Tom Crean


“Tom Crean was an Irishman from County Kerry, and a Royal Navy petty officer. Crean was undeniably tough, determined and experienced. He had been to the Antarctic on Discovery, and again with Scott on his second expedition.


“Crean was not entirely sympathetic. Disrated once or twice for drink and unbecoming behavior, he had received form the Navy a less than satisfactory character. Nonetheless, in the debacle of Scott’s second expedition, Crean had been involved in the one truly heroic episode. On the return from supporting the polar party, Lieutenant Teddy Evans had collapsed with scurvy. Crean, with another naval rating, William Lashly, saved his life by dragging him home on a sledge for the last fifty miles. It was Crean who made the final dash for safety by walking twenty hours at a stretch — without ski — to bring help from Hut Point at McMurdo Sound. Crean therefore came to Shackleton on Evans’ warmest recommendation. Whatever his failings, Crean was manifestly a man for a right corner, and he mustered as second officer on Endurance.”

— Roland Huntford, Shackleton

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.