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The Crossing of South Georgia

On this day Crean, Shackleton, and Worsley set out on a desperate mission to reach civilisation and with it, they hoped, an opportunity to rescue their 25 colleagues, 22 of them stranded on Elephant Island. Ahead of them the crossing of South Georgia was a daunting task and for good reason.

The Crossing of South Georgia Tom Crean BookIt was a journey across mountain ranges never before undertaken and how they achieved it was miraculous. Were they accompanied on their historic mission? Did divine Intervention play a part in them reaching a seemingly impossible goal?

On their historic and perilous trek across South Georgia, Shackleton, Crean, and Worsley all felt a “fourth presence” was guiding them to safety – a guardian angel if you like.
Shackleton’s recollection was as follows:

“When I look back at those days I have no doubt that providence guided us, not only across those snowfields but across the storm-White Sea that separated Elephant Island from our landing place on South Georgia. I know that during that long and racking march of 36 hours over the unnamed mountains and glaciers of South Georgia, it seemed to me, often, that we were four not three. I said nothing to my companions on the point, but afterward, Worsley said to me, “Boss. I had a curious feeling on the march that there was another person with us”. Crean confessed to the same belief.
One feels the dearth of human words, the toughness of mortal speech in trying to describe things intangible, but a record of our journeys would be incomplete without a reference to a subject very near to our hearts.”

Years later, long after he had left the Navy, Tom Crean, on one of those rare occasions that he reminisced about his time in Antartica, confided in his great friend Bob Knightly, the Anascaul train station master, this very story.

Crean, a man of strong faith who wore a holy scapular around his neck throughout his life, concluded: “The Lord brought us home”

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