Dr. Alexander Hepburne Macklin
Surgeon, stores and equipment
Quest- Ernest Shackleton 1921 - 1922
One of two surgeons on the expedition,
Macklin also had the job of driving a team of sled dogs
and caring for the expeditions dogs.
Most surgeons and doctors on Antarctic
expeditions had little of a medical nature to deal with
most of the time, but once on Elephant Island, Macklin
and McIlroy, the other surgeon had much to attend to.
Rickinson had a heart condition, Blackborow had gangrene
in his toes several of which were amputated, Hudson
was having a nervous breakdown and suffered an
infected boil. There were many other cases of frostbite,
dysentery, boils, sores etc. that meant that both surgeons
were best left on Elephant Island rather than accompanying
Shackleton to South Georgia.
Macklin was the
son of a doctor, he was born in India, when the
family returned to England, they settled in the
Scilly Isles off the coast of Cornwall where his
father set up practise. After a short spell working
as a deckhand, Macklin read medicine at Manchester
University, it was very shortly after qualifying
that he applied for the Endurance expedition.
On return to England,
Macklin Joined the army as an officer in the Medical
Corps serving in France and Russia during the First
World War. He served first with the Yorks later
transferring as medical officer to the Tanks. Going
to the Italian front with his battalion, he won
the Military Cross (M.C.) for bravery in tending
the wounded under fire.
Macklin to join him again for the Quest expedition
in 1922, which like many of the old Endurance crew,
he was happy to do so. As the ship's surgeon, on
Shackleton's death at South Georgia, it fell to
Macklin to prepare the body initially for transport
to South America and then for burial on South Georgia.
Back home, he moved
to Scotland and set up a practise in Dundee where
he remained from 1926 to 1947. In the Second World
War, he was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Medical
Corps, serving in East Africa.
In addition to
the M.C. (Military Cross) awarded in WW1, he also
received the T.D. (Territorial Decoration) and later
the O.B.E. (Order of the British Empire ).
At the age of 58,
he married and moved further north to Aberdeen working
in various positions in Aberdeen hospitals before
retirement in 1960. He died aged 77 in 1967.
References to Robert
Clark in Shackleton's book "South!"
in the 'tween decks were completed by the
10th, and the men took possession of the cubicles
that had been built. The largest cubicle contained
McIlroy, Hurley, and Hussey and it was named
The dogs had been divided
into six teams of nine dogs each. Wild, Crean,
McIlroy, Marston, and Hurley each had charge
of a team, and were fully responsible for the
exercising, training, and feeding of their own
dogs. They called in one of the surgeons when
an animal was sick. We were still losing some
dogs through worms, and it was unfortunate that
the doctors had not the proper remedies. Worm-powders
were to have been provided by the expert Canadian
dog-driver I had engaged before sailing for
the south, and when this man did not join the
Expedition the matter was overlooked.
"This afternoon Sallie's
three youngest pups, Sue's Sirius, and Mrs.
Chippy, the carpenter's cat, have to be
shot. We could not undertake the maintenance
of weaklings under the new conditions.
and the carpenter seemed to feel the loss of
their friends rather badly.
Rivalries arose, as might
have been expected, and on the 15th of the month
a great race, the "Antarctic Derby," took place.
It was a notable event. The betting had been
heavy, and every man aboard the ship stood to
win or lose on the result of the contest. Some
money had been staked, but the wagers that thrilled
were those involving stores of chocolate and
cigarettes. The course had been laid off from
Khyber Pass, at the eastern end of the old lead
ahead of the ship, to a point clear of the jib-boom,
a distance of about 700 yds. Five teams went
out in the dim noon twilight, with a zero temperature
and an aurora flickering faintly to the southward.
The starting signal was to be given by the flashing
of a light on the meteorological station. I
was appointed starter, Worsley was judge, and
James was timekeeper. The bos'n, with a
straw hat added to his usual Antarctic attire,
stood on a box near the winning-post, and was
assisted by a couple of shady characters to
shout the odds, which were displayed on a board
hung around his neck—6 to 4 on Wild, "evens"
on Crean, 2 to 1 against Hurley, 6 to 1 against
and 8 to 1 against McIlroy. Canvas handkerchiefs
fluttered from an improvised grand stand, and
the pups, which had never seen such strange
happenings before, sat round and howled with
excitement. The spectators could not see far
in the dim light, but they heard the shouts
of the drivers as the teams approached and greeted
the victory of the favourite with a roar of
cheering that must have sounded strange indeed
to any seals or penguins that happened to be
in our neighbourhood. Wild's time was 2
min. 16 sec., or at the rate of 10˝ miles per
hour for the course.
