Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition

Monday, 28 November 2016  |  Gareth

The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, likewise called the Endurance Expedition after the ship, is thought about by some to be the last major expedition of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

By 1914 both Poles had been reached so Shackleton set his sights on being the first to pass through Antarctica. Shackleton reached South Georgia on 5 November 1914. After a month-long stop at Grytviken whaling station the expedition sailed into the Weddell Sea with the objective of crossing the Antarctic continent to the Ross Sea where they would be met by the Ross Sea party aboard the Aurora. Eighteen months later on, Shackleton returned to South Georgia, albeit in extremely different circumstances.

The Endurance had actually been lost in the ice and her 28-man crew had endured months in makeshift camps prior to rowing lifeboat to reach Elephant Island. It was from here that Shackleton and five crewmen made their 1,300 km boat journey aboard the James Caird to King Haakon Bay, South Georgia.

After a short period of recovery Shackleton, Tom Crean and Frank Worsley crossed South Georgia on foot to Stromness whaling station where they showed up on 20th May. Shackleton then began his– eventually effective– efforts to save his men on Elephant Island. After four attempts in different vessels, Shackleton had the ability to rescue the crew waiting on Elephant Island who were brought home aboard the Chilean Yelcho without loss of life.

The design on the coin shows the Endurance stuck in the ice in the background with the team pulling the sled on the ice bag in the foreground. The obverse of each coin features the new effigy design of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II exclusively by Pobjoy Mint.

View Range

Call Us: 0843 289 9298   Mon - Thu: 9am - 5pm