Overblog Suivre ce blog
Editer l'article Administration Créer mon blog
23 mai 2012 3 23 /05 /mai /2012 03:21

Ernest Shackleton

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, CVO, OBE, FRGS (15 February 1874 – 5 January 1922) was an Anglo-Irish polar explorer,[1]one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. HP G42-301NR Battery

His first experience of the polar regions was as third officer on Captain Robert Falcon Scott's Discovery Expedition, 1901–04, from which he was sent home early on health grounds. Determined to make amends for this perceived personal failure, HP G42-303DX Battery

he returned to Antarctica in 1907 as leader of the Nimrod Expedition. In January 1909 he and three companions made a southern march which established a record Farthest South latitude at 88° 23′ S, HP G42-328CA Battery

97 geographical miles (112 statute miles, 190 km) from the South Pole, by far the closest convergence in exploration history up to that time. For this achievement, Shackleton was knighted by King Edward VII on his return home. HP G42-352TU Battery

After the race to the South Pole ended in 1912 with Roald Amundsen's conquest, Shackleton turned his attention to what he said was the one remaining great object of Antarctic journeying—the crossing of the continent from sea to sea, HP G42-352TX Battery

via the pole. To this end he made preparations for what became the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914–17. Disaster struck this expedition when its ship, Endurance, became trapped in pack ice and was slowly crushed before the shore parties could be landed. HP G42-360TU Battery

There followed a sequence of exploits, and an ultimate escape with no lives lost, that would eventually assure Shackleton's heroic status, although this was not immediately evident.[2] HP G42-360TX Battery

In 1921 he went back to the Antarctic with theShackleton-Rowett Expedition, intending to carry out a programme of scientific and survey activities. Before the expedition could begin this work Shackleton died of a heart attack while his ship, Quest, was moored in South Georgia. At his wife's request he was buried there. HP G42-361TU Battery

Away from his expeditions, Shackleton's life was generally restless and unfulfilled. In his search for rapid pathways to wealth and security he launched many business ventures and other money-making schemes, none of which prospered. His financial affairs were generally muddled; he died heavily in debt. On his death he was lauded in the press, HP G42-361TX Battery

but was thereafter largely forgotten, while the heroic reputation of his rival Scott was sustained for many decades. Later in the 20th century Shackleton was "rediscovered",[3] and rapidly became a cult figure, a role model for leadership as one who, in extreme circumstances, kept his team together in a survival story described by polar historian Stephanie Barczewski as "incredible".[4]HP G42-364TX Battery

Ernest Shackleton was born on 15 February 1874, in Kilkea near Athy, County Kildare, Ireland, about 30 miles (48 km) fromDublin. Ernest's father was Henry, and his mother was Henrietta Letitia Sophia Gavan. His father's family was Anglo-Irish, HP G42-365TX Battery

originally from Yorkshire. His mother's family was Irish, from counties Cork and Kerry.[5] Ernest was the second of their ten children and the first of two sons; the second, Frank, would achieve notoriety as a suspect, later exonerated, in the 1907 theft of Ireland's Crown Jewels.[6] HP G42-366TU Battery

In 1880, when Ernest was six, Henry Shackleton gave up his life as a landowner to study medicine at Trinity College, Dublin, moving his family into the city.[7] Four years later, the family moved again, from Ireland to Sydenham in suburban London. HP G42-366TX Battery

Partly this was in search of better professional prospects for the newly qualified doctor, but another factor may have been unease about their Anglo-Irish ancestry, following the assassination by Irish nationalists of Lord Frederick Cavendish, the British Chief Secretary for Ireland, in 1882.[7]HP G42-367CL Battery


From early childhood Shackleton was a voracious reader, which sparked a passion for adventure.[8] He was schooled by a governess until the age of eleven, when he began at Fir Lodge Preparatory School in West Hill, Dulwich, in south east London. HP G42-367TU Battery

At the age of thirteen, he entered Dulwich College.[7] The young Shackleton did not particularly distinguish himself as a scholar, and was said to be "bored" by his studies.[7] He was quoted later as saying: "I never learned much geography at school ... HP G42-368TX Battery

Literature, too, consisted in the dissection, the parsing, the analysing of certain passages from our great poets and prose-writers ... teachers should be very careful not to spoil [their pupils'] taste for poetry for all time by making it a task and an imposition."[7] In his final term at the school, however, he was still able to achieve fifth place in his class of thirty-one.[9]HP G42-369TU Battery


Shackleton's restlessness at school was such that he was allowed to leave at 16 and go to sea.[10] The options available were a Royal Naval cadetship at HMSBritannia, which Dr Shackleton could not afford, the mercantile marine cadet ships Worcester and Conway, or an apprenticeship "before the mast" on a sailing vessel. HP G42-370TU Battery

The third option was chosen.[10] His father was able to secure him a berth with the North Western Shipping Company, aboard the square-rigged sailing shipHoghton Tower.[10] During the following four years at sea, Shackleton learned his trade, HP G42-370TX Battery

visiting the far corners of the earth and forming acquaintances with a variety of people from many walks of life, learning to be at home with all kinds of men.[11] In August 1894 he passed his examination for Second Mate and accepted a post as third officer on a tramp steamer of the Welsh Shire Line.[11]HP G42-371TU Battery

 Two years later he had obtained his First Mate's ticket, and in 1898 he was certified as a Master Mariner, which qualified him to command a British ship anywhere in the world.[11]HP G42-372TU Battery

In 1898 Shackleton joined the Union-Castle Line, the regular mail and passenger carrier between Southampton and Cape Town. He was, as a shipmate recorded, "a departure from our usual type of young officer", content with his own company though not aloof, HP G42-372TX Battery

"spouting lines from Keats [and] Browning", a mixture of sensitivity and aggression but, withal, sympathetic.[12] Following the outbreak of the Boer War in 1899, Shackleton transferred to the troopship Tintagel Castlewhere, HP G42-375TX Battery

in March 1900, he met an army lieutenant, Cedric Longstaff, whose father Llewellyn W. Longstaff was the main financial backer of the National Antarctic Expedition, then being organised in London.[13] Shackleton used his acquaintance with the son to obtain an interview with Longstaff senior, HP G42-378TX Battery

with a view to obtaining a place on the expedition. Longstaff, impressed by Shackleton's keenness, recommended him to Sir Clements Markham, the expedition's overlord, making it clear that he wanted Shackleton accepted.[13] HP G42-380TX Battery

On 17 February 1901 his appointment as third officer to the expedition's ship Discovery was confirmed; shortly afterwards he was commissioned a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve.[14] Although officially he was given leave by Union-Castle, this was in fact the end of Shackleton's Merchant Navy service.[13]HP G42-381TX Battery

