“Dr McIlroy’s patient, Blackborrow, who has been treated for a frostbitten foot since the boat journey—eight weeks ago—had to be operated on today, the toes of the left foot having to be amputated at their junction with the foot. All hands, except Wild, self, and Howe were sent out during the performance to take ‘fresh air’… Never perhaps was anaesthetic administered under more extraordinary circumstances. The operating table was built from a number of nut food boxes covered with blankets, the temperature of the ‘Theatre’ (our murky interior) being maintained at 79° by ardently stoking the bogie with penguin skins. In spite of the extremely unfavourable conditions, the operation was eminently successful…”

— Frank Hurley

“Greenstreet and Hudson, being invalids, were also allowed to stay.”

— Roland Huntford, Shackleton

“Hudson was still suffering from what is generally described as ‘nervous breakdown.’ His breakdown is remarkable for a man of such fine physique, but it is often the case that powerfully built men do not endure hardship & exposure very well.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

“Greenstreet took a lively interest in the proceedings.”

— Alexander Macklin

“Blackborrow had all the toes of his left foot taken off about 1/4″ stumps being left…The poor beggar behaved splendidly & it went thro’ without a hitch…Time from start to finish 55 minutes. When Blackborrow came to he was as cheerful as anything & started joking directly.”

— Lionel Greenstreet

“Practically the whole of the available anaesthetic was used up, so if I have to have my leg off—not that there is anything whatever the matter with it—I shall have to have it done without anaesthetic.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

About Ernest Shackleton

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