Scots complete Shackleton’s 1915 Antarctica expedition

Relatives of a Glasgow scientist on Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated expedition across Antarctica have completed the final leg of his journey.

The Endurance 100 expedition retraced the steps of Sir Ernest Shackletons ill-fated party. Picture: Contributed

Shackleton’s famous expeditionary party was forced to abandon the ship Endurance a century ago after it became icebound, ending their hopes of reaching the South Pole.

Members of the family of James Wordie, geologist and chief scientific officer on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, set out to the frozen continent last month.

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The group of 12, led by explorer David Hempleman-Adams, completed a walk and ski of the final leg of Shackleton’s intended route yesterday – 100 years and two days after the original party hoped to do so.

It was the idea of Tim Holmes, head of property company Endurance Estates in Cambridge, and his wife, Alice, who is Wordie’s granddaughter.

Speaking from the Antarctic, Mr Holmes: “It has been a very rewarding trip and very hard at times too, with extreme cold, wind and snow ridges to deal with.”

As well as marking the anniversary, the Endurance 100 project raised funds to create a digital archive of papers relating to the original expedition.

These will be made available for public research with the help of St John’s College, Cambridge, where Wordie was a student, fellow, and later master, and the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge.

“As a team we feel that one of the best legacies of our trip would be the creation of an archive covering Wordie and the other members of the Endurance expedition, so that their narrative can be available to anyone interested in polar science, its history, and climate change,” Mr Holmes added.

Originally from Glasgow, Wordie was 25 when Shackleton recruited him for the trans-Antarctic expedition, which he described as the final “one great main object of Antarctic journeying”.

His detailed volumes capture the spirit, courage and determination of the men trapped in gruelling conditions in Antarctica for nearly two years after setting off in early 1914.