Discovery Expedition, 1901–03

The National Antarctic Expedition, known as the Discovery Expedition after the ship Discovery, was the brainchild of Sir Clements Markham, president of the Royal Geographical Society, and had been many years in preparation. HP G42-382TX Battery

It was led by Robert Falcon Scott, a Royal Navy torpedo lieutenant lately promoted Commander,[15] and had objectives that included scientific and geographical discovery.[16] Although Discovery was not a Royal Navy unit, Scott required the crew, HP G42-383TX Battery

officers and scientific staff to accept voluntarily the conditions of the Naval Discipline Act, and the ship and expedition were run on Royal Navy lines.[17] Shackleton accepted this, even though his own background and instincts favoured a different, more informal style of leadership.[18]HP G42-384TX Battery

 Shackleton's particular duties were listed as: "In charge of seawater analysis. Ward-room caterer. In charge of holds, stores and provisions [...] He also arranges the entertainments."[19]HP G42-385TX Battery

Discovery departed London on 31 July 1901, arriving at the Antarctic coast, via Cape Town and New Zealand, on 8 January 1902. After landing, Shackleton took part in an experimental balloon flight on 4 February.[20] He also participated, HP G42-386TX Battery

with the scientists Edward Wilson and Hartley Ferrar, in the first sledging trip from the expedition's winter quarters in McMurdo Sound, a journey which established a safe route on to the Great Ice Barrier.[21] During the Antarctic winter of 1902, HP G42-387TX Battery

in the confines of the iced-in Discovery, Shackleton edited the expedition's magazine The South Polar Times.[22] According to stewardClarence Hare, he was "the most popular of the officers among the crew, being a good mixer",[23]HP G42-388TX Battery

 though claims that this represented an unofficial rival leadership to Scott's are unsupported.[24] Scott chose Shackleton to accompany Wilson and himself on the expedition's southern journey, a march southwards to achieve the highest possible latitude in the direction of the South Pole. HP G42-394TX Battery

This march was not a serious attempt on the Pole, although the attainment of a high latitude was of great importance to Scott, and the inclusion of Shackleton indicated a high degree of personal trust.[24][25]HP G42-397TX Battery

The party set out on 2 November 1902. The march was, Scott wrote later, "a combination of success and failure".[26] A record Farthest South latitude of 82° 17′ was reached, beating the previous record established in 1900 by Carsten Borchgrevink.[a][27] HP G42-398TX Battery

The journey was marred by the poor performance of the dogs, whose food had become tainted, and who rapidly fell sick.[28] All 22 dogs died during the march. HP G42 Battery

On the return journey Shackleton had by his own admission "broken down" and could no longer carry out his share of the work.[29] He would later deny Scott's claim in The Voyage of the Discovery, that he had been carried on the sledge.[30] HP G42T-200 CTO Battery

However, he was in a seriously weakened condition; Wilson's diary entry for 14 January reads: "Shackleton has been anything but up to the mark, and today he is decidedly worse, very short winded and coughing constantly, with more serious symptoms that need not be detailed here but which are of no small consequence one hundred and sixty miles from the ship".HP G42t-300 CTO Battery

On 4 February 1903 the party finally reached the ship. After a medical examination (which proved inconclusive),[31] Scott decided to send Shackleton home on the relief ship Morning, which had arrived in McMurdo Sound in January 1903. HP G42t Battery

Scott wrote: "He ought not to risk further hardship in his present state of health."[31] There is conjecture that Scott's motives for removing him was resentment of Shackleton's popularity, and that ill-health was used as an excuse to get rid of him.[32] HP G42t Notebook PC Series Battery

Years after the deaths of Scott, Wilson and Shackleton, Albert Armitage, the expedition's second-in-command, claimed that there had been a falling-out on the southern journey, and that Scott had told the ship's doctor that "if he does not go back sick he will go back in disgrace."[31] HP G56-100SA Battery

There is no corroboration of Armitage's story. Shackleton and Scott stayed on friendly terms, at least until the publication of Scott's account of the southern journey in The Voyage of the Discovery.[30] Although in public they remained mutually respectful and cordial,[33]HP G56-105SA Battery

 according to biographer Roland Huntford, Shackleton's attitude to Scott turned to "smouldering scorn and dislike"; salvage of wounded pride required "a return to the Antarctic and an attempt to outdo Scott".[30]HP G56-106EA Battery

Between the Discovery and Nimrod expeditions, 1903–07

After a period of convalescence in New Zealand, Shackleton returned to England via San Francisco and New York.[34] As the first significant person to return from the Antarctic he found that he was in demand; in particular, the Admiralty wished to consult him about their further proposals for the rescue of Discovery.[35] HP G56-106SA Battery

With Sir Clements Markham's blessing he accepted a temporary post assisting the outfitting of the Terra Nova for the second Discovery relief operation but turned down the offer to sail with her as chief officer. He also assisted in the equipping of the Argentinean corvette Uruguay, HP G56-107SA Battery

which was being fitted out for the relief of the stranded Swedish Antarctic Expedition under Nordenskiöld.[34] In search of more permanent employment, Shackleton applied for a regular commission in the Royal Navy, via the back-door route of the Supplementary List,[36]HP G56-108SA Battery

 but despite the sponsorship of Markham and of the president of the Royal Society he was not successful.[34] Instead, he became a journalist, working for the Royal Magazine, but found this unsatisfactory.[37] He was then offered, and accepted, the secretaryship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS), a post which he took up on 11 January 1904.[37]HP G56-109SA Battery

In 1905 Shackleton became a shareholder in a speculative company that aimed to make a fortune transporting Russian troops home from the Far East. Despite his assurances to Emily that "we are practically sure of the contract" nothing came of this scheme.[38] HP G56-112SA Battery

He also ventured into politics, unsuccessfully standing in the 1906 General Election as the Liberal Unionist Party's candidate for Dundee.[b][39] In the meantime he had taken a job with wealthy Clydeside industrialist William Beardmore (later Lord Invernairn), HP G56-130SA Battery

with aroving commission which involved interviewing prospective clients and entertaining Beardmore's business friends.[40] Shackleton by this time, however, was making no secret of his ambition to return to Antarctica at the head of his own expedition. HP G56 Battery

Beardmore was sufficiently impressed with Shackleton to offer financial support,[c][41] but other donations proved hard to come by. Nevertheless, in February 1907 Shackleton presented his plans for an Antarctic expedition to the Royal Geographic Society, HP G62-100 Battery

the details of which, under the name British Antarctic Expedition, were published in the Royal Society's newsletter, Geographic Journal.[9] The aim was the conquest of both the geographical South Pole and the South Magnetic Pole. HP G62-100EB Battery

