Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, March 30, 1916: “The two remaining dog teams were shot this afternoon.“

–from the diary of Sir James Wordie—

“The most anxious day we have had since the ship was crushed. Shorly after 5.0 am a crack opened not more than 5 yds S of the galley: before the half hour the Boss had called everyone to stand by. Some of the meat was on the far side of the crack and had to be brought over: other were employed getting the sledges moved farther away from the edge; then all hands hauled the boats over more to the NW.

“Then just as we turned in for breakfast a crack opened out below the ‘James Caird’ and one of the sledges: we rushed over and soon had them hauled back to safety.

“Ice thickness. Just outside our tent it is 8 ft 4 ins thick; at the crack by the galley it is over 8-1/2 ft thick. Permanent watches have commenced—r hours on and 4 hours off; by this means enough men are always available to shift a boat or sledge.

“The two remaining dog teams were shot this afternoon: the meat of the five puppies [Tom Crean’s “purps”] has been kept as a precautionary measure: the other dogs were not in too good health.”

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