Photographer's Note

The grave of Earnest Shackleton, Antarctic explorer. It is in a small cemetary next to the bay at Grytviken. The stone is inscribed
"To the dear memory of Earnest Henry Shackleton
Born 15th Feb 1874
Entered Life Eternal 5th Jan. 1922"

Find out more about Shackleton's South Georgia connections here.
If you don't know where South Georgia Island is, try this South Georgia locator.

From an early age, Sir Ernest Shackleton knew he would become an explorer: 'I seemed to vow to myself that some day I would go to the region of ice and snow and go on and on till I came to one of the poles of the earth, the end of the axis upon which this great round ball turns.' This dream explains why he didn't become a doctor as his father wanted. Instead, he went to sea at the age of 16, travelling through the Far East and America and by the age of 24 had qualified to become a Master, making him able to captain a British ship on any sea.

On leave in London in 1900, Shackleton volunteered for Scott's National Antarctic Expedition. Shackleton, having impressed those close to the expedition with his personality, was chosen to go with Scott to the South Pole on the famous Discovery expedition in the summer of 1901.

The trip would be a bittersweet one, as Shackleton became seriously ill on the journey and had to be returned home. It was not an empty journey, however, as Shackleton gained invaluable experience in Antarctic expeditioning. Once recovered, he was asked to take a ship to rescue Scott and dissuade him from continuing for another winter at the Pole. Shackleton declined, wanting not to save Scott, but 'prove himself a better man' with his own expedition.

His dream was realised as commander of the Nimrod Expedition (1907-09), during which his team climbed Mount Erebus, made numerous important scientific discoveries and set a record by coming within 97 miles of the South Pole.

Knighted in 1909, he commanded another voyage from 1914-1916 on the Endurance. The ship was crushed in the ice in 1915, yet he led his men to safety against all odds-making an incredible journey across 800 frozen miles to South Georgia to get aid--a testament to his skill as a leader of men.

Shackleton's last journey would be with the goal of circumnavigating the Antarctic continent. Under great mental and physical stress, Shackleton died on South Georgia Island where his wife insisted he be buried.

Here is a detailed history of Shackleton's life and endeavors.

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