The Last Place On Earth and Tom Crean; A Central Television Production, 1985

The story itself is long over a century old, and this television production has notched three decades since its first airing. This is the story of Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition, which was well under way, and southward bound, before Roald Amundsen announced his intention to beat them to the prize, and Scott suddenly found himself a contender, as well as an expedition leader. But most of all it is the tale of two groups of brave men who had ventured into the realm of the unknown, to claim the last place unknown to man – the South Pole.

The Last Place on Earth is a 1985 Central Television seven part serial, written by Trevor Griffiths based on the book Scott and Amundsen by Roland Huntford. The book is an exploration of the expeditions of Captain Robert F. Scott (played by Martin Shaw) and his Norwegian rival in polar exploration, Roald Amundsen (played by Sverre Anker Ousdal) in their attempts to reach the South Pole.

The series ran for seven episodes and starred a wide range of UK and Norwegian character actors as well as featuring some famous names, such as Max von Sydow, Richard Wilson, Sylvester McCoy, Brian Dennehy, and Pat Roach. It also featured performances early in their careers by Bill Nighy and Hugh Grant.

Subsequently Huntford’s book was republished under the same name.[1] The book put forth the point of view that Amundsen’s success in reaching the South Pole was abetted by much superior planning, whereas errors by Scott (notably including the reliance on man-hauling instead of sled dogs) ultimately resulted in the death of him and his companions.

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Genre Drama
Written by Trevor Griffiths
Directed by Ferdinand Fairfax
Starring Martin Shaw
Sverre Anker Ousdal
Stephen Moore
Ståle Bjørnhaug
Max von Sydow
Theme music composer Trevor Jones
Country of origin UK
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 7
Producer(s) Tim van Rellim
Running time 1×90 minutes, 6×50 minutes
Original channel Central Independent Television
Original release 18 February 1985 – 27 March 1985

The Last Place on Earth is a 1985 Central Television seven part serial, written by Trevor Griffiths based on the book Scott and Amundsen by Roland Huntford. The book is an exploration of the expeditions of Captain Robert F. Scott (played by Martin Shaw) and his Norwegian rival in polar exploration, Roald Amundsen (played by Sverre Anker Ousdal) in their attempts to reach the South Pole.

The series ran for seven episodes and starred a wide range of UK and Norwegian character actors as well as featuring some famous names, such as Max von SydowRichard WilsonSylvester McCoyBrian Dennehy, and Pat Roach. It also featured performances early in their careers by Bill Nighy and Hugh Grant.

Subsequently Huntford’s book was republished under the same name.[1] The book put forth the point of view that Amundsen’s success in reaching the South Pole was abetted by much superior planning, whereas errors by Scott (notably including the reliance on man-hauling instead of sled dogs) ultimately resulted in the death of him and his companions.


The Last Place on Earth, by Roland Huntford, 1999, Modern Library Exploration, ISBN 978-0-375-75474-6

The Last Place on Earth at the Internet Movie Database

The Last Place On Earth – Episode 1

The Last Place On Earth – Episode 2

The Last Place On Earth – Episode 3

The Last Place On Earth – Episode 4

The Last Place On Earth – Episode 5

The Last Place On Earth – Episode 6

The Last Place On Earth – Episode 7


Portrait of Tom Crean, 7 February 1915

Born 25 February 1877
Gurtuchrane, AnnascaulCounty KerryIreland
Died 27 July 1938 (aged 61)
Bon Secours Hospital, CorkIreland
Resting place Ballynacourty, AnnascaulCounty KerryIreland
Nationality Irish
Education Royal Navy apprenticeship, HMS Impregnable
Occupation Warrant officer and Antarcticexplorer
Spouse(s) Ellen Herlihy
Children Mary Crean O’Brien
Kate Crean
Eileen Crean
Parent(s) Patrick Crean
Catherine Courtney
Awards Albert Medal (1913)
Polar Medal (1904, 1913, 1916)

Thomas “Tom” Crean (IrishTomás Ó Croidheáin; 25 February 1877 – 27 July 1938), was an Irish seaman and Antarctic explorer from Annascaul in County Kerry. He was a member of three major expeditions to Antarctica during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, including Captain Scott’s 1911–13 Terra Nova Expedition. This saw the race to reach the South Pole lost to Roald Amundsen and ended in the deaths of Scott and his polar party. During this expedition, Crean’s 35 statute miles (56 km) solo walk across the Ross Ice Shelf to save the life of Edward Evans led to him receiving the Albert Medal for Lifesaving.

