Saturday 7 January 2023

Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition – your chance to enjoy an historic talk - January 20th

 Guest post by local historian Philip Grant


The wreck of the “Endurance”, 2022. (Image from the internet)


When the wreck of the “Endurance”, located 3,000 metres down in the Antarctic’s Weddell Sea, was discovered last year, it was the result of a meticulously planned expedition. The pictures, filmed from a robot submarine, were amazing. But this month local residents will have the opportunity to see some more amazing images, taken during Ernest Shackleton’s original Antarctic expedition, between 1914 and 1917, as part of a talk at Wembley History Society, to which interested visitors will be welcome.


The talk is a recreation of an original lecture given by Dr Leonard Hussey, a member of the expedition team, about a remarkable adventure. It began as a scientific exploration of the Antarctic, but in 1915 the “Endurance” became trapped in the sea ice, which eventually crushed the sides of the wooden ship. When the ice began to thaw, their vessel sank, and a two-year survival journey began, across ice and sea, before the entire crew were saved.


Some of the crew hauling one of the ship’s lifeboats across the ice. (Image from the internet)


Towards the end of his life, Dr Hussey passed on the original glass slides from his talk, and his notes, to a new custodian, so that people could continue to see and hear a first-hand account of the expedition’s story. In 2000, Geoff Selley became the latest custodian, and as well as presenting the talk, via powerpoint, he will be bringing some of those glass slides and other artifacts from the expedition, for people to see on 20 January.


Frank Hurley filming Antarctic wildlife. (Image from the internet)


Leonard Hussey’s words are brought to life by the original pictures taken by the expedition’s photographer, Frank Hurley. Shackleton could not have chosen a better man than this Australian, who not only captured the Antarctic’s wildlife (his original brief), but also the highs and lows of the expedition’s survival story, after disaster struck their ship.


Wembley History Society is pleased to be able to offer the chance to attend this talk, not just to its members, but to any local resident, young or old, who may be interested (for a small charge, to help cover costs). Details are on the poster displayed above.


Philip Grant.

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