June 22, 1915: Midwinter’s Day on board the ‘Endurance’ adrift in the Weddell Sea

–from Frank Hurley’s account “Shackleton’s Argonauts”–

“Our most ambitious entertainment occurred on 22 June in celebration of Mid-winter Day. A close holiday was observed. After an excellent breakfast and lunch, we partook of a ‘feast’ dinner, after which we all retired to our cubicles to dress up. I erected a stage, complete with acetylene footlights, and decorated it with bunting.

“Shackleton opened the evening with a satiric harangue, which was admirably responded to by the Reverend Dr Bubblinglove (Lees). An overture, ‘Discord Fantasia,’ in four flats, by the ‘Billabong’ band worked the audience up to concert pitch, the band then opportunely retiring to its retreat. Rickinson made an admirable flapper, and McIlroy a gay grisette, highly perfumed, and bewigged with oakum. Greenstreet, the dashing ‘knut,’ was a great success. James’s humorous dissertation on the calorie, delivered in a broad brogue, was loudly applauded. The programme comprised some thirty items, and conclude with ‘God Save the King’ and ‘Auld Lang Syne.’ Afterwards we sat down to a midnight supper.”


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