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The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914-1917

Published

Excerpt: reed, our own services to the country in the

event of war breaking out. All hands immediately agreed, and I sent

off a telegram in which everything was placed at the disposal of the

Admiralty. We only asked that, in the event of the declaration of war,

the Expedition might be considered as a single unit, so as to preserve

its homogeneity. There were enough trained and experienced men amongst

us to man a destroyer. Within an hour I received a laconic wire from

the Admiralty saying "Proceed." Within two hours a longer wire came

from Mr. Winston Churchill, in which we were thanked for our offer, and

saying that the authorities desired that the Expedition, which had the

full sanction and support of the Scientific and Geographical Societies,

should go on.

So, according to these definite instructions, the 'Endurance' sailed

to Plymouth. On Tuesday the King sent for me and handed me the Union

Jack to carry on the Expedition. That night, at midnight, war broke

out. On the following Saturday, August 8, the '