|1972: Sir Ernest Shackleton 50th Death Anniversary|
"It is beyond conception, even to us, that we are dwelling on a colossal ice raft, with but five feet of water separating us from 2,000 fathoms of ocean and drifting along under the caprices of wind and tides, to heaven knows where." Diary of Frank Hurley.
By the summer (21st December) the food shortage became acute and in February 1916 the dogs that had survived were shot. The ice flow began to split on 8th April forcing departure and the 28 men piled into the three lifeboats and set off for the 100 mile journey to the remote and uninhabited Elephant Island
"The final stage of the journey had still to be attempted.... Over on Elephant Island 22 men were waiting for the relief that we alone could secure for them. Their plight was worse than ours. We must push on somehow."- Sir Ernest Shackleton, South
Marching for 36 hours they arrived at Stomness station, unrecognisable to the station manager who had met them two years earlier. On reuniting with the men on the other side of the island Shackleton made plans to rescue those left behind on Elephant Island which grew ever more frantic as they were thwarted by ice and weather. Eventually with his fourth attempt in the tug, Yelcho (loaned by the Chilean government) on 30th August 1916 the castaways ran onto the beach, Shackleton, straining through binoculars, counted anxiously. "They are all there!" Worsley reported him crying.
An entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps theme of - Arctic or Antarctic