Hold Fast: Tom Crean with Shackletons Endurance Expedition 1913-1916

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During the journey, The Endurance became wedged. The vessel could not shake the clutches of the South Pole ice, and eventually sank 10 months later. The pair and four others then took one of the boats and crossed miles 1, km of treacherous seas in 16 days to reach South Georgia and help for the rest of the crew. No one in the expedition died. As an addition to the national side of the coin, a laurel wreath, a traditional symbol of excellence and integrity, surrounds the harp. He first exhibited work at the RHA in , became an associate member in and was President from He is well known for his portraits and his sensitive still life paintings.

IPY will involve over projects, with thousands of scientists from over 63 nations examining a wide range of physical, biological and social research topics. They will explore the icy frontiers, undergo extreme conditions, learn about the earth system and monitor how the poles are changing.

IPY offers an unprecedented opportunity to raise public awareness of the Polar Regions and develop a better understanding of global climate change and its potential impacts on the planet. This body carries out all of the activities formerly carried out by the Central Bank of Ireland and additional regulatory and consumer protection functions for the financial services sector. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.

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The Search for Endurance

Bookmark the permalink. Portrait of Tom Crean, 7 February Tom Crean and Edgar Evans exercising ponies, winter Tom Crean, in full polar travelling gear. Statue of Crean, with the South Pole Inn in the background. Smith, p. The National Archives.


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On 19 January the expedition's ship, the Endurance , was beset in the Weddell Sea pack ice. In the early efforts to free her, Crean narrowly escaped being crushed by a sudden movement in the ice. The ship drifted in the ice for months, eventually sinking on 21 November. Because of uneven ice conditions, pressure ridges, and the danger of ice breakup which could separate the men, they soon abandoned this plan: the men pitched camp and decided to wait. But the pack ice held firm as it carried the men well past Paulet Island, and did not break up until 9 April.

The crew then had to sail and row the three ill-equipped lifeboats through the pack ice to Elephant Island, a trip which lasted five days. Crean and Hubert Hudson, the navigating officer of the Endurance , piloted their lifeboat with Crean effectively in charge as Hudson appeared to have suffered a breakdown.

Upon reaching Elephant Island, Crean was one of the "four fittest men" detailed by Shackleton to find a safe camping-ground.

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Antarctic Decisions

Shackleton decided that, rather than waiting for a rescue ship that would probably never arrive, one of the lifeboats should be strengthened so that a crew could sail it to South Georgia and arrange a rescue. After the party was settled on a penguin rookery above the high-water mark, a group of men led by ship's carpenter Harry McNish began modifying one of the lifeboats—the James Caird —in preparation for this journey, which Shackleton would lead. Frank Wild, who would be in command of the party remaining on Elephant Island, wanted the dependable Crean to stay with him; Shackleton initially agreed, but changed his mind after Crean begged to be included in the boat's crew of six.

After setting off on 24 April with just the barest navigational equipment, they reached South Georgia on 10 May Shackleton, in his later account of the journey, recalled Crean's tuneless singing at the tiller: "He always sang when he was steering, and nobody ever discovered what the song was The party made its South Georgia landfall on the uninhabited southern coast, having decided that the risk of aiming directly for the whaling stations on the north side was too great; if they missed the island to the north they would be swept out into the Atlantic Ocean.

The original plan was to work the James Caird around the coast, but the boat's rudder had broken off after their initial landing, and some of the party were, in Shackleton's view, unfit for further travel. This trek was the first recorded crossing of the mountainous island, completed without tents, sleeping bags, or map—their only mountaineering equipment was a carpenter's adze, a length of alpine rope, and screws from the James Caird hammered through their boots to serve as crampons.

They arrived at the whaling station at Stromness, tired and dirty, hair long and matted, faces blackened by months of cooking by blubber stoves—"the world's dirtiest men", according to Worsley. After returning to Britain in November , Crean resumed naval duties. On 15 December he was promoted to the rank of warrant officer as a boatswain , in recognition of his service on the Endurance , and was awarded his third Polar Medal. In early , Shackleton was organising another Antarctic expedition, later to be known as the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition.

