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  • Greatest Antarctic Hero

    If you select "other", please say who.

    Amundsen - Norwegian, the leader of the first expedition to reach the South Pole.

    Mawson - Australian, for whom science was the driving force and exploration secondary, but his story is one of the most incredible of all survival tales.

    Scott - Englishman, leader of the second expedition to reach the South Pole and the most famous of the "Heroic Failures".

    Shackleton - Irish, Came to within 90 miles of the South Pole in 1904 before turning back and leader of probably the most famous of all Antarctic expeditions on the Endurance.

    There are many more, please feel free to suggest.
    9
    Shackleton
    22.22%
    2
    Scott
    55.56%
    5
    Mawson
    11.11%
    1
    Amundsen
    11.11%
    1

  • #2
    Whilst my vote for greatest Antarctic hero has to go to Shackleton, can I also make a suggestion for an extra category of 'Best Supporting Hero': Frank Wild, who (uniquely) served with Scott, Shackleton and Mawson on five separate Antarctic expeditions (Discovery, Nimrod, Aurora, Endurance and Quest) between 1901 and 1922.

    Most notably, he was Shackleton's second in command on the Endurance expedition, and for several months led the group of men left by Shackleton on Elephant Island when the James Caird set off to South Georgia. To have been able to work with three such different types of 'Heroic Era' expedition leader suggests an extraordinary strength of character - and it's a shame he never wrote a book about his polar experiences! :grin:

    Comment


    • #3
      Good call Mike, I'll add it as an extra poll as "Unsung Heroes".

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      • #4
        Shackleton ofcourse. sure he didn't make with Endurance, but to face sooo many hardships in those 2+ yrs and still everyman made it home---now that's impressive! i would've given up ages ago. i recently aquired a large, beautiful, badass book filled with the photography of Frank Hurley during the expedition of the Endurance.....

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        • #5
          Re: Greatest Antarctic Hero

          Now here's a strange thing - despite all the visitors that this site gets from Australia and New Zealand (far more than you'd expect from the population sizes), none of them think that Mawson was the greatest?

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          • #6
            Re: Greatest Antarctic Hero

            Paul,
            Mawson is the greatest hero!
            However, I think scott and his team were the most tragic heroes. They paid the ultimate price in their quest for the South Pole, their lives. And then to get there and find that someone else had beaten them - they must have been heartbroken. If they had achieved their goal, perhaps the adrenaline would have kept them going......
            Therefore, I would have to say that, although as an Aussie I should say Mawson, I really belive it was Scott's team!

            psr

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            • #7
              Re: Greatest Antarctic Hero

              The True Hero! of Antartica is not yet named do to the fact that all that have been have done only harm to this very delicate eco-system. The Hero's of Antartica are the non - human animals living there and of course Water!

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              • #8
                Re: Greatest Antarctic Hero

                PS There was no other option in the question box!

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                • #9
                  Re: Greatest Antarctic Hero

                  Dear Trevor,
                  That goes without saying, however, it is human nature to conquer and sometimes it is only through this "conquering" are we able to better understand the world we live in. Perhaps we shouldn't have as much activity on Antarctica as we do, but we still need it to help us combat some of our problems - yes I know that we created these problems ourselves, but there's nothing we can do about that now, except finding ways to make it better.
                  Besides if it wasn't for these "heroes" we wouldn't have found out about the penguins!

                  psr

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                  • #10
                    Re: Greatest Antarctic Hero

                    True true, Although after reading some of the stories about the conquests of Antartica it's hard to belive that we ever made it in to the 21st Cen! I do agree that we need ice cores to understand the history of the atmosphere and to battle global worming this is all good work and the method is mostly done with little impact on the enviroment, I guess I just have a hard time thinking of conqueres as heros. For the most part it is for there ego and for profit people challange new lands and also military interests are involved. Alot of innocent animals are slaughtered in these fits of conquest. So in closing maybe Someone like Paul Ward is a hero for opening a site like this for people to educate them selves on such an important place on this planet!
                    Trevor

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                    • #11
                      Re: Greatest Antarctic Hero

                      well....um, I guess that's it then....... and yes you are absolutely right about this site. It has got to be one of the best Antarctica sites I have seen. I'm not just blowing smoke up Paul's behind when I say that either.

                      By the way, are there any other Aussie teachers on this site..please come forth so that we may multiply our brilliant teaching ideas!

                      psr

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                      • #12
                        Re: Greatest Antarctic Hero

                        Wow! Thanks Trevor and psr!

                        It really is comments like that that keep me going and make this seem worthwhile.

                        I remember many years ago at my interview for the job I got that took me to Antarctica, one of the last questions I was asked was something like "What do you want from life?". Being young and full of ideals I replied "To make a difference" (I'd read it somewhere and stored it for future reference!).

                        Little did I know then in what way my time in Antarctica would enable me to make a difference. But I know that I'm just a very small part of a much larger movement that makes it possible - Trevor with his hands-on cut-the-crap-and-do-something approach and psr at the working end of the educational process. Children are the future and the sooner we educate them and make them care about this place, the better chance we have of preserving it.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Greatest Antarctic Hero

                          ohhhhhhh Paul,
                          now you've gone and embarrassed me with your flattering words (and believe me I don't get embarrassed easily!)

                          Seriously though, have you thought of setting up "educatinal tours of duty" in other countries where you go and be a guest speaker at schools. In New South Wales (I can never figure out why the early British settlers called it that...by all accounts it's nothing like Wales at all!!) all stage 3 (year 5/6)students do a unit of Antarctica. Apart from the cost, how hard would it be to set up something like that ? I know that various green organisations do stuff like that but somebody who lived and worked there would be more interesting to talk to......if there are people local to us who do it would I be able to get a contact? I know that Sea Shepherd have an office here but do they have Antarctic guest speakers?
                          Yes, I know I'm a pest, but that's what happens when you have knowledge that others want you to share!

                          psr

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                          • #14
                            Re: Greatest Antarctic Hero

                            Mawson ROCKS Mawson was the Beatles original drummer, Mawson was the English guy on Hogans Heroes.

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