Crean had left the family farm near Annascaul to enlist in the Royal Navy at the age of 15. In 1901, while serving on Ringarooma in New Zealand, he volunteered to join Scott’s 1901–04 Discovery Expedition to Antarctica, thus beginning his exploring career. After his Terra Novaexperience, Crean’s third and final Antarctic venture was as second officer on Ernest Shackleton‘s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, on Endurance. After Endurance became beset in the pack ice and sank, Crean and the ship’s company spent months drifting on the ice before a journey in boats to Elephant Island. He was a member of the crew which made an open boat journey of 800 nautical miles (1,500 km) from Elephant Island to South Georgia, to seek aid for the stranded party.

Crean’s contributions to these expeditions sealed his reputation as a polar explorer, and earned him a total of three Polar medals. After the Endurance expedition, he returned to the navy; when his naval career ended in 1920 he moved back to County Kerry. In his home town of Annascaul, Crean and his wife Ellen opened a pub called the “South Pole Inn”, where he lived quietly and unobtrusively until his death in 1938.

Thomas Crean (generally known as Tom Crean) was on born 25 Feb 1877, in the farming area of Gurtuchrane near the town of Annascaul in County Kerry, Ireland, to Patrick Crean and Catherine, née Courtney. One of ten children, he attended the local Brackluin Catholic school, leaving at the age of 12 to help on the family farm.[1] At the age of 15, Crean enlisted in the Royal Navy at the naval station in nearby Minard Inlet, possibly after an argument with his father.[2] His enlistment as a boy second class is recorded in Royal Navy records on 10 July 1893, 10 days before his 16th birthday; lacking his parents’ consent, he probably lied about his age.[3][4]

Crean’s initial naval apprenticeship was aboard the training ship Impregnable at Devonport. In November 1894, he was transferred to Devastation. By his 18th birthday, in 1895, Crean was serving in Royal Arthur, and rated ordinary seaman. Less than a year later, he was in Wild Swan as an able seaman, and later joined the Navy’s torpedo school ship, Defiance. By 1899, Crean had advanced to the rate of petty officer, second class and was serving in Vivid.[4][5]

In February 1900, Crean was posted to the torpedo vessel Ringarooma, which was part of the Royal Navy’s New Zealand Squadron based in the South Island. On 18 December 1901, he was demoted from petty officer to able seaman for an unspecified misdemeanour.[4][6] In December 1901, the Ringarooma was ordered to assist Robert Falcon Scott’s ship Discovery when it was docked at Lyttelton Harbour awaiting to departure to Antarctica. When an able seaman of Scott’s ship deserted after striking a petty officer, a replacement was required; Crean volunteered, and was accepted.[7]

Aerial view of Hut Point, near McMurdo Station, Antarctica

Aerial view of Hut Point, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica — the location of Discovery’s base, in 1902–04

Discovery sailed for the Antarctic on 21 December 1901, and seven weeks later, on 8 February 1902, arrived in McMurdo Sound, where she anchored at a spot which was later designated “Hut Point”.[8] Here the men established the base from which they would launch scientific and exploratory sledging journeys. Crean proved to be one of the most efficient man-haulers in the party; over the expedition as a whole, only seven of the 48-member party logged more time in harness than Crean’s 149 days.[9] Crean had a good sense of humour and was well liked by his companions. Scott’s second-in-command, Albert Armitage, wrote in his book Two Years in the Antarctic that “Crean was an Irishman with a fund of wit and an even temper which nothing disturbed.”[10]

Crean accompanied Lieutenant Michael Barne on three sledging trips across the Ross Ice Shelf, then known as the “Great Ice Barrier”. These included the 12-man party led by Barne which set out on 30 October 1902 to lay depots in support of the main southern journey undertaken by Scott, Shackleton and Edward Wilson. On 11 November the Barne party passed the previous furthest south mark,[11] set by Carsten Borchgrevink in 1900 at 78°50’S, a record which they held briefly until the southern party itself passed it on its way to an eventual 82°17’S.[12]

