Shackleton's Forgotten Men: The Untold Tragedy of the Endurance Epic

by Lennard Bickel

Hardcover, 2000




New York : Thunder's Mouth Press : Balliett & Fitzgerald, 2000.


This is a dramatic true story of Antarctic tragedy and survival among the heroic group that was to lay supplies across the Great Ross Ice Shelf in preparation for the Endurance expedition. Launched by Shackleton (and led by Captain Aenaes Mackintosh), this courageous crew completed the longest sledge journey in polar history (199 days) and endured near-unimaginable deprivation. They accomplished most of their mission, laying the way for those who never came. All suffered; some died. Now Australian writer Lennard Bickel honors these forgotten heroes. Largely drawn from the author's interviews with surviving team member Dick Richards, this retelling underscores the capacity of ordinary men for endurance and noble action.

User reviews

LibraryThing member gothamajp
Much has been written about famed explorer Ernest Shackleton’s 1915 aborted attempt to cross the Antarctic and the subsequent escape by his crew surviving on ice floes and open boat. This is not that story.

What has gone untold is the amazing story of his support team sent to set up food and fuel
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depots for his planned journey. These men ended up marooned for two years, spending nearly a year of that on the open ice fulfilling their task in almost indescribable conditions. They hauled food and supplies to be used by others while they themselves had little food of their own, makeshift clothes, and just four sled dogs.

They suffered from snow blindness, frost bite, scurvy, and madness. Losing three men along the way.

It is an amazing story of survival and the indomitable human spirit to just carry on.
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The Age Book of the Year Award (Shortlist — Non-fiction — 1983)



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