Magnetician and Physicist


“‘Gentle Jimmy’ was the expedition’s magnetician and physicist. Macklin wrote that he had: ‘some wonderful electrical machines which none of us understood…and a joke of ours that annoyed him very much was that he did not either.'”

“Like many of the men who were to join the Endurance, James joined almost by accident after hearing about the position from someone else. In his case, he was walking down a Cambridge street while a postgraduate student at the Cavendish laboratory, when a man James had met, but didn’t know very well called him from his window and asked if he was interested in going to Antarctica. James gave no as an answer, but was eventually convinced and so his name was given to the Master Christ’s College Cambridge, Sir Arthur Shipley who had been asked by Shackleton to recommend scientific staff. Shipley interviewed James and a few weeks later James attended an interview in London with Shackleton.

“After 5 minutes, the interview was over — ‘All that I can clearly remember of it is that I was asked if I had good teeth, if I suffered from varicose veins, and if I could sing.’ James was appointed the Expedition’s Physicist.”

About Ernest Shackleton

Polar Explorer. Leader of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917.
This entry was posted in Images, Other Voices. Bookmark the permalink.