During the Antarctic winter of 1902 Discovery became locked in the ice. Efforts to free her during the summer of 1902–03 failed, and although some of the expedition’s members (including Ernest Shackleton) left in a relief ship, Crean and the majority of the party remained in the Antarctic until the ship was finally freed in February 1904.[13] After returning to regular naval duty, Crean was promoted to petty officer, first class, on Scott’s recommendation.[4][14]

Crean came back to regular duty at the naval base at Chatham, Kent, serving first in Pembroke in 1904 and later transferring to the torpedo school on Vernon. Crean had caught Captain Scott’s attention with his attitude and work ethic on the Discovery Expedition, and in 1906 Scott requested that Crean join him on Victorious.[4][15] Over the next few years Crean followed Scott successively to AlbemarleEssex and Bulwark.[4][15] By 1907, Scott was planning his second expedition to the Antarctic. Meanwhile, Ernest Shackleton’s Nimrod Expedition, 1907–09, despite reaching a new furthest south record of 88°23’S, had failed to reach the South Pole.[16] Scott was with Crean when the news of Shackleton’s near miss became public; it is recorded that Scott observed to Crean: “I think we’d better have a shot next.”[17]

See also: Terra Nova Expedition and Comparison of the Amundsen and Scott Expeditions

 Six men are working with sleds and camping equipment, close to a pointed tent pitched on a snowy surface. Nearby, upright skis have been parked in the snow

Scott’s polar party at 87°S, 31 December 1911, before Crean’s return with the last supporting party

Scott held Crean in high regard,[18] so he was among the first people recruited for the Terra Nova Expedition, which set out for the Antarctic in June 1910, and one of the few men in the party with previous polar experience.[14] After the expedition’s arrival in McMurdo Sound in January 1911, Crean was as part of the 13-man team who established “One Ton Depot”,130 statute miles (210 km) from Hut Point.[19] so named because of the large amount of food and equipment cached there on the projected route to the South Pole. Returning from the depot to base camp at Cape Evans, Crean, accompanied by Apsley Cherry-Garrard and Henry “Birdie” Bowers, experienced near-disaster when camping on unstable sea ice. During the night the ice broke up, leaving the men adrift on an ice floe and separated from their sledges. Crean probably saved the group’s lives, by leaping from floe to floe until he reached the Barrier edge and was able to summon help.[20]

Crean departed with Scott in November 1911, for the attempt at the South Pole. This journey had three stages: 400 statute miles (640 km) across the Barrier, 120 statute miles (190 km) up the heavily crevassed Beardmore Glacier to an altitude of 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above sea level, and then another 350 statute miles (560 km) to the Pole.[21] At regular intervals, supporting parties returned to base; Crean was in the final group of eight men that marched on to the polar plateau and reached 87°32’S, 168 statute miles (270 km) from the pole. Here, on 4 January 1912, Scott selected his final polar party: Crean, William Lashly and Edward Evans were ordered to return to base, while Scott, Edgar EvansEdward Wilson, Bowers and Lawrence Oates continued to the pole. Crean’s biographer Michael Smith suggests that Crean would have been a better choice for the polar party than Edgar Evans, who was weakened by a recent hand injury (of which Scott was unaware). Crean, considered one of the toughest men in the expedition, had led a pony across the Barrier and had thus been saved much of the hard labour of man-hauling.[22]Scott’s critical biographer Roland Huntford records that the surgeon Edward L Atkinson, who had accompanied the southern party to the top of the Beardmore, had recommended either Lashly or Crean for the polar party rather than Edgar Evans.[23] Scott in his diary recorded that Crean wept with disappointment at the prospect of having to turn back, so close to the goal.[24]

 Two men stand on snowy ground, with a dark sky background, each man with a white pony. The men are dressed in heavy winter clothing. A caption reads: "Petty Officers Crean and Evans exercising their ponies in the winter".