On the following day Wild,
and McIlroy took their teams to the Stained
Berg, about seven miles west of the ship, and
on their way back got a female crab-eater, which
they killed, skinned, and left to be picked
up later. They ascended to the top of the berg,
which lay in about lat. 69° 30´ S., long.
51° W., and from an elevation of 110 ft.
could see no land.
p.m. that night, the 27th, saw us on the march
again. The first 200 yds. took us about five
hours to cross, owing to the amount of breaking
down of pressure-ridges and filling in of leads
that was required. The surface, too, was now
very soft, so our progress was slow and tiring.
We managed to get another three-quarters of
a mile before lunch, and a further mile due
west over a very hummocky floe before we camped
at 5.30 a.m. Greenstreet and
and brought in a huge Weddell seal weighing
about 800 lbs., and two emperor penguins made
a welcome addition to our larder.
apathy which seemed to take possession of some
of the men at the frustration of their hopes
was soon dispelled. Parties were sent out daily
in different directions to look for seals and
penguins. We had left, other than reserve sledging
rations, about 110 lbs. of pemmican, including
the dog-pemmican, and 300 lbs. of flour. In
addition there was a little tea, sugar, dried
vegetables, and suet. I sent Hurley and
Ocean Camp to bring back the food that we had
had to leave there. They returned with quite
a good load, including 130 lbs. of dry milk,
about 50 lbs. each of dog-pemmican and jam,
and a few tins of potted meats. When they were
about a mile and a half away their voices were
quite audible to us at Ocean Camp, so still
was the air.
ice between us and Ocean Camp, now only about
five miles away and actually to the south-west
of us, was very broken, but I decided to send
and Hurley back with their dogs to see if there
was any more food that could be added to our
scanty stock. I gave them written instructions
to take no undue risk or cross any wide-open
leads, and said that they were to return by
midday the next day.
next day I sent Macklin
and Crean back to make a further selection of
the gear, but they found that several leads
had opened up during the night, and they had
to return when within a mile and a half of their
destination. We were never able to reach Ocean
Camp again. Still, there was very little left
there that would have been of use to us.
the men together, explained my plan, and asked
for volunteers. Many came forward at once. Some
were not fit enough for the work that would
have to be done, and others would not have been
much use in the boat since they were not seasoned
sailors, though the experiences of recent months
entitled them to some consideration as seafaring
men. McIlroy and Macklin
were both anxious to go but realized that their
duty lay on the island with the sick men.
fierce gale was blowing on April 22, interfering
with our preparations for the voyage. The cooker
from No. 5 tent came adrift in a gust, and,
although it was chased to the water's edge,
it disappeared for good. Blackborow's feet
were giving him much pain, and McIlroy and
thought it would be necessary for them to operate
soon. They were under the impression then that
they had no chloroform, but they found some
subsequently in the medicine-chest after we
- A census
was taken, each man being asked to state just
what he would like to eat at that moment if
he were allowed to have anything that he wanted.
All, with but one exception, desired a suet
pudding of some sort—the "duff" beloved of sailors.
asked for many returns of scrambled eggs on
hot buttered toast.
just rounding the island which had previously
hidden her from our sight, we saw a little ship
flying the Chilian flag.
"We tried to
cheer, but excitement had gripped our vocal
had made a rush for the flagstaff, previously
placed in the most conspicuous position on the
ice-slope. The running-gear would not work,
and the flag was frozen into a solid, compact
mass so he tied his jersey to the top of the
pole for a signal.
named after Alexander Macklin
Feature Type: summit
having 2 peaks, the higher 1,900 m, between
Mount Carse and Douglas Crag in the S part of
the Salvesen Range of South Georgia. Surveyed
by the SGS in the period 1951-57, and named
by the UK-APC.
Clark, Robert S.
Green, Charles J.
How, Walter E.
Hudson, Hubert T.
Hurley, James F. (Frank)
Hussey, Leonard D. A.
James, Reginald W.
Kerr, A. J.
Macklin, Dr. Alexander
Marston, George E.
McIlroy, Dr. James A.
Motor Expert and Storekeeper
Shackleton, Ernest H.
Wordie, James M.