Tom Crean Book – 'Crean – The Extraordinary Life Of An Irish Hero'

Rediscover an Irish Hero

Tom Crean Book – 'Crean – The Extraordinary Life Of An Irish Hero'

Rediscover an Irish Hero

The Story of Tom Crean deserves a fitting end.

A story that deserves a fitting end

A man his leaders relied on

To the men he served under, Tom Crean was a vital cog in the wheel that saw them pioneer exploration of the most inhospitable continent on Earth.
It’s a fact that both Shackleton and Scott valued and relied upon Tom Crean in their ambitions to reach their goals in Antarctica.

Tom Crean Book - Crean The Extraordinary Life of an Irish Hero
New biography about Tom Crean whose epic acts of heroism almost went unnoticed

While researching the book it became clear that he was held in the highest esteem by both of the leaders he served under – a fact made evident by their requests for Crean to accompany them on their expeditions. Outside of the time spent in Antarctica, Scott chose Crean to be at his side in all of his seagoing Naval assignments after the Discovery expedition of 1901-04 and before the fateful Terra Nova expedition of 1910-13.

Shackleton too, after requesting that Crean join him for the Imperial Transantarctic ex[edition aboard Endurance, asked Crean to accompany him on his final expedition aboard Quest in 1921. It was a time that  Tom famously declined, stating: “I have a long-haired pal now.”

As revealed in the book, yet another expedition leader was vying for the services of the Kerryman. Joseph Foster Stackhouse was a rival of Shackleton’s for Crean’s services and earmarked him for his proposed British Antarctic expedition of 1914. Stackhouse went as far as specifically naming Crean as an example of what makes for the best of explorers.

Sadly, for the Cumbrian born Stackhouse, his expedition never got off the ground and he lost his life in heroic circumstances after the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. His proclamations of high praise for Crean’s reputation remain transcribed in publications of the day and who knows what acclaim may have come Crean’s way had others decided to pick up on his attributes during his lifetime.

All three leaders and all of Crean’s colleagues knew of his importance to the expeditions and within the Polar community he warranted high status but that’s as far as it went, save for a precious few articles that appeared in news publications after his death in 1938.

Time to Honour Tom

And so, here we are in 2021 and the story of Tom Crean still remains largely unknown. Over a century on and after an 11-year campaign, he will officially be recognised by his country. Generating more fans of the man was the main reason I decided to write this book as I wanted to delve deeper into his life. In doing so I uncovered more details about his life before and after his epic acts of heroism in Antarctica and I surprisingly discovered many falsehoods that have been digested by readers for many years.

Crean’s is the story of a challenging life filled with brave deeds that are akin to any of the classic tales of Greek legend. Tom Crean was the Hercules of his era and his story should be celebrated not just in Ireland but by people the world over.

The book also includes the story of the campaign to achieve him the honour he richly deserves in order that he takes his rightful place alongside other great Irish heroes.

Perhaps it will make for a final chapter waiting to be written – that will bring the book and Tom Crean’s story to a fitting conclusion.

Researching and writing Crean’s Life Story

Tom Crean  -  From Boy 2nd Class to Hero 1st Class Tom Crean BookMy book, Crean — The Extraordinary Life of an Irish Hero, has been as much a labour of love for me as it has been a passion to see Tom Crean awarded the recognition he deserves from the country he loved.

For 3½ years I researched Crean’s story at some of the world’s most respected archives to be able to chronicle his story. In doing so I’ve unearthed a substantial amount of new information never before published about this incredible man and I became aware of many errors that exist in the existing timeline of his life.

In mid-2020 I presented a 7,000 word document and three folders containing files and sub-folders of the sources I used as references and notes to write the book. Used as evidence of inaccuracies and missing information, this was submitted to the Royal Irish Academy after I offered to share the research I’ve gathered over the period of my investigating Crean’s life in preparation for writing his biography.

In an update of huge importance, on October 2nd, 2020, I received confirmation from the Royal Irish Academy, that the entry for Tom Crean in the internationally recognised, Dictionary of Irish Biography, would be revised in light of the evidence I provided them. Substantial revisions to Crean’s story were officially announced on March 17th 2021.

Tom Crean  -  From Boy 2nd Class to Hero 1st Class Tom Crean BookFor children, and because existing children’s books about Crean also contain a number of inaccuracies, I have written a book specifically for 6-10 year-olds. Tom The Mighty Explorer. The book is based on my findings while researching Crean’s life. The story contains 27 fully illustrated images, 4 maps and a fun interactive section.

To discover more about Tom Crean and how to purchase any of the formats of the books you can read more at

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