Tom Crean and Edgar Evans exercising ponies, winter 1911

Soon after heading north on the 700-statute-mile (1,100 km) journey back to base camp, Crean’s party lost the trail back to the Beardmore Glacier, and were faced with a long detour around a large icefall.[25] With food supplies short, and needing to reach their next supply depot, the group made the decision to slide on their sledge, uncontrolled, down the icefall. The three men slid 2,000 feet (600 m),[26] dodging crevasses up to 200 feet (61 m) wide, and ending their descent by overturning on an ice ridge.[27] Evans later wrote: “How we ever escaped entirely uninjured is beyond me to explain”.[26]

The gamble at the icefall succeeded, and the men reached their depot two days later.[27] However, they had great difficulty navigating down the glacier. Lashly wrote: “I cannot describe the maze we got into and the hairbreadth escapes we have had to pass through.”[28] In his attempts to find the way down, Evans removed his goggles and subsequently suffered agonies of snow blindness that made him into a passenger.[29]When the party was finally free of the glacier and on the level surface of the Barrier, Evans began to display the first symptoms of scurvy.[30] By early February he was in great pain, his joints were swollen and discoloured, and he was passing blood. Through the efforts of Crean and Lashly the group struggled towards One Ton Depot, which they reached on 11 February. At this point Evans collapsed; Crean thought he had died and, according to Evans’s account, “his hot tears fell on my face”.[29]

With over 100 statute miles (160 km) still to travel before the relative safety of Hut Point, Crean and Lashly began hauling Evans on the sledge, “eking out his life with the last few drops of brandy that they still had with them”.[30] On 18 February they arrived at Corner Camp, still 35 statute miles (56 km) from Hut Point, with only one or two days’ food rations left and still four or five days’ man-hauling to do. They then decided that Crean should go on alone, to fetch help. With only a little chocolate and three biscuits to sustain him, without a tent or survival equipment,[31] Crean walked the distance to Hut Point in 18 hours, arriving in a state of collapse to find Atkinson there, with the dog driver Dmtri Gerov.[30][32] Crean reached safety just ahead of a fierce blizzard, which probably would have killed him, and which delayed the rescue party by a day and a half.[29] Atkinson led a successful rescue, and Lashly and Evans were both brought to base camp alive. Crean modestly played down the significance of his feat of endurance. In a rare written account, he wrote in a letter: “So it fell to my lot to do the 30 miles for help, and only a couple of biscuits and a stick of chocolate to do it. Well, sir, I was very weak when I reached the hut.”[33]

Scott’s party failed to return. The winter of 1912 at Cape Evans was a sombre one, with the knowledge that the polar party had undoubtedly perished. Frank Debenham wrote that “in the winter it was once again Crean who was the mainstay for cheerfulness in the now depleted mess deck part of the hut.”[34] In November 1912, Crean was one of the 11-man search party that found the remains of the polar party. On 12 November they spotted a cairn of snow, which proved to be a tent against which the drift had piled up. It contained the bodies of Scott, Wilson, and Bowers.[35] Crean later wrote, referring to Scott in understated fashion, that he had “lost a good friend”.[36]

On 12 February 1913 Crean and the remaining crew of the Terra Nova arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand, and shortly after returned to England. At Buckingham Palace the surviving members of the expedition were awarded Polar Medals by King George and Prince Louis of Battenberg, the First Sea Lord.[37][38] Crean and Lashly were both awarded the Albert Medal, 2nd Class for saving Evans’s life, these were presented by the King at Buckingham Palace on 26 July 1913. Crean was promoted to the rank of chief petty officer, retroactive to 9 September 1910.[4][39]

Main articles: Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition and Voyage of the James Caird

 A group of men on board a ship, identified by a caption as "The Weddell Sea Party". They are dressed in various fashions, mostly with jerseys and peaked or other hats. The rough sea in the background suggests they are sailing into stormy weather.

Members of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition aboard Endurance, 1914. Crean is second from the left in the first standing row. Shackleton (wearing soft hat) is in the centre of the picture.

