Ernest Shackleton - Crew of the Nimrod
British Antarctic Expedition 1907- 1909

The Nimrod Expedition | Paintings | Photographs-1 Photographs-2


The Crew Alphabetically

Shore Party

, Jameson Boyd - second in command and meteorologist
Armytage, Bertram
Brocklehurst, Sir Philip Lee - assistant geologist
David, Edgeworth - Director of scientific staff, geologist
Day, Bernard - electrician / motor mechanic
England, Lieutenant Rupert - R.H.R., ships Master
Joyce, Ernest - general store man, dogs, sledges, zoological collections
Mackay, Dr. Alistair Forbes - assistant surgeon
Marshall, Dr. Eric Stewart - surgeon, cartographer
Marston, George Edward - artist
Mawson, Douglas - physicist
Michell, Dr. William Arthur Rupert - surgeon
Murray, James - biologist
Priestley, Raymond E. - geologist
Roberts, William C. - cook
Shackleton, Ernest - Expedition leader
Wild, Frank - in charge of provisions

Officers of the Nimrod

Cheetham, Alfred - Third officer and boatswain
Davis, John K. - first officer
Dunlop, Henry J. L. - chief engineer
England, Rupert, George, A. - master
Evans, Frederick, Pryce - master
Harbord, Arthur, Edward - auxiliary second officer, second officer, first officer
Mackintosh, Aeneas Lionel Acton - second officer
Richardson, S. - second officer

Crew of the Nimrod

Abraham, Frederick, G - AB
Ansell, William Drummond - second steward
Berry, Victor - AB
Bilsby, Walter, George - carpenter
Brolly, John - AB
Bull, Alfred, Samuel - AB
Bull, Harold, Bowyer - AB
Craft, Christian - second engineer
Donovan, D. - fireman
Ellis, Ernest, Walton - AB
Hancock, J. - first steward
Holmes, H. - fireman
Hunt, Charles - assistant engineer
Kemp, George Richard - AB
McGillon, Michael, Thomas - trimmer
McGowan, Hugh - third engineer, second engineer
McMillan, John - AB
McNeil, Robert - fireman
McRae, Murdoch, M. - steward
Meyrick, W.R. - trimmer
Montague, John - cook
Morrison, Edward - sailmaker
Nelson, David - assistant engineer
Nodder, Richard, Henry - AB
Paton, James - leading seaman
Partridge, John - fireman
Reynart, E. - fireman
Riches, Sidney Barnes - AB
Rooney, Felix - fireman
Rooney, G. - AB
Schofield, A. - fireman
Spice, Walter - AB
Vaughan, M. - fireman
Williams, W. - AB

AB - Able Seaman

Officers and crew would sometimes hold a different position during different legs of the voyage, hence apparently multiple roles for some. Many officers and crew were present for some legs only and not the whole 1907-1909 voyage.

Towing sledges with the Arrol Johnson car

The crew of the Nimrod. Back row, l-r: Fireman Holmes, Sailmaker Morrison, Fireman Schofield, Boatswain Cheetham, Seaman Spice, Storeman Joyce, Carpenter Bilsby, Chief Engineer Dunlop, Captain England, Commander Shackleton, Chief Officer Davis, Second Officer Mackintosh, Second Engineer Craft, Second Steward Ansell, Lietenant Adams, Chief Steward McRae, Third Engineer McGowan, Cook Montague, Fireman Rooney. Front row, l-r: Able Seamen Riches, Berry, Bull, Ellis and Kemp.
Picture taken early after arrival on the the Nimrod at Lyttelton, New Zealand Nov or Dec 1907.

Towing sledges with the Arrol Johnson car

Towing sledges with the Arrol Johnson car

Shore Party

number in brackets is age at the start of this expedition - not always accurate.

Sir Ernest Shackleton Portrait

Shackleton, Ernest  (33) - expedition leader

    Third lieutenant in charge of holds, stores, provisions and deep sea water analysis Discovery expedition 1901-04
    expedition leader Endurance 1914-17
    expedition leader Quest 1920-21

    Following his participation on Scott's Discovery expedition including an attempt on the South Pole. Shackleton gained funding and planned his own expedition including an another attempt on the South Pole where he led a party of four who climbed the Beardmore Glacier to be the first ever on the Polar Plateau, they achieved a furthest south on the 9th of January 1909 of 97 miles (156 km) from the pole. Shackleton became a giant of Antarctic exploration and organized a further two expeditions after Nimrod.

