Of all the images of Tom Crean that I’ve posted over the years, the vast majority originate from his last two expeditions, Terra Nova and Endurance. They are the ones we’ve all become most familiar with – images such as that of Tom holding the puppies and the iconic image of him wearing the twin-peaked cap looking steely-eyed at the camera with his pipe held firmly in his mouth which, incidentally, was taken 104 years ago today.
Rarely though have I come across many images of Tom that were taken during his first expedition yet recently I happened upon not one but four images of Tom while serving as a member of the 1901-1904 expedition aboard RSS Discovery.
In all my years of researching and writing about Tom Crean, I’d never before seen these images so I did get a huge buzz when I happened upon them.
You’ll be pleased to learn, that after a pleasant discussion with the Royal Society, owners of a fine collection I’ve been given permission to share them here.
One of the images here is remarkable in that it features Crean alongside a number of other Polar legends, namely Scott, Shackleton and Edgar Evans.
Other photos include Tom alongside his sledge leader Lieutenant Michael Barne and the Southern Support group who very briefly held the prized furthest south record after reaching 78°50’S latitude on 11th November 1902 (Yes, Tom Crean was one of the world record holders in that group).
And so to the images which are best viewed after clicking them as they will appear in theatre mode where you can zoom in on them. All images are credited to The Royal Society who I thank so much for allowing me to share these photos from their wonderful collection.
As a result of my interest in the photographs, The Royal Society suggested I contribute a blog post to their repository. I was delighted to accept their invitation and the post ‘Exploring Tom Crean’ can be read here
For further reading on the expedition that launched Tom Crean’s Antarctic career, Antarctica Unveiled by David E. Yelverton, is among the books I read while researching for my biography of Tom Crean.
Researching and writing Tom Crean’s Life Story
My 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.
For 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 https://tomcreanbook.com/about-the-book/