Sir Ernest Shackleton

15/02/1874 - 5/01/1922

Sir Ernest Shackleton

Sir Ernest Shackleton was an Anglo-Irish Antarctic explorer. He participated in four expeditions and led three of them. During the first expedition 1901–1904, he and his friends Scott and Wilson set a new southern record by marching to latitude 82°S. During the second expedition 1907–1909 he and three companions established a new record Farthest South latitude at 88°S, only 97 geographical miles 180 km from the South Pole. Also, members of his team climbed Mount Erebus, the most active Antarctic volcano.


Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton was born in County Kildare, Ireland on February 15, 1874. His father was a doctor. His family moved to London where he was then educated. His father dreamed of his own son becoming a doctor just like him but instead Shackleton joined the merchant navy when he was 16 and qualified as a master mariner in 1898. He travelled widely but was keen to explore the poles.

Scott Expedition

In 1901, Shackleton was chosen to go on the Antarctic expedition led by British naval officer Robert Falcon Scott on the ship 'Discovery'. Shackleton trekked towards the South Pole in extremely difficult conditions, with Scott and one other getting closer to the Pole than anyone had come before. Shackleton became seriously ill and had to return home but had gained valuable experience.