Born 15th Feb 1874, Kilkea, Ireland - died 5th Jan 1922, South Georgia

Jameson Boyd Adams
Adams, Jameson Boyd (27) - second in command and meteorologist

    Single. Born in 1880 at Rippinggale Lincolnshire. First went to sea in the merchant service in 1893 serving three years as a lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve, before joining the expedition in 1907. Appointed second in command in February 1908. He was one of the party of four who climbed the Beardmore Glacier to be the first ever on the Polar Plateau, they achieved a furthest south on the 9th of January 1909 of 97 miles (156 km) from the pole.

    Born 6th March 1880, Lincolnshire - died 30th April 1962

Bertram Armytage
Armytage, Bertram (38)

    Born in 1869 in Australia, educated at Melbourne Grammar School and Jesus College Cambridge. After a military career which involved several years in the Victorian Militia, Carabiniers, 6th Division Guards and active service in South Africa, he joined the expedition in Australia.

    Married at the time of the expedition.

    He killed himself in Australia shortly after the expedition:

    Born 1869, Lara, Australia - died 12th March, Melbourne, Australia 1910

Sir Philip Lee Brocklehurst

Brocklehurst, Sir Philip Lee (20) - assistant geologist

    Single. Educated at Eton and Trinity Hall Cambridge. Held a commission at the time of the expedition in the Derbyshire Yeomanry, represented Cambridge University in light weight boxing competitions in 1905 and 1906.

    Born 7th March 1887 at Swythamley park, Staffordshire - died 28th Jan 1975

Tannat William Edgeworth David

David, Tannat William Edgeworth (50) - Director of scientific staff, geologist

    David was Professor of Geology at Sydney University. He was educated at New College Oxford, afterwards studying geology at the Royal College of Science. He went to Australia to take up a post as Geological Surveyor to the government of New South Wales, a position he had held for eighteen years before joining the expedition.
    Married at the time of the expedition.

    Born 28th March 1858, St. Fagans Wales - died 28th Aug 1934

Bernard C Day

Day, Bernard (23) - electrician / motor mechanic

    motor engineer Terra Nova 1910 - 13

    Educated at Wellingborough Grammar School. Day was involved in engineering from 1903, he left the employ of the New Arrol Johnston Motor-Car Company to join the expedition. The Nimrod expedition was the first to ever take a motor car to Antarctica, a 4 cylinder, 15 horsepower air cooled car came from the Arrol-Johnston company after the intervention of William Beardmore a major sponsor of the expedition (and Shackleton's employer before it started) he had recently taken over to save them from bankruptcy.

    Born 18th Aug 1884, Wymondham, Leicestershire - died 1934

Ernest Joyce

Joyce, Ernest (32) - general storeman, dogs, sledges, zoological collections

    petty officer, 1st class, R.N. Discovery expedition 1901-04
    member of Shackleton's Ross Sea party on the Aurora 1914-17

    Single. Educated at the Greenwich Royal Hospital School from where he entered the Navy in 1891 and rose to the position of Petty Officer 1st class. He had served in South Africa with the Naval Brigade from where he joined Scott's Discovery expedition in 1901 from Cape Town. He left the Navy in December 1905 to rejoin again in August 1906 before leaving again by purchase order to join the Nimrod expedition in May 1907.

    Born 1875, Bognor, Sussex - died 2nd May 1940

Alistair Forbes Mackay

Mackay, Dr. Alistair Forbes (29) - assistant surgeon

    Single. Son of Colonel A. Forbes Mackay of the 92nd Gordon Highlanders.  Educated in Edinburgh and then proceeded to Dundee for zoological work under Professors Geddes and D'Arcy Thompson. Served as a trooper in South Africa, then with Baden Powell's police before returning to pass final examinations in medicine to return to the front again as a civil surgeon. He entered the Royal Navy as a surgeon, retiring four years later and then joined the expedition.

    He died in 1914 on an ill fated Arctic expedition when along with 3 others he attempted to reach land after their ship sank and became lost, their bodies were found some years later.

