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RRS Discovery Tom Crean’s first expedition to Antarctica

On December 10th 1901, Tom Crean carried his holdall aboard RRS Discovery. It would become his first expedition to Antarctica under the leadership of Commander Robert Falcon Scott. He had, by this time, been demoted to the rating Able Seaman after a period that appeared to have been a miserable time for him.

The RRS Discovery expedition would be one that would introduce him to future expedition colleagues such as Ernest Shackleton, Frank Wild, William Lashly, Edgar ‘Taff’ Evans and Dr Edward Wilson.

Crean had been recruited from from HMS Ringarooma for the journey south after Harry Baker, one of Discovery’s crew, had absconded after almost coming to blows with his senior officer, Thomas Kennar. It’s entirely possible that Crean’s abilities were recommended to Scott by members of Discovery he had previously served alongside, among them Kennar and William Lashly, who had served with Crean during the Corinto incident.

Today, the Discovery is a popular maritime attraction berthed in Dundee, the city in which she was built.

To read Tom Crean’s full story, the book can be purchased at the following link.

Biography of Tom Crean – Crean – The Extraordinary Life of an Irish Hero


RRS Discovery Tom Crean's first expedition to Antarctica Tom Crean Book