that — a walk across the continent. Two ships were involved — one…

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