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He invited Crean to join him, along with other officers from the Endurance. By this time, however, Crean's second daughter had arrived, and he had plans to open a business following his naval career. He turned down Shackleton's invitation.


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On his last naval assignment, with HMS Hecla, Crean suffered a bad fall which caused lasting effects to his vision. As a result, he was retired on medical grounds on 24 March The couple had three daughters, Mary, Kate, and Eileen, although Kate died when she was four years old. Throughout his life, Crean remained an extremely modest man. When he returned to Kerry, he put all of his medals away and never again spoke about his experiences in the Antarctic. Indeed, there is no reliable evidence of Crean giving any interviews to the press.

It has been speculated that this may have been because Kerry was a hotbed of Irish nationalism and later Irish republicanism, and, along with County Cork, an epicentre of violence. Their inn was ransacked until the raiders happened across Crean's framed photo in Royal Navy dress uniform and medals. They then left his inn.

In , Crean became ill with a burst appendix. He was taken to the nearest hospital in Tralee, but as no surgeon was available, he was transferred to the Bon Secours Hospital in Cork, where his appendix was removed. Because the operation had been delayed, an infection developed, and after a week in the hospital he died on 27 July , shortly after his sixty-first birthday. He was buried in his family's tomb at the cemetery in Ballynacourty, Corkaguiney, County Kerry. Updated on Jun 06, For more information email dermotryankinsale gmail. It is a recital to feature poetry, music and song, marking the impact of WWI on the University Community.

This is an up to date presentation containing many new items of interest from the Parish Records. The speaker is our well-known local librarian, Mr. Richard Forrest.

David Hirzel (Author of When Your Life Depends on It)

Everyone is welcome to attend and listen as he explores the treasure trove of these fascinating local records Enquiries to Brian Gabriel Here people can explo0re life in Ireland years ago and indeed contribute to a crowdsourced history project. Click here for more information on this free event; all are welcome to attend.

The publication, in addition to detailing matters regarding the City, also discusses a number of sites in the County such as St Gobnaits pilgrimage at Ballyvourney and St Johns well at Carrigaline. All are welcome to attend on the night. Cork Additional Information: With the Gaelic revival at the end of the nineteenth century came a renewed interest, not only in the Irish language, but in all things Irish, including the national sports of hurling and football.

This led to the formation of the Gaelic Athletic Association in This lecture will focus on the political lead-up to the founding of the GAA, its political leanings from to and its involvement in the Rising, as well as the beginnings of the GAA in West Cork in and the people involved. Cork Additional Information: A wonderful book launch takes place on the evening of Monday 23rd November in Ballygarvan.

This promises to be a great event, featuring rare never before seen slides.

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For details, please see the attached poster. Michael will explore the land disputes in many parts of mid-Cork, such as Macroom, Coachford, Donoughmore and Millstreet which led to evictions and violence'. The Muskerry and District Local History Society has organised this event and all are welcome to attend. For more information email columcronin googlemail. Kieran Hickey, author of a book by the same title, will be talking about "the natural and cultural history of wolves and will examine the possible reasons for the wolves' decline and ultimate extinction in Ireland the last wolf killed in Ireland was in about ".

The event is organised by the Cork Nature Network, a not for profit organisation working locally to promote and encourage awareness around conservation and protection of habitats and native species. For further information on this free event email corknaturenetwork gmail. The book, written by James O' Malley, 'provides a unique snapshot of the Blackwater Valley and also of the changing face of contemporary Ireland' and features the towns of Mallow, Fermoy and Youghal as well as a number of attractive villages along the river's course.

James O' Malley, 5 years ago, walked this mile journey in the space of one week. The lauch takes place at 7pm in Waterstones, Patrick Street and all are welcome. They will be showing off the uniforms of the time Irish Volunteers, RIC, British Army, etc and will give a talk in regards to the uniforms also. Seeing the uniforms in person will be very pleasing and will help transport us back to the time from which they originate.

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