Shackleton then worked hard to persuade others of his wealthy friends and acquaintances to contribute, including Sir Phillip Lee Brocklehurst, who subscribed £2,000 (2011 equivalent £157,000) to secure a place on the expedition,[42][43] author Campbell Mackellar, and Guinness baron Lord Iveagh whose contribution was secured less than two weeks before the departure of the expedition ship Nimrod.[44]HP G62-100EE Battery

Nimrod Expedition (1907–09)

On 1 January 1908, Nimrod sailed for the Antarctic from Lyttelton Harbour, New Zealand. Shackleton's original plans had envisaged using the old Discovery base in McMurdo Sound to launch his attempts on the South Pole and South Magnetic Pole.[43]HP G62-100EJ Battery

However, before leaving England he had been pressured to give an undertaking to Scott that he would not base himself in the McMurdo area, which Scott was claiming as his own field of work. Shackleton reluctantly agreed to look for winter quarters either at the Barrier Inlet (which Discovery had briefly visited in 1902) or at King Edward VII Land.[45]HP G62-100SL Battery

To conserve coal, the ship was towed 1,650 miles (2,655 km) by the steamer Koonya to the Antarctic ice, after Shackleton had persuaded the New Zealand government and the Union Steamship Company to share the cost.[46] HP G62-101TU Battery

In accordance with Shackleton's promise to Scott the ship headed for the eastern sector of the Great Ice Barrier, arriving there on 21 January 1908. They found that the Barrier Inlet had expanded to form a large bay, in which were hundreds of whales, HP G62-101XX Battery

which led to the immediate christening of the area as the Bay of Whales.[47] It was noted that ice conditions were unstable, precluding the establishment of a safe base there. An extended search for an anchorage at King Edward VII Land proved equally fruitless, HP G62-103XX Battery

so Shackleton was forced to break his undertaking to Scott and set sail for McMurdo Sound, a decision which, according to second officer Arthur Harbord, was "dictated by common sense" in view of the difficulties of ice pressure, coal shortage and the lack of any nearer known base.[47]HP G62-104SA Battery

Nimrod arrived at McMurdo Sound on 29 January, but was stopped by ice 16 miles (26 km) north of Discovery's old base at Hut Point.[48] After considerable weather delays, HP G62-105SA Battery

 Shackleton's base was eventually established at Cape Royds, about 24 miles (39 km) north of Hut Point. The party was in high spirits, despite the difficult conditions; Shackleton's ability to communicate with each man kept the party happy and focused.[49]HP G62-106SA Battery

The "Great Southern Journey",[50] as Frank Wild called it, began on 19 October 1908. On 9 January 1909 Shackleton and three companions (Wild, Eric Marshall andJameson Adams) reached a new Farthest South latitude of 88° 23′ S, a point only 112 miles (180 km) from the Pole.[d] HP G62-107SA Battery

En route the South Pole party discovered the Beardmore Glacier, (named after Shackleton's patron),[51] and became the first persons to see and travel on the South Polar Plateau.[52] Their return journey to McMurdo Sound was a race against starvation, on half-rations for much of the way. HP G62-110ED Battery

At one point Shackleton gave his one biscuit allotted for the day to the ailing Frank Wild, who wrote in his diary: "All the money that was ever minted would not have bought that biscuit and the remembrance of that sacrifice will never leave me".[53] They arrived at Hut Point just in time to catch the ship. HP G62-110EE Battery

The expedition's other main accomplishments included the first ascent of Mount Erebus, and the discovery of the approximate location of the South Magnetic Pole, reached on 16 January 1909 by Edgeworth David, Douglas Mawson, and Alistair Mackay.[54]HP G62-110EO Battery

 Shackleton returned to the United Kingdom as a hero, and soon afterwards published his expedition account, Heart of the Antarctic. Emily Shackleton later recorded: "The only comment he made to me about not reaching the Pole was "a live donkey is better than a dead lion, isn't it?" and I said "Yes darling, as far as I am concerned".[55]HP G62-110EY Battery

In 1910 Shackleton made a series of three recordings describing the expedition using an Edison Phonograph.[56]HP G62-110SA Battery

Several mostly intact cases of whisky and brandy left behind in 1909 were recovered in 2010, for analysis by a distilling company. A revival of the vintage (and since lost) formula for the particular brands found has been offered for sale with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trustwhich discovered the lost spirits.[57][58][59]HP G62-110SO Battery


On Shackleton's return home, public honours were quickly forthcoming. King Edward VII received him on 12 July and invested him asCommander of the Royal Victorian Order;[60][61] in the king's Birthday Honours list in November he was made a knight and thus became Sir Ernest Shackleton.[62][63]HP G62-110SS Battery

HP G62-110SW Battery

 He was honoured by the Royal Geographical Society, who awarded him a Gold Medal–a proposal that the medal be smaller than that earlier awarded to Captain Scott was not acted on.[64] All the members of the Nimrod Expedition shore party received silver Polar Medals.[62] Shackleton was also appointed a Younger Brother of Trinity House, a significant honour for British mariners.[60]HP G62-111EE Battery

Besides the official honours, Shackleton's Antarctic feats were greeted in Britain with great enthusiasm. Proposing a toast to the explorer at a lunch given in Shackleton's honour by the Royal Societies Club, Lord Halsbury, a former Lord Chancellor, said: HP G62-112EE Battery

"When one remembers what he had gone through, one does not believe in the supposed degeneration of the British race. One does not believe that we have lost all sense of admiration for courage [and] endurance".[65] HP G62-112SO Battery

The heroism was also claimed by Ireland: the DublinEvening Telegraph's headline read "South Pole Almost Reached By An Irishman",[65] while the Dublin Express spoke of the "qualities that were his heritage as an Irishman".[65] HP G62-113SO Battery

Shackleton's fellow-explorers expressed their admiration; Roald Amundsen wrote, in a letter to RGS Secretary John Scott Keltie that "the English nation has by this deed of Shackleton's won a victory that can never be surpassed".[66] HP G62-115SE Battery

Fridtjof Nansen sent an effusive private letter to Emily Shackleton, praising the "unique expedition which has been such a complete success in every respect".[66] The reality was, however, that the expedition had left Shackleton deeply in debt, HP G62-115SO Battery

unable to meet the financial guarantees he had given to backers. Despite his efforts, it required government action, in the form of a grant of £20,000 (2008: £1.5 million) to clear the most pressing obligations. It is likely that many debts were not pressed and were written off. HP G62-117SO Battery


