Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, July 20-21, 1916: “Except for the avoidable filth, any sty would compare favourably with our shanty. That’s the truth.”

—from the diary of Thomas Orde Lees—

“20 July: . . . . there is not one of us who would not gladly exchange places with the average English pig for his food and his nice warm sty with fresh straw. Except for the avoidable filth, any sty would compare favourably with our shanty. That’s the truth.

“21 July: The new stones we put down on the floor of our hut yesterday have added very materially to our comfort. The outside gang had a job to find enough stones for the purpose, for they are very difficult to roust out of the snow now, the beach being covered so deeply in snow and ice-foot, and all the pebbles being conglomerated into a solid block with ice.

“Carrying them in boxes is hard work too in our emaciated condition, especially as the only really good pebble mine is at the opposite end of the spit from our hut. To find big stones is now quiet out of the question, but we have a fairly good store of them forming the wall of the outside galley, which the weather rendered so untenable that we now use it as a larder with hundreds of penguin breasts and legs frozen into a solid mass. We just quarry out our requirements daily”

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