Not adverse to voicing his opinion


“Mrs. Chippy” perched on Perce Blackborow

“Henry McNish was one of the oldest members of the expedition, a Scot of whom Shackleton wrote was “the only man I’m not dead certain of”. This somewhat curmudgeonly figure was the ship’s carpenter so earning the name “Chippy” (sometimes “Chips”) as so many other carpenters have been. He was actually more than a carpenter, being a shipwright and so able to build boats and ships from raw materials; this placed him in the relative position of woodworking royalty compared to other carpenters. He was one of the real characters of the expedition, much respected as a sailor of long standing and experience: in addition to his exceptional skills in his chosen profession, he also had a good knowledge of metal work.

He was the owner of the only pet on the voyage, the ship’s cat called “Mrs. Chippy” (in fact a tom-cat).

McNish was not adverse to voicing his opinion; he was prone to questioning authority and speaking his mind, an attitude that clashed directly with one of Shackleton’s main principles, that of loyalty.

He held strong socialist views all his life.”

— from

About Ernest Shackleton

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