    Born 22nd Feb 1878, Carskey, Argyllshire - died Feb 1914

Dr. Eric Stewart Marshall
Dr. Eric Stewart Marshall

Marshall, Dr. Eric Stewart (28) - surgeon, cartographer

    Single. Educated at Monckton Combe School and Emmanuel College Cambridge. Represented his college in rowing and football. Originally studied for the church, but subsequently entered St. Bartholomew's Hospital in 1899 qualifying as a surgeon in 1906. He was one of the party of four who climbed the Beardmore Glacier to be the first ever on the Polar Plateau, they achieved a furthest south on the 9th of January 1909 of 97 miles (156 km) from the pole.

    Born 29th May 1879, Hampstead - died 26th Feb 1963

Marston, George Edward  (25) - artist

    artist Endurance 1914-17

    Single. "Putty" Marston. Educated as an artist mainly at the Regent Street Polytechnic, a qualified art teacher.

    Born 19th March 1882, Southsea - died 22nd Nov 1940

Dr. Douglas Mawson

Mawson, Douglas  (27) - physicist

    expedition leader Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-13

    Single. Educated in Australia and working as a lecturer in mineralogy and petrology at Adelaide University and honorary curator of the South Australian Museum at the time of the expedition. Joined the Nimrod in Australia. Following Nimrod, he was invited by Scott on his prestigious Terra Nova expedition of 1910-1913 but turned it down to lead his own Australian expedition instead.

    Born 5th May 1882 on a farm at Shipley, Yorkshire, England in 1882, his mother was originally from the Isle of Man - died 14th Oct 1958

James Murray

Murray, James (42) - biologist

    Spent his early working years in various branches of art, interested in natural history, especially botany. In 1901 he turned his interest to microscopic zoology and was appointed in 1902 by Sir John Murray to work on Scottish lake Survey a job he was still engaged in at the point of joining the expedition as a biologist.
    Married in 1892.

    Born 21st July 1865, Glasgow - died Feb 1914

Raymond Priestley

Priestley, Raymond E.  (21) - geologist

    geologist Terra Nova 1910-13

    Educated at Tewkesbury School and then Bristol University College, he passed the intermediate exam in science in 1906 and was taking the advanced level when appointed geologist to the expedition in 1907. He later joined Scott on the Terra Nova expedition and had a very active and adventurous time despite not being part of the South Pole party. After the expedition, he co-founded the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge with fellow Terra Nova expedition member Frank Debenham.

    Born 20th July 1886, Tewkesbury - died 24th June 1974

Roberts, William C. Roberts William C. (35) - cook

    Married at the time of the expedition.

    Born 1872 in London.

Frank Wild

Wild, Frank (34) - in charge of provisions

    Seaman Discovery 1901-04
    Sledge-master Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-13
    Second in command Endurance 1914-17
    Second in command Quest- Ernest Shackleton 1921 - 1922

    Wild was a direct descendent of Captain Cook through his mother, one uncle had been three times on expeditions to the Arctic. He entered the merchant navy in 1889 and joined the Royal Navy in 1900. He had received a polar medal and clasp for his work on the Discovery expedition to Antarctica under Scott and the Royal Geographical Society's silver medal. At Sheerness Gunnery School when the Admiralty consented to his appointment to the Nimrod expedition. He was a member of 5 Antarctic expeditions and served under Scott and Shackleton both of whom he outlived.

    Born 10th April 1873, Skelton, Yorkshire - died 20th Aug 1939

Officers of the Nimrod

Alfred Cheetham

Cheetham, Alfred - third officer and boatswain

    Morning - relief ship for the Discovery 1902
    Boatswain, R.N.R. Terra Nova 1910 - 13
    Third officer  Endurance 1914-17 - 47 at the start of the expedition

    A popular and cheerful member of crews on which he served, Frank Worsley (captain of the Endurance) called him "a pirate to his fingertips".

    Born 1867, Liverpool, died while serving as second Officer on the S.S. Prunelle  on Thursday 22nd August 1918, at the age of 51, his ship was torpedoed in the North Sea by a German U-Boat . Alf went down with the ship.

Davis, John King Davis
John K. - first officer

Born 1884, Kew

Dunlop, Henry J. L. (31) - chief engineer

    Born on 15th October 1876 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The third child of eight. His Father was Chief Cashier of Harland & Wolff, shipbuilders of Belfast.

    Appointed Chief Engineer of the Nimrod in 1907 aged thirty one. I gathered from my Mother that Shackleton was a friend and Henry lent him a sum of money which was never repaid. I have a copy of a letter to Henry on this matter. On arrival at Cape Royds, Henry supervised the laying of the hut's foundations and also helped to build it.