Ernest Shackleton knew Crean well from the Discovery Expedition, and also knew of his exploits on Scott’s last expedition. Like Scott, Shackleton trusted Crean:[40] he was worth, in Shackleton’s own word, “trumps”.[41] Crean joined Shackleton’s Imperial Transantarctic Expedition on 25 May 1914, as second officer,[42] with a varied range of duties. In the absence of a Canadian dog-handling expert who was hired but never appeared, Crean took charge of one of the dog-handling teams,[43] and was later involved in the care and nurture of the pups born to one of his dogs, Sally, early in the expedition.[44]

On 19 January 1915 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.[45] The ship drifted in the ice for months, eventually sinking on 21 November. Shackleton informed the men that they would drag the food, gear, and three lifeboats across the pack ice, to Snow Hill or Robertson Island, 200 statute miles (320 km) away. 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. They hoped that the clockwise drift of the pack would carry them 400 statute miles (640 km) to Paulet Island where they knew there was a hut with emergency supplies.[46] 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.[47][48]

 Man, standing, wearing a smock, heavy trousers and boots. He has a ski stick in his right hand, a pair of skis strapped on his back, and is carrying a rounded bundle on his shoulder. Behind him on the ground is assorted polar equipment.

Tom Crean, in full polar travelling gear

On reaching Elephant Island, Crean was one of the “four fittest men” detailed by Shackleton to find a safe camping-ground.[49] 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;[47] Shackleton initially agreed, but changed his mind after Crean begged to be included in the boat’s crew of six.[50] The 800-nautical-mile (1,500 km) boat journey to South Georgia, described by polar historian Caroline Alexander as one of the most extraordinary feats of seamanship and navigation in recorded history, took 17 days through gales and snow squalls, in seas which the navigator, [[Frank Worsley],] described as a “mountainous westerly swell”.[51][52] After setting off on 24 April 1916 with just the barest navigational equipment, they reached South Georgia on 10 May 1916. 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 … but somehow it was cheerful”.[53]

 Man, sitting, wearing heavy winter clothes. He has a pipe in his mouth and is holding four sled dog puppiess.

Crean and “his” pups

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.[54] 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. The three fittest men—Shackleton, Crean, and Worsley—were decided to trek 30 statute miles (48 km) across the island’s glaciated surface, in a hazardous 36-hour journey to the nearest manned whaling station.[55] 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.[56] 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.[57] They quickly organized a boat to pick up the three on the other side of South Georgia, but thereafter it took Shackleton three months and four attempts by ship to rescue the other 22 men still on Elephant Island.[58]

After returning to Britain in November 1916, Crean resumed naval duties. On 15 December 1916 he was promoted to the rank of warrant officer (as a boatswain), in recognition of his service on the Endurance,[4][59][60] and was awarded his third Polar Medal. On 5 September 1917 Crean married Ellen Herlihy of Annascaul.[61]

In early 1920, Shackleton was organising another Antarctic expedition, later to be known as the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition. 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.[62]

On his last naval assignment, with 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 1920.[60][63] He and Ellen opened a small public house in Annascaul, which he called the South Pole Inn.[64] The couple had three daughters, Mary, Kate, and Eileen,[65] although Kate died when she was four years old.[64]

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.[66] It has been speculated that this may have been because Kerry had long been a centre for Irish republicanism, and it would have been inappropriate for an Irishman to speak of his achievements on polar expeditions organised by a once occupying power.[66] In fact, Crean and his family were once the victims of a Black and Tan raid during the War of Independence. The raiders ransacked his property and the Creans felt threatened until the Black and Tans happened across a framed photo of Crean in Royal Navy dress uniform and medals. They then left his inn.[67]

 In the foreground is a dark-coloured statue of a man carrying a small dog. In the background is a low, white building with cars parked outside.

