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Frank Wild's last journey

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 29 December 2011

Sir Ernest Shackleton has a heroic place in the annals of Antarctic exploration, famously for his expedition on the aptly-named Endurance in 1914. He intended to cross over the Antarctic landmass. Instead, his ship became stuck in ice which eventually crushed it. Shackleton and his crew made a desperate voyage in three small boats to Elephant Island, where they split up. The men on the island were left under the command of Shackleton's Number 2, Frank Wild. Shackleton and a small team sailed 800 miles to South Georgia, from where they mounted a rescue mission for Wild's group.
Nearly a century on, reporter Karen Bowerman joins a group of Wild's relatives retracing his extraordinary journey to the southern seas. They are bearing Wild's ashes, which they bury next to Shackleton, on South Georgia.
Producer: John Murphy.

  • Frank Wild in final journey out of Shackleton's shadow

    Frank Wild in final journey out of Shackleton's shadow

    Frank Wild was the right-hand man to Sir Ernest Shackleton, joining him on several of his Antarctic expeditions. But is he finally stepping out of the great explorer's shadow, as his ashes make a poignant journey south?

    Read Karen Bowerman's article for BBC News
  • Browse photos from Crossing continents trip to Antarctica

    Browse photos from Crossing continents trip to Antarctica

    You can see photos from Crossing Continents reporter Karen Bowerman's trip to Antarctica on the Radio 4 Facebook page.

    Browse the photo album
  • Download the Crossing Continents podcast

    Download the Crossing Continents podcast

    Don't miss an episode of Crossing Continents by downloading the free programme podcast. You can also listen again via the Radio 4 website.

    Download the podcast


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