    Henry sailed back to New Zealand on board Nimrod then a year later returned to Antarctica to collect the shore party.

    Three years after he returned from the Expedition he was made General Manager of the African Oil & Cake Mills Company in Liverpool. In 1914 he married Ethel Jane Ward (maybe we're related?) and in 1918 my Mother Patricia was born. Henry died aged fifty four on 5th March 1931 when my Mother was only thirteen. Sadly I never knew him.

    Shackleton paid him the compliment of naming an island in McMurdo Sound after him. It is a mile long and situated just off the Wilson Piedmont Glacier. Cape Dunlop takes its name from Dunlop Island.

Information courtesy of Jayne Cant - Henry Dunlop's granddaughter.

England, Lieutenant Rupert George A. - R.H.R., ships Master

    Born 1878, Warthill, Yorkshire

Evans, Frederick Pryce - master

    Born 14th April 1874, Newtown, Wales

Harbord, Arthur Edward - auxiliary second officer, second officer, first officer
    Born 1883, Yorkshire

#alt# Mackintosh, Aeneas Lionel Acton (26) - second officer

    Single. Born in Tirhoot, Bengal, India in 1881 and educated at the Bedford Modern School in England. He went to sea in 1894 in the merchant navy joining the Peninsula and Oriental Steam Navigation Company in 1899. He was lent from this company to the Nimrod expedition in 1907 and received a commission in the Royal Naval Reserve in July 1908.

    He lost an eye in an accident while unloading ship in 1908 and had to return to New Zealand though rejoined the expedition again in 1909.

    Born 1st July 1879, Tirhut, India - died 8th May 1916, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

Rupert Michell

Michell, Dr. William Arthur Rupert - surgeon

    Born 1882 in Perth, Ontario, Canada

Richardson, S. - second officer
    Born 1881, Liverpool

Crew of the Nimrod

AB = Able Seaman

Some of the Nimrod officers and crew on board the Nimrod. Back row standing l-r: John King Davis, Rupert England, Alfred Reid, Henry Dunlop, Rupert Michell. Middle row standing l-r: Aenas Mackintosh, Hugh McGowan, Christian Craft, Walter Spice, Sidney Barnes Riches, Edward Morrison, Murdoch M. McRae, William Drummond Ansell. Front row sitting l-r: Harold B. Bull, Victor Berry, Ernest Walton Ellis, Alfred Cheetham.

Some of the Nimrod officers and crew at the home of Shackleton's agent Christchurch, William Kinsey, in 1908. Back row standing l-r: not named, AB Alfred Samuel Bull, 3rd officer Cheetham, Carpenter Bilsby, AB Paton. Middle row seated l-r: Dunlop - Engineer, Davis - Commander - Evans, F.P., Kinsey, Michell, Harboard - 2nd Officer. Seated on ground l-r: Riches - AB, H. Bull - AB.

Abraham, Frederick, G. - AB

    Born 1885, London

Ansell, William Drummond - second steward

    Born 14th Nov 1886, Wimbledon - died 30th June 1947, Nelson, New Zealand

Victor Berry on the Nimrod
Berry, Victor  - AB

    "My family legend has it that my great uncle Victor Berry sailed on the Nimrod with Shackleton... searching through family photos, I came across a photo of two sailors. Under a magnifier, much to my surprise I read the name 'Nimrod' on their hats. This seems to confirm the family legend and they could well be standing on the Nimrod."

    Harold Bull, Victor Berry, Sidney Riches and Walter Spice enlisted on the Nimrod along with while all four of them were engaged in Royal Naval Reserve training aboard HMS President in London.
    Born 1883, London

Bilsby, Walter George - carpenter

    Born 1872, Hull

Buckley, George Alexander

Lyttleton to Antarctica and back Jan-Mar 1908, returned on the Koonya.

    Born 1866, Christchurch, NZ

Bull, Alfred, Samuel - AB

    Alfred Bull joined the Nimrod in Lyttleton in 1908 and sailed to Antarctica once, his diary of this voyage from leaving Lyttleton, N.Z. on December 1, 1908 to its return on March 25 is available here

    Born 1887, London

" Bull, Harold, Bowyer Able Seaman, Nimrod
Bull, Harold, Bowyer - AB

    Harold Bull joined the Nimrod in London in 1907 and sailed to Antarctica twice. He enlisted along with Victor Berry, Sidney Riches and Walter Spice while all four of them were engaged in Royal Naval Reserve training aboard HMS President in London.