In the period immediately after his return, Shackleton engaged in a strenuous schedule of public appearances, lectures and social engagements. He then sought to cash in on his celebrity by making a fortune in the business world.[67] HP G62-118EO Battery

Among the ventures which he hoped to promote were a tobacco company,[68] a scheme for selling to collectors postage stamps overprinted "King Edward VII Land" (based on Shackleton's appointment as Antarctic postmaster by the New Zealand authorities),[69] HP G62-120EC Battery

and the development of a Hungarian mining concession he had acquired near the city of Nagybanya, now part of Romania.[70] None of these enterprises prospered, and his main source of income was his earnings from lecture tours. HP G62-120EE Battery

He still harboured thoughts of returning south, even though in September 1910, having recently moved with his family to Sheringham in Norfolk, he wrote to Emily: "I am never again going South and I have thought it all out and my place is at home now".[67] HP G62-120EG Battery

He had been in discussions with Douglas Mawson about a scientific expedition to the Antarctic coast between Cape Adare andGaussberg, and had written to the RGS about this in February 1910.[e][71]HP G62-120EH Battery

Any future resumption by Shackleton of the quest for the South Pole depended on the results of Scott's Terra Nova Expedition, which left from Cardiff in July 1910. By the spring of 1912 the world was aware that the pole had been conquered, HP G62-120EK Battery

by the Norwegian Roald Amundsen. The fate of Scott's expedition was not then known. Shackleton's mind turned to a project that had been announced, and then abandoned, by the Scottish explorer William Speirs Bruce, for a continental crossing, HP G62-120EL Battery

from a landing in the Weddell Sea, via the South Pole to McMurdo Sound. Bruce, who had failed to acquire financial backing, was happy that Shackleton should adopt his plans,[72] which were similar to those being followed by the German explorer Wilhelm Filchner. Filchner had left Bremerhaven in May 1911; HP G62-120EP Battery

 in December 1912 the news arrived from South Georgia that his expedition had failed.[f][72] The transcontinental journey, in Shackleton's words, was the "one great object of Antarctic journeyings" remaining, now open to him.[73]HP G62-120EQ Battery

Shackleton published details of his new expedition, grandly titled the "Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition", early in 1914. Two ships would be employed; Endurance would carry the main party into the Weddell Sea, aiming for Vahsel Bay from where a team of six, HP G62-120ER Battery

led by Shackleton, would begin the crossing of the continent. Meanwhile a second ship, the Aurora, would take a supporting party under Captain Aeneas Mackintosh to McMurdo Sound on the opposite side of the continent. This party would then lay supply depots across the Great Ice Barrier as far as the Beardmore Glacier, HP G62-120ES Battery

these depots holding the food and fuel that would enable Shackleton's party to complete their journey of 1,800 miles (2,900 km) across the continent.[73]HP G62-120ET Battery


Shackleton used his considerable fund-raising skills, and the expedition was financed largely by private donations, although the British government gave £10,000 (about £680,000 in 2008 terms). HP G62-120EY Battery

Scottish jute magnate Sir James Cairdgave £24,000, Midlands industrialist Frank Dudley Docker gave £10,000 and tobacco heiress Janet Stancomb-Wills gave an undisclosed but reportedly "generous" sum. HP G62-120SE Battery

 [75] His interviewing and selection methods sometimes seemed eccentric; believing that character and temperament were as important as technical ability,[76] he would ask unconventional questions. Thus physicist Reginald James was asked if he could sing;[77] HP G62-120SL Battery

others were accepted on sight because Shackleton liked the look of them, or after the briefest of interrogations.[78] Shackleton also loosened some traditional hierarchies, expecting all men, including the scientists, to take their share of ship's chores. He ultimately selected a crew of 56, twenty eight on each ship.[79]HP G62-120SS Battery


Despite the outbreak of the First World War on 3 August 1914, Endurance was directed by the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, to "proceed",[g] and left British waters on 8 August. Shackleton delayed his own departure until 27 September, meeting the ship in Buenos Aires.[80]HP G62-120SW Battery


Whilst Shackleton led the expedition, the Endurance was captained by Cpt. F. Worsley DSO. Lt. J. Stenhouse DSC captained the Aurora. HP G62-121EE Battery


On the Endurance the second in command was the experienced explorer, Frank Wild. The meteorologist was Cpt. L. Hussey (also an able banjo player). Dr. McIlroy was head of the scientific staff, which included Wordie. Dr. Macklin was the vet, HP G62-125EK Battery

in charge of keeping the 70 dogs healthy. Tom Crean was in more immediate charge as head dog-handler. Other crew included James, Hussey, Greenstreet, and Clark (the biologist). Of later independent fame was the photographer Frank Hurley. HP G62-125EL Battery

The known dogs' names are Shakespeare, Samson, Hercules (the strongest), Smiler, Surly, and Sire.[81]


Endurance departed from South Georgia for the Weddell Sea on 5 December, heading for Vahsel Bay. As the ship moved southward, early ice was encountered, which slowed progress. Deep in the Weddell Sea conditions gradually grew worse until, HP G62-125EV Battery

on 19 January 1915, Endurance became frozen fast in an ice floe.[82] On 24 February, realising that she would be trapped until the following spring, Shackleton ordered the abandonment of ship's routine and her conversion to a winter station.[83]HP G62-125SL Battery

 She drifted slowly northward with the ice through the following months. When spring arrived in September the breaking of the ice and its later movements put extreme pressures on the ship's hull.[84HP G62-130 Battery

Until this point Shackleton had hoped that the ship, when she was released from the ice, could work her way back towards Vahsel Bay. On 24 October, however, water began pouring in. After a few days, with the position at 69° 5′ S, 51° 30′ W, HP G62-130EG Battery

Shackleton gave the order to abandon ship, saying, "She's going down!"; and men, provisions and equipment were transferred to camps on the ice.[85] On 21 November 1915, the wreck finally slipped beneath the surface.[86]HP G62-130EK Battery


For almost two months Shackleton and his party camped on a large, flat floe, hoping that it would drift towards Paulet Island, approximately 250 miles (402 km) away, where it was known that stores were cached.[87] HP G62-130ET Battery

After failed attempts to march across the ice to this island, Shackleton decided to set up another more permanent camp (Patience Camp) on another floe, and trust to the drift of the ice to take them towards a safe landing.[88] HP G62-130EV Battery

