Shackleton descendant visits Hull photo exhibition

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Image caption, Alexandra Shackleton said she learnt about her polar exploring grandfather via the photographs which are on show at an exhibition in Hull

Sir Ernest Shackleton's granddaughter has spoken of Hull's links to his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition on a visit to the city.

Nearly 100 black and white photographs from the 1914-1917 voyage are on show at the Hull Maritime Museum.

Six men from the Hull area joined Shackleton on the hazardous attempt to cross the continent.

Alexandra Shackleton said the images in the exhibition helped her to learn about her grandfather's expedition.

"I didn't know my grandfather because he died in 1922 and not many stories passed down because my father was only 10 at the time," she said.

"I really learnt his story through these magnificent photographs taken by Frank Hurley."

Image source, Royal Geographical Society
Image caption, Sir Ernest Shackleton (centre) with his crew onboard Endurance, taken by photographer Frank Hurley on the bow in 1915

Alfred Cheetham, Charles Green, Ernest Holness, William Stephenson, Oscar Montell and John Vincent were part of a 27-man crew who attempted to help Shackleton to try cross Antarctica.

But the ship they were on, named Endurance, sank beneath the ice of the Weddell Sea. Fortunately, the entire crew survived.

Image source, Royal Geographical Society
Image caption, 'The Long, Long Night', photograph by Frank Hurley. This image was taken during the winter of 1915, using 20 flashlights to create a 'spectre ship' effect

"The conditions were extremely harsh," said Ms Shackleton.

"He was a great leader.

"My grandfather did once say to one of his sisters: 'You cannot think what it is like to tread where no one has trodden before'."

The images, held by the Royal Geographical Society, capture the last days of Endurance and the crew's subsequent struggle to stay alive.

Image source, Royal Geographical Society
Image caption, Thomas Orde-Lees (left) and Charles Green, the cook, photographed by Frank Hurley during the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-1916

Ms Shackleton described the exhibition as being "wonderful".

"Hull have done very well here. I was interested to see a photograph of one of the men - Green, the cook - I met him when I was a little girl, which was very exciting.

"It was wonderful to meet someone who served with my grandfather, but I was really young at the time and I didn't quite realise how important it was."

Image source, PA
Image caption, Shackleton died in 1922 while attempting to cross the Antarctic continent

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