Ernest Shackleton
Pictures of the Endurance Expedition

Page 1 - The journey to Antarctica and into the the Weddell Sea, the besetting of the Endurance, Winter 1915, the crushing and loss of the ship.

A young Australian photographer Frank Hurley accompanied Shackleton on the Trans-Antarctic Expedition to record events in motion and still pictures. Little was it realised when setting off exactly what an epic tale would be recorded and that amongst the film would be some of the Endurance itself being crushed and sunk by sea-ice. Shackleton had a deal with a London newspaper to sell his story and pictures on his return to England, a legacy of the difficulty in providing funding for the expedition. Hurley for his part planned to sell the photographs and film on his return, so there were pressing financial reasons to return with a good record as well capturing images of history in the making.

As a result almost every stage of the journey is recorded. Some of the photographs are presented here.


Sir Ernest Shackleton Portrait

Sir Ernest Shackleton Portrait
scrubbing the endurance
l to r - Jock Wordie, geologist - Alfred Cheetham, 3rd Officer - Alexander Macklin, doctor

The Endurance in young sea-ice

The ice was in convulsion ahead of the ship, and a splitting crash suddenly caused all hands to rush up on deck to find that a crack had opened from the lead ahead and passed along the starboard side to another crack that had opened aft. October 14th 1915
Endurance in ice passing by a large ice berg
Endurance in ice passing by a large ice berg

Alfred Cheetham on Endurance

Cheetham preparing signal flags
John Vincent AB reparing a net
John Vincent AB reparing a net

Alfred Cheetham on Endurance

Tom Crean with puppy quadruplets born to sled dog Sally during the passage south.
John Vincent AB reparing a net
The Endurance in young sea-ice. The Endurance easily cuts through the recently frozen, thin sea ice on its journey south through the Weddell Sea.

Endurance trapped in the Weddell Sea
Trapped in the Weddell Sea, desperate efforts were made to free the ship, these were of no avail, because the ice froze together as quickly as it could be cut away 14th February 1915
Endurance in the ice
Endurance in the ice attemtping to make progress

Endurance in the ice with rime on rigging
Trapped in the ice, rime forming on the rigging
Frank Hurley in Endurance rigging
Frank Hurley in the rigging with an early cine camera

Endurance trapped in pack ice December 1914
December 1914
Hussey and sled dogs - Endurance trapped in pack ice
Leonard Hussey and dog sled team

January 1915 - Endurance trapped in pack ice
January 1915, pressure has pushed ice up and over on its self builing an icy boulder field
Ice flowers
The surface of a newly frozen lead was covered with delicate crystal rosette formations resembling nothing so much as a field of white carnations. Endurance in the background, 16th February 1915

Endurance trapped in pack ice
As time wore on it became more and more evident that the ship was doomed. Endurance among ice pinnacles, February 1915
Endurance trapped in pack ice
The Endurance behind rounded ice mounds in the Weddell Sea.

Frank Hurley, Weddell Sea
Frank Hurley with camera on ice in front of the bow of the trapped Endurance in the Weddell Sea, 1915.
Endurance at night
Endurance at night lit by multiple flashes


"Mid winter glow, Weddell Sea, 1915
Endurance, noon midwinter 1915
Noon on midwinters day 1915

The crew of the Endurance at dinner
The crew of the Endurance at dinner
Rime forming on the rigging of the Endurance during the winter
Rime forming on the rigging of the Endurance during the winter

Endurance, dogs
Bringing the dogs off the ship to their kennels on the sea ice
The deck of the Endurance after a snow-fall
The deck of the Endurance after a snow-fall


The long, long night, the Endurance in the Antarctic winter darkness, trapped in the Weddell Sea, 27th August 1915.

When the Endurance became solidly embedded, the dogs were transferred from the decks to the floe and housed in snow kennels called dogloos which the dog-men built with competitive pride

Endurance snow cairns
A string of snow and ice cairns connected with rope, to allow the men to find the ship if on the ice ina white-out
Feeding dogs at dogloos
Feeding the dogs in their "dogloo" kennels on the ice

Scientific equipment at the stern of the Endurance
Scientific equipment at the stern of the Endurance
Weighing the dogs
Weighing the dogs by the bows of the ship to establish their condition

The crew of the Endurance following some severe haircuts
The crew of the Endurance following some severe haircuts
Returning to the ship in the winter dark with skis
Returning to the ship in the winter dark with skis

Samson, sled dog
Samson, the largest of the dogs at his kennel / dogloo
night watch, stove
The night watch man and some friends keeping warm around the stove


The Endurance leaning to port, 19th October 1915, the ship righted herself again after this.
Endurance damage
24th October 1915, The Endurance having sustained damage from the ice that tore out the rudder post and stern post

The Endurance in the Weddell Sea
27th October 1915, The doomed ship, the pressure of many millions of tons of ice pushing the pack made a toy of the helpless vessel.
Endurance lies crushed
The Endurance lies crushed, still above the ice, though shortly to sink. 28 men led by Ernest Shackleton are left in the middle of the Weddell Sea with no hope of rescue. 1st November 1915.

Endurance salvage crushed ship
The men of the Endurance try to salvage what they can from the crushed ship
Frank Wild and Sir Ernest Shackleton survey the ruins of the Endurance
Frank Wild and Sir Ernest Shackleton survey the ruins of the Endurance


The ship was dead, her proud timbers were rent apart and scattered in savage confusion. Crushed and sunk to the level of the sea but not yet gone

The stern of the ship shortly before it sank beneath the ice and the sea

Frank Wild and Endurance
The ship was dead, her proud timbers were rent apart and scattered in savage confusion. Frank Wild and the Endurance in the Weddell Sea.
Dump Camp
Dump Camp, the morning after the disaster to the ship - the Endurance in the background, this was the first camp on the ice erected hurriedly when the ice started to crush the Endurance.