By 17 March their ice camp was within 60 miles (97 km) of Paulet Island[89] but, separated by impassable ice, they were unable to reach it. On 9 April their ice floe broke into two, and Shackleton ordered the crew into the lifeboats, to head for the nearest land.[90] HP G62-130SD Battery

After five harrowing days at sea the exhausted men landed their three lifeboats at Elephant Island, 346 miles from where the Endurance sank.[81] This was the first time they had stood on solid ground for 497 days.[91] HP G62-130SL Battery

Shackleton's concern for his men was such that he gave his mittens to photographer Frank Hurley, who had lost his during the boat journey. Shackleton suffered frostbitten fingers as a result.[92]
Elephant Island was an inhospitable place, HP G62-134CA Battery

far from any shipping routes. Consequently, Shackleton decided to risk an open-boat journey to the 800 mile distant South Georgia whaling stations, where he knew help was available.[93] The strongest of the tiny 20-foot (6.1 m) lifeboats, christened James Caird after the expedition's chief sponsor, HP G62-135EV Battery

was chosen for the trip.[93]Ship's carpenter Harry McNish made various improvements, including raising the sides, strengthening the keel, building a makeshift deck of wood and canvas, and sealing the work with oil paint and seal blood.[93] HP G62-140EL Battery

Shackleton chose five companions for the journey: Frank Worsley, Endurance's captain, who would be responsible for navigation; Tom Crean, who had "begged to go"; two strong sailors in John Vincent and Timothy McCarthy, HP G62-140EQ Battery

and finally the carpenter McNish.[93] Shackleton had clashed with McNish during the time when the party was stranded on the ice, but, while he would not forgive the carpenter's earlier insubordination, Shackleton recognised his value for this particular job.[h][94][95]HP G62-140ES Battery


Shackleton refused to pack supplies for more than four weeks, knowing that if they did not reach South Georgia within that time, the boat and its crew would be lost.[96] The James Caird was launched on 24 April 1916; during the next fifteen days it sailed through the waters of the southern ocean, HP G62-140ET Battery

at the mercy of the stormy seas, in constant peril of capsizing. On 8 May, thanks to Worsley's navigational skills, the cliffs of South Georgia came into sight but hurricane-force winds prevented the possibility of landing. The party were forced to ride out the storm offshore, HP G62-140SF Battery

in constant danger of being dashed against the rocks. They would later learn that the same hurricane had sunk a 500-ton steamer bound for South Georgia from Buenos Aires.[97] On the following day they were able, finally, to land on the unoccupied southern shore. HP G62-140SS Battery

After a period of rest and recuperation, rather than risk putting to sea again to reach the whaling stations on the northern coast, Shackleton decided to attempt a land crossing of the island. Although it is likely that Norwegian whalers had previously crossed at other points on ski, HP G62-140US Battery

no one had attempted this particular route before.[98] Leaving McNish, Vincent and McCarthy at the landing point on South Georgia, Shackleton travelled 32 miles (51 km)[81] with Worsley and Crean over mountainous terrain for 36 hours to reach the whaling station at Stromness on 20 May.[99]HP G62-143CL Battery


The next successful crossing of South Georgia was in October 1955, by the British explorer Duncan Carse, who travelled much of the same route as Shackleton's party. In tribute to their achievement he wrote: "I do not know how they did it, except that they had to–three men of the heroic age of Antarctic exploration with 50 feet of rope between them–and a carpenter's adze".[100]HP G62-144DX Battery



Shackleton immediately sent a boat to pick up the three men from the other side of South Georgia while he set to work to organise the rescue of the Elephant Island men, who had been isolated there for four and a half months. His first three attempts were foiled by sea ice, HP G62-145NR Battery

which blocked the approaches to the island. He appealed to the Chilean government, which offered the use of Yelcho, a small seagoing tug from its navy. Yelcho reached Elephant Island on 30 August, and Shackleton quickly evacuated all 22 men.[102] The Yelcho took the crew to Valparaiso in Chile where crowds warmly welcomed them back to civilisation. HP G62-147NR Battery


There remained the men of the Ross Sea Party, who were stranded at Cape Evans in McMurdo Sound, after Aurora had been blown from its anchorage and driven out to sea, unable to return. The ship, after a drift of many months, HP G62-149WM Battery

had returned to New Zealand. Shackleton travelled there to join Aurora, and sailed with her to the rescue of the Ross Sea party. This group, despite many hardships, had carried out its depot-laying mission to the full, but three lives had been lost, including that of its commander, Aeneas Mackintosh.[103]HP G62-150EE Battery


World War I

When Shackleton returned to England in May 1917 Europe was in the midst of World War I. Suffering from a heart condition, made worse by the fatigue of his arduous journeys, and too old to be conscripted, he nevertheless volunteered for the army. Repeatedly requesting posting to the front in France[104] he was by now drinking heavily.[105][106] HP G62-150EF Battery

In October 1917 he was sent to Buenos Aires to boost British propaganda in South America. Unqualified as a diplomat, he was unsuccessful in persuading Argentina and Chile to enter the war on the Allied side.[107] He returned home in April 1918. HP G62-150EQ Battery


Shackleton was then briefly involved in a mission to Spitzbergen to establish a British presence there under guise of a mining operation.[108] On the way he was taken ill in Tromsø, possibly with a heart attack. Appointment to a military expedition to Murmansk obliged him to return home before departing for northern Russia.[108] HP G62-150ET Battery

Four months after the 11 November 1918 Armistice was signed he was back in England, full of plans for the economic development of Northern Russia. In the midst of seeking capital these foundered when the region fell to Bolshevik control.[109] HP G62-150EV Battery

Shackleton returned to the lecture circuit and published his own account of the Endurance expedition, South, in December 1919.[110] For his war effort in North Russia, Shackleton was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).[111]HP G62-150SE Battery

In 1920, tired of the lecture circuit, Shackleton began to consider the possibility of a last expedition. He thought seriously of going to the Beaufort Sea area of the Arctic, a largely unexplored region, and raised some interest in this idea from the Canadian government.[112] HP G62-150SF Battery

With funds supplied by a former schoolfriend John Quiller Rowett he acquired a 125 ton Norwegian sealer, named Foca I which he renamed Quest.[112][113] The plan changed; the destination became the Antarctic, and the project was defined by Shackleton as an "oceanographic and sub-antarctic expedition".[112] HP G62-150SL Battery

The goals of the venture were imprecise, but a circumnavigation of the Antarctic continent and investigation of some "lost" sub-Antarctic islands, such asTuanaki, were mentioned as objectives.[114][115]HP G62-153CA Battery

Rowett agreed to finance the entire expedition, which became known as the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition, and which left England on 24 September 1921.[114]HP G62-154CA Battery