    Born 1884, Adelaide, Australia

Brolly, John - AB

Had a long career in the merchant navy. Scottish and lived in Glasgow where he died of pneumonia after falling in the River Clyde.

    Born 1886, Philadelphia, PA, USA

" Cotton, Leo Arthur - Geologist, Nimrod

Cotton, Leo Arthur - Geologist

Lyttleton to Antarctica and back Jan-Mar 1908

    Born 1883, Australia

Craft, Christian - second engineer

Lyttleton to Antarctica and back Jan-Mar 1908. Returned to London, then Hull, England and shortly emigrated to the USA with his young family settling in SE Wisconsin

    Born 1871, Hull - died 24th Dec 1952, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Donovan, D. - fireman

    Born 1882, Kinsale, Cork, Ireland
Ernest Ellis, Nimrod

Ellis, Ernest W. - AB

    Born 1878, Grimsby

Hancock, steward, Nimrod

Hancock, J. - first steward

    Born 1878, Lancashire

Holmes, H. - fireman

    Born 1874, Hull

Hunt, Charles - assistant engineer

    Born 1878, Jersey

Kemp, George Richard - AB

    Born 16th December 1863, Flamborough, died 17th May 1917, after being torpedoed by the Germans.

McGillion, Michael Thomas - trimmer

    Born 1885, Dunedin, NZ

McGowan, Hugh - third engineer, second engineer

    Born 1875, Armagh, Ireland

McMillan, John - AB

    Born 1883, Glasgow - died Lambton, Newcastle, Australia 1968

McNeil, Robert - fireman

    Born 1878, Dumbarton

McRae, Murdoch M. - steward

    Born 1867, Victoria, Australia

Meyrick, William Richard - trimmer

    Born 1880, Lyttleton, NZ

Montague, John - cook

    Born 1869, London

Morrison, Edward - sailmaker

    Born 1870, Dundee

Nelson, David - assistant engineer

    Born 1876, Fifeshire
Bernard C Day

Paton, James - leading seaman

    Born 1869, Glasgow - died 1917/8 on the Aurora

Richard Henry Nodder
Nodder, Richard Henry  - AB

    Born January 1877, at Wellington Cottage, Torpoint Cornwall - Able Seaman, sailed from Lyttleton NZ to Antarctica and back December 1908 - March 1909 and then from Lyttleton to Sydney and then London 1909.

Partridge, John - fireman

    Born 1885, Lyttleton, NZ

Reynart, E. - fireman

    Born 1885, Kent

Riches, Sidney Barnes - AB

    Harold Bull, Victor Berry, Sidney Riches and Walter Spice enlisted on the Nimrod along with while all four of them were engaged in Royal Naval Reserve training aboard HMS President in London.

    Born 1880, London

Rooney, Felix - fireman

    Born 1885, Govan, Glasgow

Rooney, G. - AB

    Born 1883, Wellington, NZ

Schofield, A. - fireman

    Born 1875, Hull

Walter Spice on the Nimrod

Spice, Walter - AB

    Born in St Leonards, Hastings, Sussex, UK, in 1864. In 1879 it appears that 15 year old Walter and his older brother Alfred were caught committing larceny and shop breaking and sentenced to a month in prison followed by 2 years on a reformatory ship - possibly 'TS Cornwall'. Perhaps it's not surprising that he went to sea. The 1891 census shows him listed as a boarder in Bootle, Lancs. His occupation is recorded as Seaman.

    Harold Bull, Victor Berry, Sidney Riches and Walter Spice enlisted on the Nimrod along with while all four of them were engaged in Royal Naval Reserve training aboard HMS President in London.

Vaughan, M. - fireman

    Born 1881, Lyttleton NZ

Williams, William Frederick - AB

William Frederick Williams was born in Tasmania in 1886. He joined Ernest Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition, signing on in the name of W. Williams, and served as an AB (Able Seaman) on the Stearn Yacht Nimrod on her second voyage south (1908-09). On return to Tasmania he tried his hand at a variety of jobs before settling in the Lakes district of Tasmania as the manager of guest houses catering for trout fishermen in the 1920s. He retired to Lorne, Victoria, and died in Melbourne in 1964 aged 77.

More here - Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, Volume 143(2), 2009

The Nimrod Expedition

Interviews with Nimrod crew by a local newspaper at Lyttleton New Zealand November 24th 1907

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