She could not survive the pack

“It was, in every sense, a forlorn hope. The Yelcho was a steel lighthouse tender of about 150 tons, originally built as an ocean-going tug. Even properly maintained, she could not survive the pack. As it was, paint had long since disappeared from her hull. Plates were dented. Rust was flaking off. Her engines and boiler were suspect.”

— Roland Huntford, Endurance

Posted in Other Voices

Argument, continued

“This morning we were awakened by a sudden rush of brains to the head of one of the participants in last night’s argument, prompting him to ejaculate in a loud voice, and at an early hour, ‘I tell yer I know that pub is in — street’, a sally to which his opposite number heatedly replied.

“For a moment it looked as if trouble might come of it, but the two silly fellows were soon howled down by the majority and made to throughly inwardly digest the fact that they were both exceedingly unpopular, and we have heard no more of the stupid altercation, though apparently they are now at the still-more-stupid game of ‘not speaking’.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

Posted in Other Voices


“It seems almost incredible, but is nonetheless a fact, that two of the men got quite talkative after their methylated spirits ‘dope’ last night. After everyone else had got their heads down, these two warriors went on arguing about the position of a certain pub in Hull for fully an hour, until Wild, unable to endure it any longer, roared out ‘For God’s sake shut your bleating row, you two precious dears’, and, incidentally, woke up a good many self-respecting sleepers.

“The two contestants, who had occupied themselves in saying ‘I tell yer it is’, and ‘Well, I know it ain’t’ alternatively about 470 times, both uttered their parrot cries simultaneously and shut up like oysters.”

— Thomas Orde-Lees

Posted in Other Voices

RSS Discovery, now preserved

"The RSS Discovery as seen docked at Dundee," Dundee, 2009, by David Ball

“The RSS Discovery as seen docked at Dundee,” Dundee, 2009, photo by David Ball

Posted in Images

Sir Ernest Shackleton (who will not like them)

“If these orders arecabled out, Sir Ernest Shackleton (who will not like them) will spend some more cash in cabling back to this country to try and get the decision … rescinded… if Admiralty orders… are to be cabled by anybody it should not be any outside party but by the Admiralty itself, and I see no necessity for the latter.”

— minutes of the chief censor, Captain Sir Douglas Brownrigg

Posted in Other Voices

Unsympathetic attitude to your material welfare

“Impossible to reply to your question except to say unsympathetic attitude to your material welfare on part of Mawson and [Admiral Sir Lewis] Beaumont and customary attitutde of Navy to Mercantile Marine which it seems resulted from desire of Admiralty to boom its own relief Expedition. Strongly advise patience until you know the details, then exercise skill and tact in getting round difficult but not insuperable position.”

— cable from Ernest Perris to Shackleton

Posted in Other Voices


“Conditions this winter evidently extremely severe. Wooden steam whaler or the Discovery or sea going ice breaker only suitable vessels.”

— cable from Shackleton to Ernest Perris

“Urge immediate dispatch of ice breaker or Discovery. Breakers operating in White Sea either Russian or Canadian should now be free..failing this how long would it take sending Discovery Falklands.”

— cable from Shackleton to British Admiralty

Posted in Shackleton