Spring 1914: Frank Worsley’s Dream

–from Frank Worlsey’s book “Endurance”–

“One night I had an absurd dream. I dreamed that Burlington Street was full of ice blocks and that I was navigating a ship along it. Sailors are superstitious, and when I woke up next morning I hurried like made into my togs, and down Burlington Street I went. I dare say that it was only a coincidence, but as I walked along, reflecting that my dream had certainly been meaningless, and uncomfortable and that it had cost me time that I could have used to better purpose, a sigh on a doorpost caught the eye. It bore the words “Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition”, and no sooner did I see it than I turned into the building with the conviction that it had some special significance for me.

“Shackleton was there. He and I only spent a few minutes together, but the moment that I set eyes on him I knew that he was a man with whom I should be proud to work. He quickly divined what I wanted and presently said to me, “You’re engaged. Join you ship until I wire for you.” (I was then second officer in the Canadian trade, and had been in command of small vessels.) “I’ll let you know all the details as soon as possible. Good morning.” He wrung my hand in his hard grasp, and that was that. I was committed to my fate.”

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