One hand for yourself & one for the King

“So we all took it in turns to crawl out with an axe & chop it off. What a job! The boat leaping & kicking like a mad mule & a great fifteen inch thick slippery casing of ice over her like a turtle back with slush all over where the last sea was freezing. First you chopped a handhold, then a kneehold & then went on chopping ice for dear life while an occasional sea leapt over you. After four or five minutes you slid back into the boat — fed up or frostbitten & the next man took up the work, in doing which it was “One hand for yourself & one for the King” because if a man had gone overboard then it would have been goodbye.”

— Frank Worsley

About Ernest Shackleton

Polar Explorer. Leader of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917.
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