Shackleton : The James Caird Society



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The Hon. Alexandra Shackleton succeeded her father, Lord Shackleton KG OBE PC (1911-94), younger son of the explorer, as President of the James Caird Society, and has been at the heart of all its activities since. She was instrumental with Harding Dunnett in displaying the James Caird at the London Boat Show at Earl's Court in 1994, and in lending support to Trevor Potts's four man (three men and a woman) In the Wake of Shackleton expedition, which sought to recreate the James Caird boat journey and Shackleton's crossing of South Georgia, the first such expedition to attempt this.

Alexandra Shackleton photographed with the boat that saved her grandfather's life
The fact that there have now been a number of expeditions from various countries attempting to reenact Shackleton's adventures, including the present plan to complete his journey to the South Pole and back, together with at least three major films or documentaries and the appearance of a host of new Shackleton books and republications, is clear evidence of the vast increase of interest in Shackleton in the past dozen years. Shackleton's name is now reverenced almst as much as in his lifetime, and by even more people

Hon Alexandra photographed reading the bible her grandfather took to Antarctica, he face mirrored in his portait behind
In recent times Hon. Alexandra Shackleton has represented the James Caird Society and spoken at a wide range of important and memorable events, including the visits of the James Caird to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Australian Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour, Sydney and at the Te Papa, Wellington.

Thi splendid picture, taken in Sydney, Australia, also shows Alexandra Shackleton mirrored as she admires the displayed James Caird
Read a splendid PBS radio interview about her grandfather with Alexandra Shackleton

Events in the UK and Ireland include hosting the James Caird Society's lectures and meetings and autumn Grand Nimrod Ball, supporting the South Georgia and Falkland Island Associations (maintaining a close link fostered by her father) and other bodies connected with Antarctica, doing radio interviews, visiting the James Caird on display at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, Cornwall and supporting and speaking at the annual Shackleton Schools at Athy, County Kildare, near where Shackleton was born.

Aleandra Shackleton at tjhe diaplay of Shackleton's boat at the National Maritime Museum, Falmouth
Alexandra Shackleton was also invited to take the key role in the official naming of the British Antarctic Survey research ship the RRS Ernest Shackleton after her grandfather.

Alexandra Shackleton attended the naming of the British Antarctic Survey's ship the RRS Ernest ShackletonAlexandra Shackleton with young friend at the launch
Not least, Alexandra Shackleton has maintained her grandfather's close links with the Hispanic-speaking countries. Ernest Shackleton set sail from Argentina, was rescued by Chile, was a visitor to Brazil and had his funeral celebrated in Uruguay. A significant recent visit was to support the AMNH's travelling Enduranceexhibition which after visiting several US cities has now embarked on a tour of Spain: she was welcomed at the celebrations for its opening in Barcelona. She has also made a major trip to Chile, where she was the honoured guest of the Chilean navy, whose Southern Command at Punta Arenas had overall command of the Yelcho rescue mission in 1916.

Alexandra Shackleton is given a ship's tour by senior officers of the Armada de Chilean (Chilean Navy)Shackleton's granddaughter meets Jaime and Luis Pardo, the grandsons of his rescuer, Pilot  Luis Pardo, in Chile
Receptions at Christie's and the exhibitions which accompany the Polar Sale have been a major part of the Shackleton year, as have events with a Polar connection held at the Royal Geographical Association, the Scott-Polar and other important centres of Explorationa and Research. The Society is invariably represented by Alexandra Shackleton and other senior members or members of the committee.

Alexandra Shackleton in conversation with JCS members Tom Lamb (Christies) and Trevor Cornford



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