Endurance expedition shown in rare images in Manchester

endurance in ice Image copyright RGS
Image caption The Endurance sank beneath the ice of the Weddell Sea off Antarctica in 1915

Rarely-seen images of the Antarctic expedition led by the explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton have gone on display in Manchester.

The pictures show his ship Endurance trapped in ice in 1915, as well as crew members and dogs on the voyage.

Image copyright RGS
Image caption Officially known as the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-17, it was an attempt to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent

For the first time, digitised images of slides owned by crew member Reginald James have been put on show.

Image copyright RGS

He received the images from the expedition's official photographer Frank Hurley.

They form part of a free display at Manchester Central Library until 11 June.

Image copyright RGS
Image caption Reginald James was the expedition's physicist and later served in World War One

Known as Jimmy by his fellow crew members, James was the expedition's physicist and used the slides in talks about the expedition following their safe return.

After the expedition between 1914 and 1917, he served in Ypres, Belgium, during World War One.

Image copyright RGS
Image caption Frank Hurley was the expedition's official photographer

He then lived in Manchester for nearly 18 years where he lectured in physics at the university.

He married teacher Annie Watson in 1936 before they sailed for South Africa, where he worked at the University of Cape Town.

Endurance expedition

Image copyright RGS
Image caption The 28-man crew spent months in makeshift camps
  • Shackleton, who was born in Ireland, is renowned for ensuring that not a single man on his ship Endurance died after it was trapped in early 1915 and sank about 10 months later
  • After months spent in makeshift camps, the crew took to three lifeboats to reach the inhospitable and uninhabited Elephant Island
  • Shackleton and five others then made an 800-mile open-boat journey to reach South Georgia, crossing the island on foot to raise the alarm and find a ship to rescue those still stranded
  • On the fourth attempt, he returned to Elephant Island to rescue them all

Source: Royal Geographical Society

Image copyright RGS

Organised by the Royal Geographical Society, the exhibition, which launched in London last year, will also go on display in the Midlands, Wales and Scotland.

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