Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, June 6, 1915: “We have spoken a good deal about the war today. . . .”

–from Thomas Orde Lees’ diary—

“A quiet day on board, and the coldest yet, -27 deg. We have spoken a good deal about the war today. Naturally it is a matter of anxiety to us, but as our anxiety cannot possibly be relieved until we escape from our ice-bound prison, our surmises and speculations are not very profitable. To several of us who feel that we might be employing our time to so much better a purpose on service, to wasting it to no use down her, the knowledge that the war is raging is especially grievous.

“An almost equally depressing subject of conversation is ouur unsatisfactory northward drift. We are constantly comparing it at a great disadvantage to what Filchner, our German predecessor, did. It must not be supposed that this subject makes us in any way downhearted; on the contrary, we are all very hopeful of getting free next summer, but we are all quite ready to go through another winter with equanimity. To most of us, it is more exasperating than depressing to contemplate another winter short of food, light, coal, etc., for it must be admitted that the stores for the ship were only intended for a year.”

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