December 29, 1913: Shackleton’s Annoucement in The Times

In the first general public announcement of his plans for the first crossing of Antarctica, Shackleton posted a letter to the London Times that began:

“Sir,—It has been an open secret for some time past that I have been desirous of leading another expedition to the South Polar regions.

“I am glad now to be able to state that, through the generosity of a friend, I can announce that an expedition will start next year with the object of crossing the South Polar continent from sea to sea.

“I have taken the liberty of calling the expedition ‘The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition,’ because I feel that not only the people of these islands, but all our kinsmen in all the lands under the Union Jack will be willing to assist towards the carrying out of the full programme of exploration to which my comrades and myself are pledged.”

A prospectus released on the same date named many of the men already tapped to become members of that expedition. Among those names were those of Tom Crean and Frank Wild.


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