The Endurance Expedition
Marston took part
in three sledging journeys on the Nimrod expedition, including
an ascent of Mount Erebus. He was a graduate of the Regent Street
Polytechnic art school in London and joined the Nimrod expedition
after being persuaded by Shackleton's two sisters with whom
he was friends. He contributed several lithographs to the "Aurora
Australis", a limited edition publication produced during
1908 whilst the men were laid up for the winter at Hut Point,
and several paintings to "The Heart of the Antarctic"
Shackleton's book of the expedition.
Marston was rather
a moody individual, being up or down on an almost daily basis,
he also had a tendency to be pessimistic and was somewhat disliked
by Shackleton as a result of this.
He made sketches
of life on the pack-ice and also Elephant Island, once again
contributing to Shackleton's official account of the expedition.
Marston made a not inconsiderable sacrifice on Elephant Island
in giving up his oil paints to be used to help caulk the James
Caird for the journey to South Georgia.
was born in Southsea, Portsmouth on the 19th of March 1882,
the son of a coach builder. Prior to going to Antarctica,
he worked as a School Board Art Teacher. He had married
to Hazel Roberts in 1913, in October of the same year, a
daughter, Heather was born.
was keen to recruit Marston as artist on the Endurance and
was one of the first people he signed up, being promised
a salary of £350 per year. As well as being artist, Marston
was assigned as a dog-team leader and driver.
from the expedition Marston taught at Bedales school in
Petersfield from 1918 to 1922. In 1925, he joined the Rural
Industries Bureau (RIB) as Handicrafts Adviser, having always
been a lover rural life and countryside matters, he was
appointed Assistant Director in 1931 and Director in 1934.
The job for
the R.I.B. involved travelling around England, Wales and
Scotland, the administrative centres being London and Taunton,
Somerset. George split with Hazel and they lead separate
lives though they never divorcing.
Marston died on
the 22nd of November 1940 in Taunton of a coronary thrombosis
at the age of 58, he is buried in the village churchyard
at East Lyng, near Taunton, a sailing ship adorns his headstone.
to George Marsto in
Shackleton's book "South!"
- The new quarters
became known as "The Ritz," and meals were
served there instead of in the ward room. Breakfast
was at 9 a.m., lunch at 1 p.m., tea at 4 p.m., and dinner
at 6 p.m. Wild, Marston,
Crean, and Worsley established themselves in cubicles
in the wardroom, and by the middle of the month all
hands had settled down to the winter routine.
- The few pieces
of wood that we had were laid across from keel to keel,
and over this the material of one of the torn tents
was spread and secured with guys to the rocks. The walls
were ingeniously contrived and fixed up by
Marston. First he cut
the now useless tents into suitable lengths; then he
cut the legs of a pair of seaboots into narrow strips,
and using these in much the same way that the leather
binding is put round the edge of upholstered chairs,
he nailed the tent-cloth all round the insides of the
outer gunwales of the two boats in such a way that it
hung down like a valance to the ground, where it was
secured with spars and oars.
- "Our reading
material consisted at this time of two books of poetry,
one book of ‘Nordenskjold's Expedition,' one
or two torn volumes of the ‘Encyclopaedia Britannica,'
and a penny cookery book, owned by
Marston. Our clothes,
though never presentable, as they bore the scars of
nearly ten months of rough usage, had to be continually
patched to keep them together at all."
- A huge glacier
across the bay behind the hut nearly put an end to the
party. Enormous blocks of ice weighing many tons would
break off and fall into the sea, the disturbance thus
caused giving rise to great waves. One day
Marston was outside
the hut digging up the frozen seal for lunch with a
pick, when a noise "like an artillery barrage"
startled him. Looking up he saw that one of these tremendous
waves, over thirty feet high, was advancing rapidly
across the bay, threatening to sweep hut and inhabitants
into the sea. A hastily shouted warning brought the
men tumbling out, but fortunately the loose ice which
filled the bay damped the wave down so much that, though
it flowed right under the hut, nothing was carried away.
It was a narrow escape, though, as had they been washed
into the sea nothing could have saved them.
- "The centre
of the hut is filled with the cases which do duty for
the cook's bed, the meat and blubber boxes, and
a mummified-looking object, which is Lees in his sleeping-bag.
The near end of the floor space is taken up with the
stove, with Wild and McIlroy on one side, and Hurley
and James on the other. Marston
occupies a hammock most of the night—and day—which is
slung across the entrance. As he is large and the entrance
very small, he invariably gets bumped by those passing
in and out. His vocabulary at such times is interesting.
had with him a small penny cookery book. From this he
would read out one recipe each night, so as to make
them last. This would be discussed very seriously, and
alterations and improvements suggested, and then they
would turn into their bags to dream of wonderful meals
that they could never reach.
- We were just assembling for lunch to the call of
‘Lunch O!' and I was serving out the soup, which
was particularly good that day, consisting of boiled
seal's backbone, limpets, and seaweed, when there
was another hail from Marston
of ‘Ship O!' Some of the men thought it was ‘Lunch
O!' over again, but when there was another yell
from Marston lunch had
no further attractions.
Landmarks named after George Marston
A whaleback-shaped mountain, 1,245 m, standing at the
N side of Kar Plateau,
3 mi N of the terminus of Mackay Glacier in Victoria Land.
First mapped by the BrAE (1907-09).
Variant Name(s) -
Clark, Robert S.
Green, Charles J.
Hudson, Hubert T.
Hurley, James F. (Frank)
Hussey, Leonard D. A.
James, Reginald W.
Kerr, A. J.
Macklin, Dr. Alexander H.
Marston, George E.
McIlroy, Dr. James A.
Motor Expert and Storekeeper
Shackleton, Ernest H.
Second in Command
Wordie, James M.