Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party: The returning field party learns of the loss of the Aurora

–from Ernest Joyce’s account “The South Polar Trail”–

“After the excitement [of the field party’s return to the hut at Cape Evans in May], Stevens prepared and appetizing meal, we all agreed, the finest ever tasted.

“To our amazement, we were then told the following story:

“The ‘Aurora’ called at Hut Point on March 11th, embarking the Padre, Richards, Gaze, Ninnis, and Hooke. The ship returning to Cape Evans dropped her anchor and (with no further endeavour to communicate with Hut Point) made preparations to winter. The ship was moored stern to shore with five hawsers made fast to shore anchors on March 14. Four of the staff–Stevens, Richards, Spencer-Smith [the Padre] and Gaze landed, while several tons of coal was set on the shore, close to the ice-edge. When the ice broke out the coal was lost.

“During a southerly gale on May 7 the ship carried away her moorings, drifint away, no work having been heard of her since.”

“All sledging equipment, general stores and clothing is still in the ship, wherever she may be. One of the worst calamities, there is no tobacco.”

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