Cover image for Shackleton's captain : a biography of Frank Worsley
Shackleton's captain : a biography of Frank Worsley
Thomson, John, 1931-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oakville, Ont. : Mosaic Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
208 pages : illustrations, maps ; 26 cm
General Note:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 204-205) and index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
G875.W67 T46 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
G875.W67 T46 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Frank Worsley shared with Sir Ernest Shackleton one of the greatest adventures of the Heroic Age of Antarctic explorartion. After their ship Endurance was crushed in the ice in 1915, they made what is perhaps the most famous small-boat journey in history, across 800 miles of the world's roughest seas to get help. Worsley's diaries and notes still provide the main records of that journey, yet the fame of Shackleton rather overshadowed the modest New Zealander. This first ever biography of Worsley sets out to restore the balance. It tells the full story of his extraordinary life, from childhood as a larrikin in Akaroa, New Zealand, to his apprenticeship at sea, and the devolpment of his remarkable skills as navigator and sailing master. It also backgrounds the particular friendship that fourished betweeen Worsley and Shackleton. In an age of mass communications, Frank Worsley would have been a public figure as famous as Sir Edmund Hillary. This biography gives an unhallowed yet eminent New Zealander his proper place in history.

Author Notes

John Bell Thomson was born in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1931. He worked throughout New Zealand as a journalist before travelling to other countries and working on newspapers in Australia, Britain and East Africa. He returned to New Zealand in 1969 and retired from journalism in 1996.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. 6
Prologuep. 7
Chapter 1 The Familyp. 12
Chapter 2 First Voyagep. 18
Chapter 3 Pacific Commandp. 28
Chapter 4 On the Ice with Shackletonp. 37
Chapter 5 To Elephant Islandp. 60
Chapter 6 The Boat Crewp. 67
Chapter 7 Preparing the Boatp. 72
Chapter 8 The Boat Journeyp. 77
Chapter 9 Over the Islandp. 92
Chapter 10 New Zealand with Shackletonp. 106
Chapter 11 1917: The Submarinep. 115
Chapter 12 Russiap. 122
Chapter 13 The Annie and the Questp. 130
Chapter 14 Arctic Explorationp. 142
Chapter 15 London Lifep. 154
Chapter 16 Treasure Islandp. 163
Chapter 17 Last Postsp. 174
Chapter 18 The Boatp. 185
Appendix 1 Edward Saunders, the shy ghost writerp. 188
Appendix 2 T.H. Orde-Lees and Harry McNeish, Karori companionsp. 194
Appendix 3 Gordon Burt, a biographical notep. 200
Appendix 4 Roderick Carr and the Antarctic Baby aircraftp. 202
Bibliographyp. 204
Indexp. 206