Although some of his former crew members had not received all of their pay from the Endurance expedition, many of them signed on with their former "Boss".[114] When the party arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Shackleton suffered a suspected heart attack.[116]He refused a proper medical examination, so Quest continued south, and on 4 January 1922 arrived at South Georgia.. HP G62-165SL Battery

In the early hours of the next morning Shackleton summoned the expedition's physician, Alexander Macklin,[117] to his cabin, complaining of back pains and other discomfort. According to Macklin's own account, Macklin told him he had been overdoing things and should try to HP G62-166SB Battery

"lead a more regular life", to which Shackleton answered: "You are always wanting me to give up things, what is it I ought to give up?" "Chiefly alcohol, Boss," replied Macklin. A few moments later, at 2:50 a.m. on 5 January 1922, Shackleton suffered a fatal heart attack.[117]HP G62-200XX Battery

Macklin, who conducted the postmortem, concluded that the cause of death was atheroma of the coronary arteries exacerbated by "overstrain during a period of debility".[118] Leonard Hussey, a veteran of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition, offered to accompany the body back to Britain; however, HP G62-201XX Battery

while he was in Montevideo en route to England, a message was received from Emily Shackleton asking that her husband be buried in South Georgia. Hussey returned to South Georgia with the body on the steamerWoodville, HP G62-219WM Battery

and on 5 March 1922 Shackleton was buried in the Grytviken cemetery, South Georgia, after a short service in the Lutheranchurch.[119] Macklin wrote in his diary: "I think this is as "the Boss" would have had it himself, standing lonely in an island far from civilisation, surrounded by stormy tempestuous seas, & in the vicinity of one of his greatest exploits." HP G62-251XX Battery

On 27 November 2011, the ashes of Frank Wild were interred on the right-hand side of Shackleton's grave site in Grytviken. The inscription on the rough-hewn granite block set to mark the spot reads "Frank Wild 1873–1939, Shackleton's right-hand man."[120]HP G62-400 Battery


Before the return of Shackleton's body to South Georgia, there was a memorial service held for him with full military honours at Holy Trinity Church,Montevideo, and on 2 March a service was held at St Paul's Cathedral, London, HP G62-450SA Battery

at which the King and other members of the royal family were represented.[119]Within a year the first biography, The Life of Sir Ernest Shackleton, by Hugh Robert Mill, was published. This book, as well as being a tribute to the explorer, was a practical effort to assist his family; HP G62-451SA Battery

Shackleton died some £40,000 in debt (2011: £1.6 million).[42][121] A further initiative was the establishment of a Shackleton Memorial Fund, which was used to assist the education of his children and the support of his mother.[122]HP G62-452SA Battery

During the ensuing decades Shackleton's status as a polar hero was generally outshone by that of Captain Scott. Scott's polar party had by 1925 been commemorated in Britain alone by more than 30 monuments, including stained glass windows, statues, HP G62-454TU Battery

busts and memorial tablets.[123] A statue of Shackleton designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens was unveiled at the Royal Geographical Society'sKensington headquarters in 1932,[124] but public memorials to Shackleton were relatively few. Likewise, the printed word saw much more attention given to Scott–a forty-page booklet on Shackleton, HP G62-456TU Battery

published in 1943 by OUP as part of a "Great Exploits" series, is described by cultural historian Stephanie Barczewski as "a lone example of a popular literary treatment of Shackleton in a sea of similar treatments of Scott". This disparity continued into the 1950s.[125]HP G62-460TX Battery

In 1959 Alfred Lansing's Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage was published. This was the first of a number of books about Shackleton that began to appear, showing him in a highly positive light. At the same time, HP G62-467TX Battery

attitudes towards Scott were gradually changing as a more critical note was sounded in the literature, culminating in Roland Huntford's 1979 treatment of him in his dual biography Scott and Amundsen, described by Barczewski as a "devastating attack".[126] HP G62-468TX Battery

This negative picture of Scott became accepted as the popular truth[127] as the kind of heroism that Scott represented fell victim to the cultural shifts of the late twentieth century.[126] HP G62-550EE Battery

Within a few years he was thoroughly overtaken in public esteem by Shackleton, whose popularity surged while that of his erstwhile rival declined. In 2002, in a BBC poll conducted to determine the "100 Greatest Britons", Shackleton was ranked eleventh while Scott was down in 54th place.[128]HP G62-a00 Battery

HP G62-a00EF Battery

In 2001 Margaret Morrell and Stephanie Capparell presented Shackleton as a model for corporate leadership in their book Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer. They wrote: "Shackleton resonates with executives in today's business world. HP G62-a01SA Battery

His people-centred approach to leadership can be a guide to anyone in a position of authority".[129] Other management writers were soon following this lead, using Shackleton as an exemplar for bringing order from chaos. HP G62-a03SA Battery

The Centre for Leadership Studies at the University of Exeter (United Kingdom) offers a course on Shackleton, who also features in the management education programmes of several American universities.[130] In Boston USA a "Shackleton School" was set up on "Outward Bound" principles, with the motto "The Journey is Everything".[130] HP G62-a04EA Battery

Shackleton has also been cited as a model leader by the US Navy, and in a textbook on Congressional leadership, Peter L Steinke calls Shackleton the archetype of the "nonanxious leader" whose "calm, reflective demeanor becomes the antibiotic warning of the toxicity of reactive behaviour".[130] HP G62-a04SA Battery

HP G62-a10SA Battery

The Athy Heritage Centre-Museum, Athy, County Kildare, Ireland established in 2001 the Ernest Shackleton Autumn School, which is held annually, to honour the memory of Ernest Shackleton and to commemorate the era of heroic polar exploration. HP G62-a13SA Battery

Shackleton's death marked the end of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, a period of discovery characterised by journeys of geographical and scientific exploration in a largely unknown continent without any of the benefits of modern travel methods or radio communication. HP G62-a13SE Battery

In the preface to his book The Worst Journey in the World, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, one of Scott's team on the Terra Nova Expedition, wrote: "For a joint scientific and geographical piece of organisation, give me Scott; for a Winter Journey, Wilson; for a dash to the Pole and nothing else, Amundsen: and if I am in the devil of a hole and want to get out of it, give me Shackleton every time".[131]HP G62-a15EO Battery

In 2002, Channel 4 produced Shackleton, a TV serial depicting the 1914 expedition with Kenneth Branagh in the title role. Broadcast in the United States on theA&E Network, it won two Emmy Awards.[132] HP G62-a15SA Battery