Statue of Crean, with the South Pole Inn in the background

In 1938 Crean became ill with a burst appendix. He was taken to the nearest hospital in Tralee, but as no surgeon was available to operate, 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 1938, shortly after his sixty-first birthday. He was buried in his family’s tomb at the cemetery in Ballynacourty.[68]

Crean is commemorated in at least two place names: Mount Crean 8,630 feet (2,630 m) in Victoria Land, and the Crean Glacier on South Georgia.[69] A one-man play, Tom Crean – Antarctic Explorer, has been widely performed since 2001 by its author Aidan Dooley, including a special showing at the South Pole Inn, Annascaul, in October 2001. Present were Crean’s daughters, Eileen and Mary, both in their 80s. Apparently he never told them his stories; according to Eileen: “He put his medals and his sword in a box … and that was that. He was a very humble man”.[70]

In July 2003, a bronze statue of Crean was unveiled across from his pub in Annascaul. It depicts him leaning against a crate whilst holding a pair of hiking poles in one hand and two of “his” beloved sled dog pups in the other.[71]

  1. Smith, p. 16
  2. Smith, p. 18
  3. Smith, p. 19
  4.  a b c d e f g h “Registers of Seamen’s Services—Image details—Crean, Thomas (until promotion to warrant officer)” (fee usually required to view full pdf of service record). DocumentsOnlineThe National Archives. Retrieved 13 August 2009.
  5. Smith, pp. 20–21
  6. Smith, p. 29
  7. Smith, p. 31
  8. The name “Hut Point” was given to mark the location, alongside the ship’s anchorage, of the expedition’s main storage hut, which was used in later expeditions as a shelter and storage depot. Crane, p. 157
  9.  Smith, pp. 46–47
  10. Smith, p. 46
  11. Smith, p. 55
  12. Crane, pp. 214–15. Modern re-calculations based on photographs have placed this furthest south at 82°11’S (Crane map, p. 215).
  13. Preston, pp. 67–69
  14.  a b Smith, p. 70
  15. a b Crean, Royal Navy service record, referenced in Smith, p. 72
  16. Crane, pp. 394–95
  17. Preston, p. 101
  18. Jump up ^ Huxley, p. 434
  19. Jump up ^ Cherry-Garrard, p. 107
  20. Jump up ^ Cherry-Garrard, p. 147
  21. Jump up ^ Smith, p. 102
  22. Jump up ^ Smith, p. 161
  23. Jump up ^ Huntford (The Last Place on Earth), p. 455
  24. Jump up ^ Scott, Diary, 4 January 1912, reprinted in Smith, p. 123
  25. Jump up ^ Smith, p. 127
  26. Jump up to: a b Smith, p. 129
  27. Jump up to: a b Lashly’s diary, quoted in Cherry-Garrard, p. 402
  28. Jump up ^ Lashly diary, quoted in Preston, p. 207
  29. Jump up to: a b c Preston, pp. 206–08
  30. Jump up to: a b c Crane, pp. 555–56
  31. Jump up ^ Cherry-Garrard, p. 420
  32. Jump up ^ Smith, p. 140
  33. Jump up ^ Crean, letter to unknown person, 26 February 1912, reprinted in Smith, p. 143
  34. Jump up ^ Smith, p. 168
  35. Jump up ^ Crane, pp. 569–70. Oates and Edgar Evans has perished earlier on the return journey.
  36. Jump up ^ Crean letter to J. Kennedy, January 1913, SPRI, reprinted in Smith, p. 172
  37. Jump up ^ Smith, p. 180
  38. Jump up ^ The London Gazetteno. 28740. p. 5322. 25 July 1913. Retrieved 7 December 2008.
  39. Jump up ^ Smith, p. 183
  40. Jump up ^ Huntford: Shackleton, p. 477
  41. Jump up ^ Alexander, p. 21
  42. Jump up ^ Smith, p. 190
  43. Jump up ^ Shackleton, pp. 44–45
  44. Jump up ^ Alexander, pp. 29–31
  45. Jump up ^ Shackleton, p. 31
  46. Jump up ^ Alexander, p. 98
  47. Jump up to: a b Alexander, p. 127
  48. Jump up ^ Smith, p. 226
  49. Jump up ^ Shackleton, p. 147
  50. Jump up ^ Shackleton, p. 158
  51. Jump up ^ Worsley, p. 142
  52. Jump up ^ Alexander, p. 153
  53. Jump up ^ Shackleton, p. 174
  54. Jump up ^ Alexander, p. 150
  55. Jump up ^ Alexander, p. 156
  56. Jump up ^ Worsley, pp. 190–91
  57. Jump up ^ Worsley, p. 213
  58. Jump up ^ Worsley, p. 220
  59. Jump up ^ Admiralty Certificate of Qualification for Warrant Officer, 17 August 1917, referenced in Smith, p. 300
  60. Jump up to: a b “RN Officer’s Service Records—Image details—Crean, Thomas (from promotion to Warrant Officer)” (fee usually required to view full pdf of service record). DocumentsOnline. The National Archives. Retrieved 8 December 2008.
  61. Jump up ^ “Remembering a Great Irishman and Antarctic pioneer”. The James Caird Society. Retrieved 23 August2015.
  62. Jump up ^ Smith, p. 308
  63. Jump up ^ Smith, p. 304
  64. Jump up to: a b Smith, p. 309
  65. Jump up ^ Smith, p. 306
  66. Jump up to: a b Smith, p. 312
  67. Jump up ^ Interview with his daughter, Mary O’Brien “RTÉ – Charlie Bird on the trail of Tom Crean”
  68. Jump up ^ Smith, p. 314
  69. Jump up ^ Smith, p. 318
  70. Jump up ^ Kennedy 2001.
  71. Jump up ^ “Tom Crean, Antarctic Explorer”. Annascaul. Retrieved 23 August 2015.


