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Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton

Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Born at Kilkee, Ireland, Shackleton joined the Merchant Navy in 1890, working for the White Star, Shire and Union Castle Lines. In 1901 he was a junior officer in Discovery on the National Antarctic Expedition under Captain Scott. His own expedition in Nimrod (1907–1909), succeeded in reaching the South Magnetic Pole and scaling Mount Erebus. In 1914 he commanded the Trans-Antarctic Expedition in Endurance. When the ship was crushed in the ice in 1916, he guided its company 200 miles on sledges and boats to safety. Then he and five companions sailed 800 miles across the South Atlantic in a small boat to South Georgia for help. Shackleton equipped the North Russian expedition in 1918–1919. He died in South Georgia.

National Portrait Gallery, London



Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton




oil on canvas


H 61 x W 50.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Given by Memorial Committee, 1933

Work type



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