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Tom Crean sets off to Antarctica aboard Endurance

Endurance left her berth at the West India Dock on 1st August 1914 and headed for Plymouth before sailing on to South America. Shackleton was at the helm and the Manchester Guardian reported that:

“alongside the skipper and at the wheel was a hero – Petty Officer Crean, the man who saved Commander Evan’s life.”

The expedition had a quiet send-off, which was not surprising given the tensions of the time; Britain officially declared war with Germany the following day. At the dock gate, the Scottish Piper, McPherson, was welcomed aboard and proceeded to pace the decks playing the ship out to sea en route to Plymouth. The newspaper reported:

“the piper struck up ‘The Wearing O’ The Green’ as there are both Ulstermen and Nationalists aboard and they look forward to keeping themselves warm with argument in the long nights in winter quarters.”

Shackleton remained in Britain and set sail to join the expedition on 18th September aboard a steamer to Buenos Aires, with a cargo carrying the dogs and the motor sledges. From Argentina, the Endurance set sail on 26th October 1914, en route to South Georgia.

Read Tom Crean’s full story. You can buy the book at the following link.

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