On 15 February 2011 the 137th anniversary of Shackleton's birth was celebrated with a Google Doodle on the search company's homepage.[133] In a 2011 Christie's aucti

on in London, a biscuit that Shackleton gave "a starving fellow traveller" on the 1907–09 Nimrod expedition sold for £1250.[134]HP G62-a16SA Battery



Nelson's corpse was unloaded from the Victory at the Nore. It was taken to Greenwichand placed in a lead coffin, and that in another wooden one, made from the mast ofL'Orient which had been salvaged after the Battle of the Nile. HP G62-a17EA Battery

He lay in state in the Painted Hall at Greenwich for three days, before being taken up river aboard a barge, accompanied by Lord Hood, Sir Peter Parker, and the Prince of Wales.[215] The Prince of Wales at first announced his intention to attend the funeral as chief mourner, HP G62-a17SA Battery

but later attended in a private capacity with his brothers when his father George III reminded him that it was against protocol for the Heir to the Throne to attend the funerals of anyone except members of the Royal Family.[216]HP G62-a18SA Battery

 The coffin was taken into the Admiralty for the night, attended by Nelson's chaplain, Alexander Scott.[215] The next day, 9 January, a funeral procession consisting of 32 admirals, over a hundred captains, and an escort of 10,000 soldiers took the coffin from the Admiralty to St Paul's Cathedral. HP G62-a19EA Battery

After a four-hour service he was interred within a sarcophagus originally carved for Cardinal Wolsey.[217] The sailors charged with folding the flag draping Nelson's coffin and placing it in the grave instead tore it into fragments, with each taking a piece as a memento.[218]HP G62-a19SA Battery



Scott Pierre Nicolas Legrand's Apotheosis of Nelson, c. 1805–18. Nelson ascends into immortality as the Battle of Trafalgar rages in the background. He is supported byNeptune, whilst Fame holds a crown of stars as a symbol of immortality over Nelson's head. A grieving Britannia holds out her arms, whilst Hercules, Mars, Minerva and Jupiterlook on. HP G62-a20SA Battery


Nelson was regarded as a highly effective leader, and someone who was able to sympathise with the needs of his men. He based his command on love rather than authority, inspiring both his superiors and his subordinates with his considerable courage, HP G62-a21EA Battery

commitment and charisma, dubbed 'the Nelson touch'.[219][220] Nelson combined this talent with an adept grasp of strategy and politics, making him a highly successful naval commander. However, Nelson's personality was complex, often characterised by a desire to be noticed, HP G62-a21SA Battery

was not given sufficient credit for his actions.[221]This led him to take risks, and to enthusiastically publicise his resultant successes.[222]Nelson was also highly confident in his abilities, determined and able to make important decisions.[223] HP G62-a22SA Battery

His active career meant that he was considerably experienced in combat, and was a shrewd judge of his opponents, able to identify and exploit his enemies' weaknesses.[219] He was often prone to insecurities however, as well as violent mood swings,[224HP G62-a22SE Battery

] and was extremely vain: he loved to receive decorations, tributes and praise.[225] Despite his personality, he remained a highly professional leader and was driven all his life by a strong sense of duty.[224] Nelson's fame reached new heights after his death, and he came to be regarded as one of Britain's greatest military heroes, HP G62-a23SA Battery

ranked alongside the Duke of Marlborough and the Duke of Wellington.[226] In the BBC's 100 Greatest Britons programme in 2002, Nelson was voted the ninth greatest Briton of all time.[227]HP G62-a24SA Battery


Aspects of Nelson's life and career were controversial, both during his lifetime and after his death. His affair with Emma Hamilton was widely remarked upon and disapproved of, to the extent that Emma was denied permission to attend Nelson's funeral and was subsequently ignored by the government, HP G62-a25EA Battery

which awarded money and titles to Nelson's legitimate family.[228] Nelson's actions during the reoccupation of Naples have also been the subject of debate: his approval of the wave of reprisals against the Jacobins who had surrendered under the terms agreed by Cardinal Ruffo, HP G62-a25SA Battery

and his personal intervention in securing the execution of Caracciolo, are considered by some biographers, such asRobert Southey, to have been a shameful breach of honour. Prominent contemporary politician Charles James Fox was among those who attacked Nelson for his actions at Naples, declaring in the House of Commons HP G62-a26SA Battery


I wish that the atrocities of which we hear so much and which I abhor as much as any man, were indeed unexampled. I fear that they do not belong exclusively to the French ... Naples for instance has been what is called "delivered",HP G62-a27SA Battery

and yet, if I am rightly informed, it has been stained and polluted by murders so ferocious, and by cruelties of every kind so abhorrent, that the heart shudders at the recital ... [The besieged rebels] demanded that a British officer should be brought forward, HP G62-a28SA Battery

and to him they capitulated. They made terms with him under the sanction of the British name ... Before they sailed their property was confiscated, numbers ... were thrown into dungeons, and some of them, I understand, notwithstanding the British guarantee, were actually executed.[229]HP G62-a29EA Battery


Other pro-republican writers produced books and pamphlets decrying the events in Naples as atrocities.[230] Later assessments, including one by Andrew Lambert, HP G62-a29SA Battery

have stressed that the armistice had not been authorised by the King of Naples, and that the retribution meted out by the Neapolitans was not unusual for the time. Lambert also suggests that Nelson in fact acted to put an end to the bloodshed, using his ships and men to restore order in the city.[230]HP G62-a30SA Battery



Nelson's influence continued long after his death, and saw periodic revivals of interest, especially during times of crisis in Britain. In the 1860s Poet Laureate Alfred Tennysonappealed to the image and tradition of Nelson, in order to oppose the defence cuts being made by Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone.[231] HP G62-a38EE Battery

First Sea Lord Jackie Fisher was a keen exponent of Nelson during the early years of the twentieth century, and often emphasised his legacy during his period of naval reform.[232] Winston Churchill also found Nelson to be a source of inspiration during the Second World War.[233] HP G62-a40SA Battery

Nelson has been frequently depicted in art and literature; he appeared in paintings by Benjamin West andArthur William Devis, and in books and biographies by John McArthur, James Stanier Clarke and Robert Southey.[234]HP G62-a43SA Battery


A number of monuments and memorials were constructed across the country to honour his memory and achievements, with work beginning on Dublin's monument to Nelson,Nelson's Pillar, in 1808.[235] In Montreal, a statue was started in 1808 and completed in 1809.[236] HP G62-a44EE Battery

Others followed around the world, with London's Trafalgar Square being created in his memory in 1835 and the centrepiece, Nelson's Column, finished in 1843.[237]HP G62-a44SA Battery



