August 4, 1914: Shackleton meets King George V

The War had begun. Shackleton had placed the Endurance and her crew at the disposal of the Admiralty, and had received word from the First Sea Lord, that the expedition was to go forward: “Proceed.”

On August 4 Shackleton left the ship at Eastbourne, and had an audience with King George V. He wrote of the encounter to his wife Emily: “He [the King] was perfectly charming. I stayed 25 minutes and was in my ordinary clothes: he talked a lot and gave me the Union Jack and wished me God Speed and a safe return. This will all be in the papers tomorrow and I told him all about my offer to the Admiralty and he was pleased and said the ‘Certainly I should go’”

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