28 September 2015 Shackleton’s Heroes

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28 September 2015 Shackleton’s Heroes

The voices of some of the virtually unknown men who played a vital role in the fateful 1914-1917 expedition to Antarctica by Sir Ernest Shackleton have been brought back to life by local Coffs Harbour author Wilson McOrist.
 

The story of how the expedition ship, Endurance, became trapped by ice and crushed, the crew’s epic escape and Shackleton’s heroic efforts to save his men has – for one hundred years - overshadowed the grit and courage of some of the men who accompanied him to Antarctica.

 

But now, using the actual diaries of six of these men, Wilson McOrist has revealed an extraordinary – and previously – untold story in ‘Shackleton’s Heroes’.

 

Against almost insurmountable obstacles, a small party of men – Captain Aeneas Mackintosh, Ernest Joyce, Ernest Wild, the Reverend AP Spencer-Smith, Victor Hayward and ‘Dick’ Richards - put down vital food depots on the Great Ice Barrier for the expedition.

 

Their efforts to help each other survive this massive task reveal the most incredible feats of heroism. In ‘Shackleton’s Heroes’ the complete story is revealed for the first time.

 

Polar Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes wrote the foreword to the book and said: “I believe the diaries are an Antarctic literary treasure. I congratulate Wilson McOrist for not only bringing them out of obscurity but for weaving them together so they tell this fascinating but true story. The narrative adds a new and highly significant chapter to the early 1900s British Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration”.

 

The author carried out a lot of his research for the book via the inter-library loan service offered by Coffs Harbour Libraries. He will be returning to talk about his book and to sign copies at a special event on Thursday, 15 October.

 

The event, at the Harry Bailey Memorial Library in Coffs Harbour, will begin at 6pm.

 

Entry is free, but to book your place, call 6648 4900, or email library.bookings@chcc.nsw.gov.au or book online at http://libraries.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au