Further reading

External links

Antarctic Explorers Coins Issued in Ireland


Silver and gold coins were issued Wednesday by Ireland’s Central Bank to commemorate the adventurous feats by Antarctic explorers Earnest Shackleton and Tom Crean, and celebrate the International Polar Year.

Ireland Antarctic Explorers Coins

The proof collector €5 and €100 coins feature the two historic Irish explorers with their ship ‘The Endurance’ backdropped within the steel grips of Antarctic ice.

Shackleton and Crean ‘The Endurance’ Expedition Background

In a remarkable story, in 1915 the pair set off to cross the Antarctica via the South Pole on an expedition that soon became a near hopeless battle for survival.

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.

Shackleton, Crean and crew were forced onto floating ice where they lived for many months until conditions improved where they could use three small boats to make their way to Elephant Island. The pair and four others then took one of the boats and crossed 800 miles (1,280 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.

Silver and Gold Antarctic Explorer Coin Information

The following coin information was provided in a release statement by Ireland’s Central Bank:

This is the first time the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland has issued a half troy ounce (15.55 grams in weight) gold coin denominated in Euro, with a legal tender denomination of €100.

In keeping with tradition, the national side of the coin depicts the 14 string Irish harp modelled on the ‘Brian Boru’ harp in Trinity College, Dublin. As an addition to the national side of the coin, a laurel wreath, a traditional symbol of excellence and integrity, surrounds the harp. The coins have been designed by renowned Irish artist, designer and medallist Thomas Ryan, RHA.

Coin Specifications and Order Details

Silver Gold
Face Value: €5 €100
Condition: Proof Proof
Composition: Sterling Silver (.925 Ag) .999 fine gold (1/2 troy ounce)
Weight: 8.52g 15.55 g
Diameter: 28.00mm 28.00mm
Mintage Limit: 5,000* 2,000*
Price: €50.00 €395.00

*There is a special two-coin set with a limited edition of 1,000. Each is priced at €440.

An official order form for the coins is available from the Central Bank by phoning 1890 307 607 or from the website, .

About Coin Designer Thomas Ryan

Trained at the Limerick School of Art and the National College of Art in Dublin, Thomas Ryan has become a prominent figure in the Irish art world. He first exhibited work at the RHA in 1957, became an associate member in 1968 and was President from 1982-1993. He is well known for his portraits and his sensitive still life paintings. In the world of numismatics his work includes the Irish £1 coin featuring a red deer, which was introduced in 1990 to replace the £1 note and the 1988 Dublin Millennium 50p coin.

About International Polar Year

The International Polar Year (IPY) is a large interdisciplinary scientific research program focused on the polar regions of the Artic and the Antarctic. IPY will involve over 200 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.

About the Central Bank of Ireland

The Central Bank of Ireland, which came into being in 1943, was re-structured and re-named as the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland (CBFSAI) on 1 May 2003. 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.

The Central Bank became part of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in Europe in 1999. The national central banks of the euro area together with the European Central Bank (ECB) form the Eurosystem.

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