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Walter Ernest How - (1885-1972) - Biographical Notes

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Walter Ernest How

Able seaman Endurance 1914-17- Known as "Ernie"

The Endurance Expedition

It is thought that Walter How was chosen for the expedition not only for his abilities as an Able Seaman, but also for his artistic talents. There was an official expedition artist in Marston, but How also had a natural artistic flair which would have been attractive to the publicity-minded Shackleton. How was no newcomer to polar conditions having worked in the sub-Arctic with the Canadian Auxiliary Survey Ship.

How was responsible along with Bakewell for smuggling aboard Perce Blackborow, and hiding him on the Endurance.

 

Biography

Ernie How was born in the Bermondsey district of London, England on Christmas Day 1885. He went to sea at the age of 12 serving on many sailing ships. He had married Helen Varey in 1913, his first daughter was only six weeks old when How set sail on The Endurance.

On return to England after the expedition, How joined the Merchant Navy, he was blinded in one eye when his ship hit a German mine. He was awarded two War Medals. After the war returned to London where by necessity he took on a number of varied jobs from making lampshades to painting and decorating. He had a particular skill for making models of sailing ships and ships in bottles.

Like many other of the Endurance men, he was due to take part in Shackleton's last expedition aboard the "Quest" though withdrew on the death of his father just before the Quest sailed from Plymouth.

While his pictures never featured in earlier accounts of the voyage, How did provide some illustrations for Margery and James Fishers book "Shackleton" first published in 1957.

How regularly attended the Antarctic dinners and reunions of his Endurance comrades and was particularly friendly with Bakewell and Greenstreet. On the 2nd of October 1968 along with Greenstreet and Green who formed the last 3 surviving Endurance he went to Portsmouth to celebrate the commissioning of the Royal Navy's latest Antarctic survey ship H.M.S. Endurance. He was present again in October 1970 to welcome the ship back from its long visit to Antarctica. The ship had a compliment of 12 officers, 106 men and two helicopters, rather different to the 28 men of Shackleton's Endurance.

Shackleton described How: "He was a man among men". He died of cancer on the 5th of August 1972 aged 86.


Some of the crew of the Endurance photographed in Buenos Aries 1917
picture courtesy Robin Mackenzie - Stornoway Historical Society

Endurance
Personnel

Summary

Bakewell, William
Able Seaman

Blackborow, Percy
Steward (stowaway)

Cheetham, Alfred
Third Officer

Clark, Robert S.
Biologist

Crean, Thomas
Second Officer

Green, Charles J.
Cook

Greenstreet, Lionel
First Officer

Holness, Ernest
Fireman

How, Walter E.
Able Seaman

Hudson, Hubert T.
Navigator

Hurley, James F. (Frank)
Official Photographer

Hussey, Leonard D. A.
Meteorologist

James, Reginald W.
Physicist

Kerr, A. J.
Second Engineer

Macklin, Dr. Alexander H.
Surgeon

Marston, George E.
Official Artist

McCarthy, Timothy
Able Seaman

McIlroy, Dr. James A.
Surgeon

McLeod, Thomas
Able Seaman

McNish, Henry
Carpenter

Orde-Lees, Thomas
Motor Expert and Storekeeper

Rickinson, Lewis
First Engineer

Shackleton, Ernest H.
Expedition Leader

Stephenson, William
Fireman

Vincent, John
Able Seaman

Wild, Frank
Second in Command

Wordie, James M.
Geologist

Worsley, Frank
Captain

 
Biographical information - This is a difficult area to research, I am concentrating on the Polar experiences of the men involved. Any further information or pictures visitors may have is gratefully received. Please email  - Paul Ward, webmaster.
What are the chances that my ancestor was an unsung part of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration?
 
Recommended Books DVD's and VHS

Endurance, The Greatest Adventure Story Ever Told, book
Endurance : Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
Alfred Lansing (Preface)
Buy USA   Buy UK
Free world delivery


South with Endurance:
Frank Hurley - official photographer
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Free world delivery

South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition, 1914-17
South! Ernest Shackleton
Shackleton's own words
Buy USA   Buy UK
Free world delivery
Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer
Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer
Buy USA   Buy UK
Free world delivery

Shackleton's Boat Journey: The narrative of Frank Worsley
Buy USA  Buy UK
Free world delivery

Shackleton
biography by Roland
Huntford
Buy USA   Buy UK
Free world delivery

The Quest for Frank Wild
biography by Angie Butler
USA  UK
Free world delivery

The Endurance : Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition
by Caroline Alexander
Buy USA   Buy UK
Free world delivery

Mrs. Chippy's Last Expedition:
The Remarkable Journal of Shackleton's Polar-Bound Cat
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Free world delivery

Shackleton's Forgotten Men
Lennard Bickel
Buy USA
   Buy UK
Free world delivery
Tom Crean an Illustrated Life: Unsung Hero of the Scott & Shackleton Expeditions
Tom Crean: Unsung Hero
biography by Michael Smith

Buy USA  Buy UK
Free world delivery
Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World, The True Story of the Endurance Expedition
Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World -
Jennifer Armstrong
for ages 12 and up
Buy USA    Buy UK
Free world delivery
Movies / Documentaries
South - Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance Expedition
South - Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance Expedition (1919)
original footage
Buy from Amazon USA DVD  Buy from Amazon UK DVD
Shackleton - The Greatest Survival Story of All Time (3-Disc Collector's Edition)
Shackleton
dramatization
Kenneth Branagh (2002)
Buy from Amazon USA DVD  Buy from Amazon UK DVD
Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure (Large Format)
Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure (2001)
IMAX dramatization
Buy from Amazon USA DVD  Buy from Amazon UK DVD
The Endurance - Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition
The Endurance - Shackleton's Legendary Expedition (2000)
PBS NOVA, dramatization with original footage
Buy from Amazon USA DVD  Buy from Amazon UK DVD
 


Cool Antarctica Store - Pictures, Shirts, Calendars, Cards etc.



Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository


Lonely Planet travel guide Antarctica
Buy from Amazon USA USA  |  Buy from Amazon UK UK
Free world delivery


Frozen Planet
Buy from Amazon USA DVD  |  Buy from Amazon UK DVD


Shackleton
Buy from Amazon USA DVD  |  Buy from Amazon UK DVD


The Endurance - Shackleton's Legendary Expedition
Dramatization with original footage

Buy from Amazon USA DVD  |  Buy from Amazon UK DVD


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