|Annotation of text copyright ©2008 David Trumbull for Agathon Associates. All Rights Reserved.|
THE FINAL PHASE
|To the credit side of the Expedition one can safely say that the comradeship and resource of the members of the Expedition was worthy of the highest traditions of Polar service; and it was a privilege to me to have had under my command men who, through dark days and the stress and strain of continuous danger, kept up their spirits and carried out their work regardless of themselves and heedless of the limelight. The same energy and endurance that they showed in the Antarctic they brought to the greater war in the Old World. And having followed our fortunes in the South you may be interested to know that practically every member of the Expedition was employed in one or other branches of the active fighting forces during the war. Several are still abroad, and for this very reason it has been impossible for me to obtain certain details for this book.|
|Of the fifty-three men who returned out of the fifty-six who left for the South, three have since been killed and five wounded. Four decorations have been won, and several members of the Expedition have been mentioned in dispatches. McCarthy, the best and most efficient of the sailors, always cheerful under the most trying circumstances, and who for these very reasons I chose to accompany me on the boat journey to South Georgia, was killed at his gun in the Channel. Cheetham, the veteran of the Antarctic, who had been more often south of the Antarctic circle than any man, was drowned when the vessel he was serving in was torpedoed, a few weeks before the Armistice. Ernest Wild, Frank Wild’s brother, was killed while minesweeping in the Mediterranean. Mauger, the carpenter on the Aurora, was badly wounded while serving with the New Zealand Infantry, so that he is unable to follow his trade again. He is now employed by the New Zealand Government. The two surgeons, Macklin and McIlroy, served in France and Italy, McIlroy being badly wounded at Ypres. Frank Wild, in view of his unique experience of ice and ice conditions, was at once sent to the North Russian front, where his zeal and ability won him the highest praise.|
Macklin served first with the Yorks and later transferred as
medical officer to the Tanks, where he did much good work. Going
to the Italian front with his battalion, he won the Military Cross
for bravery in tending wounded under fire.
James joined the Royal Engineers, Sound Ranging Section, and after much front-line work was given charge of a Sound Ranging School to teach other officers this latest and most scientific addition to the art of war.
Wordie went to France with the Royal Field Artillery and was badly wounded at Armentières.
Hussey was in France for eighteen months with the Royal Garrison Artillery, serving in every big battle from Dixmude to Saint-Quentin.
Worsley, known to his intimates as Depth-Charge Bill, owing to his success with that particular method of destroying German submarines, has the Distinguished Service Order and three submarines to his credit.
Stenhouse, who commanded the Aurora after Mackintosh landed, was with Worsley as his second in command when one of the German submarines was rammed and sunk, and received the D.S.C. for his share in the fight. He was afterwards given command of a Mystery Ship, and fought several actions with enemy submarines.
Clark served on a mine-sweeper. Greenstreet was employed with the barges on the Tigris. Rickenson was commissioned as Engineer-Lieutenant, R.N. Kerr returned to the Merchant Service as an engineer.
Most of the crew of the Endurance served on minesweepers.
Of the Ross Sea Party, Mackintosh, Hayward, and Spencer-Smith died for their country as surely as any who gave up their lives on the fields of France and Flanders. Hooke, the wireless operator, now navigates an airship.
Nearly all of the crew of the Aurora joined the New Zealand Field Forces and saw active service in one or other of the many theatres of war. Several have been wounded, but it has been impossible to obtain details.
On my return, after the rescue of the survivors of the Ross Sea
Party, I offered my services to the Government, and was sent on
a mission to South America. When this was concluded I was
commissioned as Major and went to North Russia in charge of Arctic
Equipment and Transport, having with me Worsley, Stenhouse,
Hussey, Macklin, and Brocklehurst, who was to have come South with
us, but who, as a regular officer, rejoined his unit on the
outbreak of war. He has been wounded three times and was in the
retreat from Mons. Worsley was sent across to the Archangel
front, where he did excellent work, and the others served with me
on the Murmansk front. The mobile columns there had exactly the
same clothing, equipment, and sledging food as we had on the
Expedition. No expense was spared to obtain the best of
everything for them, and as a result not a single case of
avoidable frost-bite was reported.
Taking the Expedition as a unit, out of fifty-six men three died in the Antarctic, three were killed in action, and five have been wounded, so that our casualties have been fairly high.
Though some have gone there are enough left to rally round and form a nucleus for the next Expedition, when troublous times are over and scientific exploration can once more be legitimately undertaken.
Motes. Sir Raymond Priestley "For scientific leadership, give me Scott, for swift and efficient travel give me Amundsen. But when you are in a hopeless situation, when you are seeing no way out, get done on your knees and pray for Shackleton. Incomparable in adversity, he was the miracle worker who would save your life against all the odds and long after your number was up. The greatest leader that ever came on God's earth, bar none."