“Cheetham the veteran of the Antarctic had been more often south than any other man.”
— Ernest Shackleton, on Alfred Cheetham, third officer aboard the Endurance
“Alfred Cheetham was born in 1867 in Liverpool. He was a small, lean man and was well known for his cheerfulness. He married a woman named Eliza Sawyer from Hull in Yorkshire. They moved to Hull in Yorkshire and had 13 children.
Alfred ran away to sea as a teenager working on the fishing fleets of the North Sea and further afield.
Alf made his first visit to the Antarctic on the relief ship Morning during the Discovery Expedition of 1901-1904. He returned with the Terra Nova Expedition, he served as a boatswain, and volunteered for the search party that was to look for Scott’s party, but he was turned down as he was a family man.
Then he travelled again to the Antarctic under the command of Ernest Shackleton on the Nimrod Expedition. He was third officer and boatswain.
By the time of the Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1914, when he was 47, Cheetham was the crew member with the most experience of the Antarctic, having spent almost 6 years in the seas around the continent.”