Ernest Shackleton  - Time Line

A biographical time line of Ernest Shackleton's life. Download a printable version or use online.
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Sir Ernest Shackleton Time Line

Antarctica and the Southern Ocean

1874 - Born in Ireland in 1874 to an English family, one of 10 children.

1884 - The Shackleton family moves to London.

1890 - Joins merchant navy at the age of 16.

1898 - Certified as Master Mariner.

1901 - First goes to Antarctica on board the Discovery with Captain Scott.

1902 - November to February 1903 - Along with Captain Scott and Edward Wilson, reaches the then Farthest South coming within 530 miles of the South Pole. All three men suffer from snow-blindness, frost bite and scurvy, Shackleton is invalided home early on their return.

1903 - 1907 - Takes on a variety of jobs, none of which last very long, unsuccessfully stands for parliament, plans his next expedition.

1904 - Marries Emily Dorman.

1905 - First child, Raymond Shackleton is born.

1906 - Second child, Cecily Shackleton is born.

1907 - The ship Nimrod leaves Britain for Antarctica, the expedition is under the command of Shackleton.

1908 - October to January 1909 - With Frank Wild, Eric Marshall and Jameson Adams reaches a new Farthest South of 97 miles from the South Pole, the return journey was a race against starvation. He said to his wife "a live donkey is better than a dead lion, isn't it?"

1909 - Given national honours on his return home, made a knight becoming Sir Ernest Shackleton. Attempts to use his fame to make money in business, though lecturing about his Antarctic expeditions is still the main source of income.

1911 - Third child, Edward Shackleton is born.

1912 - The news that the South Pole had been reached separately by Amundsen and Scott caused Shackleton to turn to a plan to cross Antarctica via the South Pole.

1914 - The ship Endurance leaves Britain on Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition.

1915 - February - The Endurance becomes trapped in sea-ice. October - damage to the ship and the threat of more from surrounding pack-ice causes Shackleton to order the abandonment of the Endurance, the crew decamp to the surrounding ice. November 21st, the Endurance sinks leaving the crew stranded.

1916 - The crew of the Endurance make it to Elephant Island by late April. Shackleton and 5 others go for rescue in the lifeboat James Caird to South Georgia. August - the crew of the Endurance are rescued on the fourth attempt.

1917 - Returns to Britain and volunteers for the war effort, is later awarded an OBE for his efforts.

1919 - Publishes a book "South" about the Endurance expedition and resumes the lecture circuit to make money.

1921 - September - Leaves Britain for Antarctica on board the ship Quest.

1922 - January - Quest reaches South Georgia, Shackleton has a fatal heart attack on the 5th of January. On the request of his wife he is buried in the whalers cemetery at Grytviken South Georgia.