Originally named as the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, the later named Endurance Expedition set sail from Plymouth, England in August 1914. The Expedition was led by the experienced Antarctic explorer, Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton.

The mission objective was to sail through the Weddell Sea and to cross Antarctica by foot. Little did the crew know that this expedition would prove to be a far greater challenge for their spirit and survival than could ever have been imagined.

The Endurance departed from a whaling station on South Georgia on 5th December 1914, and within days they had entered the pack ice. After just over a month of navigating through a minefield of heavy floes and icebergs, The Endurance became trapped on 18th January 1915.

Despite heroic attempts to dig the Endurance free from the thick ice, Shackleton made the decision to stop trying to free the ship and they drifted with the ice from February until October 1915.

During this time, the crew, with their unwavering and absolute faith in ‘the Boss’ Shackleton, continued their daily life aboard, and even re-named the ships hold ‘The Ritz’.

From early April 1915, ice was building up around the ship increasing the pressure on the ship’s structure and leading to rudder damage and leaks. By mid-October, after 9 months trapped, the ship started to keel, with the order to abandon ship coming on 27th October 1915 and forcing the crew to make camp on the inhospitable ice.

The isolated crew drifted on the pack ice for 6 months, surviving on limited supplies, seal and penguin meat until, in early April 1916, the ice split forcing an urgent scramble to pack and launch 3 lifeboats to cross the ice and then open water in -20̊c and gales to the uninhabited and desolate Elephant Island.

Knowing that there was no chance of rescue or communication, Shackleton and a crew of 5 launched a lifeboat (the James Caird) for a near impossible voyage through perilous seas to the nearest whaling station, 800 miles from their location, whilst leaving the remaining crew on Elephant Island to await rescue.

Against all the odds, and just over 2 weeks at sea, Shackleton and his crew made landfall on South Georgia and trek to the whaling station, finally arriving on 20th May 1916. After a failed first attempt, all the remaining crew were finally rescued on 30th August 1916. All the crew had survived.

The Endurance Expedition’s initial mission was not a success, but their story of survival, courage, heroism and the trust they placed in ‘the Boss’ Shackleton, ensured that the un-endurable was endured.

In March 2022, a century after its sinking, Shackleton’s legendary ship was finally found beneath the sea ice, nearly two miles beneath the ocean and well preserved due to the cold temperature.

The Shackleton Pen

We pay homage to this extraordinary story with the exquisite Shackleton Pen. Crafted from Sterling Silver and adorned with ice blue vitreous enamelling.

The ice blue enamelling and engraving to the cap symbolises The Endurance trapped in the ice with waves engraved on the barrel. The cap button is engraved with the Star found on the ship’s stern and the cap band is engraved with Shackleton’s famous quote “Optimism is true moral courage”.

The Shackleton Pen is available in a limited edition of 29, with each edition number engraved with the name of one of the crew members.


The brave and heroic crew of The Endurance:

William Lincoln Bakewell (Will) 1888-1969

Percy Blackborrow (Blackie) 1894-1949 (Stowaway)

Alfred Buchanan Cheetham (Alf) 1866-1918

Robert Selbie Clark (Bob) 1882-1950

Thomas Crean (Tom) 1877-1938

Sir Daniel Fulthorpe Gooch (Curly) 1869-1926

Charles John Green (Chef) 1888-1974

Lionel Greenstreet (Horace) 1889-1979

Albert Ernest Holness (Holie) 1892-1924

Walter Ernest How (Wally) 1885-1972

Hubert Taylor Hudson (Buddha) 1886-1942

James Francis Hurley (The Prince) 1885-1962

Leonard Duncan Albert Hussey (Uzbird) 1891-1964

Reginald William James (Jimmy) 1891-1964

Alexander John Kerr (Krasky) 1892-1964

Alexander Hepburne Macklin (Mack) 1889-1967

George Edward Marston (Putty) 1882-1940

Timothy F McCarthy (Tim) 1888-1917

James Archibald McIlroy (Mickey) 1879-1968

Thomas F McLeod (Stornoway) 1873-1960

Henry McNish (Chippy) 1874-1930

Thomas Hans Orde-Lees (The Colonel) 1877-1958

Lewis Raphael Rickinson (Ricky) 1883-1945

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (The Boss) 1874-1922

William H Stephenson (Steve) 1889-1953

John William Vincent (Bosun) 1879-1941

John Robert Francis Wild (Frank) 1873-1939

James Mann Wordie (Jock) 1889-1962

Frank Arthur Worsley (Skipper) 1872-1943