Nelson's titles, as inscribed on his coffin and read out at the funeral by the Garter King at Arms, Sir Isaac Heard, were: HP G62-a45SA Battery

The Most Noble Lord Horatio Nelson, Viscount and Baron Nelson, of the Nile and of Burnham Thorpe in the County of Norfolk, Baron Nelson of the Nile and of Hilborough in the said County, Knight of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, HP G62-a50SG Battery

Vice Admiral of the White Squadron of the Fleet, Commander in Chief of his Majesty's Ships and Vessels in the Mediterranean, Duke of Bronté in the Kingdom of Sicily, Knight Grand Cross of the Sicilian Order of St Ferdinand and of Merit, Member of the Ottoman Order of the Crescent, Knight Grand Commander of the Order of St Joachim.[238]HP G62-a53SG Battery

He was a Colonel of the Royal Marines and voted a Freeman of Bath, Salisbury, Exeter,Plymouth, Monmouth, Sandwich, Oxford, Hereford, and Worcester.[239] The University of Oxford, in full Congregation, bestowed the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law upon Nelson in 1802.[240]HP G62-a60SA Battery

In July 1799, Nelson was created Duke of Bronté (Duca di Bronté), of the Kingdom of Sicily (after 1816, existing in the nobility of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies), by the King Ferdinand, and after briefly experimenting with the signature "Brontë Nelson of the Nile" signed himself "Nelson & Brontë" HP G62-b00SA Battery

for the rest of his life.[241] Nelson had no legitimate children; his daughter, Horatia, subsequently married the Rev. Philip Ward, with whom she had ten children before her death in 1881.[242] Because Lord Nelson died without legitimate issue, HP G62-b09SA Battery

his viscountcy and his barony created in 1798, both "of the Nile and of Burnham Thorpe in the County of Norfolk", became extinct upon his death.[243] However, the barony created in 1801, "of the Nile and of Hilborough in the County of Norfolk",HP G62-b10SA Battery

passed by a special remainder, which included Lord Nelson's father and sisters and their male issue, to Lord Nelson's brother, The Reverend William Nelson. William Nelson was created Earl Nelson and Viscount Merton of Trafalgar and Merton in the County of Surrey in recognition of his brother's services, and also inherited the Dukedom of Bronté.[244]HP G62-b11SA Battery


Arms were originally granted and confirmed on 20 October 1797. The original Nelson family arms were altered to accommodate his naval victories. After the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1797, Nelson was dubbed a Knight of the Bath and granted heraldic supportersof a sailor and a lion.[245]HP G62-b12SA Battery

 In honour of the Battle of the Nile of 1798, the Crown granted him an augmentation of arms that may be blazoned "on a chief wavy argent a palm tree between a disabled ship and a ruinous battery all issuant from waves of the sea all proper", the motto, HP G62-b13EA Battery

Palmam qui meruit ferat (‘let him who has earned it bear the palm’), and added to his supporters a palm branch in the hand of the sailor and the paw of the lion, and a "tri-colored flag and staff in the mouth of the latter" [246] [247] After his death, his older brother and heir was granted the augmentation "on a fess wavy overall azure the word TRAFALGAR Or". [248HP G62-b13SA Battery


Return to sea

Nelson was appointed commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean Fleet and given the first-rate HMS Victory as his flagship. He joined her at Portsmouth, where he received orders to sail to Malta and take command of a squadron there before joining the blockade ofToulon.[187]HP G62-b14SA Battery

 Nelson arrived off Toulon in July 1803 and spent the next year and a half enforcing the blockade. He was promoted to Vice Admiral of the White while still at sea, on 23 April 1804.[188] In January 1805 the French fleet, under Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, HP G62-b15SA Battery

escaped Toulon and eluded the blockading British. Nelson set off in pursuit but after searching the eastern Mediterranean he learned that the French had been blown back into Toulon.[189] Villeneuve managed to break out a second time in April, and this time succeeded in passing through the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Atlantic, bound for the West Indies.[189]HP G62-b16EA Battery


Nelson gave chase, but after arriving in the Caribbean spent June in a fruitless search for the fleet. Villeneuve had briefly cruised around the islands before heading back to Europe, in contravention of Napoleon's orders.[190] HP G62-b16SA Battery

The returning French fleet was intercepted by a British fleet under Sir Robert Calder and engaged in the Battle of Cape Finisterre, but managed to reach Ferrol with only minor losses.[191] Nelson returned to Gibraltar at the end of July, and travelled from there to England, HP G62-b17EO Battery

dismayed at his failure to bring the French to battle and expecting to be censured.[192] To his surprise he was given a rapturous reception from crowds who had gathered to view his arrival, while senior British officials congratulated him for sustaining the close pursuit and credited him for saving the West Indies from a French invasion.[192HP G62-b17SA Battery ] Nelson briefly stayed in London, where he was cheered wherever he went, before visiting Merton to see Emma, arriving in late August. He entertained a number of his friends and relations there over the coming month, and began plans for a grand engagement with the enemy fleet, one that would surprise his foes by forcing a pell-mell battle on them.[193]HP G62-b17SA Battery

Captain Henry Blackwood arrived at Merton early on 2 September, bringing news that the French and Spanish fleets had combined and were currently at anchor in Cádiz. Nelson hurried to London where he met with cabinet ministers and was given command of the fleet blockading Cádiz. HP G62-b18SA Battery

It was at one of these meetings on 12 September, with Lord Castlereagh the Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, that the famous meeting between Nelson and the future Duke of Wellington took place. In a waiting room Wellington waited to be debriefed on his Indian operations and Nelson on his chase and future plans. HP G62-b19SA Battery

Wellington later recalled, 'He (Nelson) entered at once into conversation with me, if I can call it conversation, for it was almost all on his side and all about himself and, in reality, a style so vain and so silly as to surprise and almost disgust me.' [194] HP G62-b20SA Battery

However, after a few minutes Nelson left the room and having been told who his companion was returned in a very different fashion and entered into an earnest and intelligent discussion with the young Wellesley, for a quarter of an hour, on the war, HP G62-B20so Battery

the state of the colonies and the geopolitical situation, that left a marked impression upon each. This was the only meeting between the two men who achieved the greatest victories on land and sea of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and came to be recognised as, perhaps, the United Kingdom's foremost military heroes. HP G62-b21SA Battery

HP G62-b22SA Battery

HP G62-b23SA Battery

HP G62-b24SA Battery

HP G62-b25SA Battery

HP G62-b26SA Battery

HP G62-b27EA Battery

HP G62-b27SA Battery

HP G62 Battery

Partager cet article

Repost 0
Published by batterys
commenter cet article