Personnel of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition

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The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition was an attempt to cross the Antarctic continent led by Ernest Shackleton. The personnel were divided into two groups: the Weddell Sea party consisting of the men who would attempt the crossing and their support, and the Ross Sea party whose job it was to lay stores on the far side of the Pole for the members of the Weddell Sea party who would make the crossing. Both arms of the expedition had a final complement of 28 men. The Weddell Sea party's ship Endurance was crushed in pack ice and the crossing attempt was never made. All the Weddell Sea party were rescued, but several members of the Ross Sea party perished after their support ship Aurora broke free from its mooring and drifted, leaving the shore party stranded.

Names and dates of birth are included where known. After Endurance was lost, the Weddell Sea party spent some months camped on the ice before making for Elephant Island in the three lifeboats salvaged from the vessel, the James Caird, the Dudley Docker and the Stancomb Wills. The boat each man was assigned to for the crossing is listed.

Some of the original crew left the expedition to sign up when war was declared with Germany,[a] and others returned to England after the ship put in at Buenos Aires.

Weddell Sea party[edit]

Name Born Died Boat Position Additional information
Sir Ernest Shackleton
1874 1922 James Caird (Capt.) Commander James Caird rescue crew
Frank Wild
1873 1939 James Caird 2nd in Command Founded Cape Wild
Frank Worsley.jpg
Frank Worsley
1872 1943 Dudley Docker (Capt.) Captain of Endurance James Caird rescue crew
Frank Hurley
1885 1962 James Caird Photographer
Hubert hudson.jpg
Hubert Hudson[b]
1886 1942 Stancomb Wills Navigator Original Captain of the Stancomb Wills, but replaced by Crean due to illness.
Lionel Greenstreet
1889 1979 Dudley Docker 1st Officer
Tom Crean.jpg
Tom Crean
1877 1938 Stancomb Wills (Capt) 2nd Officer James Caird rescue crew
Alfred Cheetham
1867 1918 Dudley Docker 3rd Officer
Lewis Rickinson 1883 1945 Stancomb Wills[c] Chief Engineer Suffered a suspected heart attack while on Elephant Island
Alexander Kerr 1892 1964 Dudley Docker 2nd Engineer
James McIlroy 1879 1968 Stancomb Wills Surgeon
Alexander Macklin
1889 1967 Dudley Docker Surgeon
Robert Clark.jpg
Robert Clark
1882 1950 James Caird Biologist
Leonard Hussey.jpg
Leonard Hussey
1891 1964 James Caird Meteorologist
James Mann Wordie - c. 1914.jpg
James Wordie
1889 1962 James Caird Geologist
Reginald James.png
Reginald James
1891 1964 James Caird Physicist
George Marston
1882 1940 Dudley Docker Artist
Thomas Orde-Lees
1877 1958 Dudley Docker Storekeeper and Motor Expert
Harry "Chippy" McNish[d]
1874 1930 James Caird Carpenter James Caird rescue crew. Not recommended for the Polar medal
Charles Green
1888 1974 James Caird Cook
William Stephenson 1889 1953 Stancomb Wills Fireman/Stoker Not recommended for the Polar medal
Ernest Holness 1892 1924 Dudley Docker Fireman/Stoker Not recommended for the Polar medal
John Vincent
1879 1941 James Caird Able Seaman James Caird rescue crew. Not recommended for the Polar medal
Timothy McCarthy 1888 1917 James Caird Able Seaman James Caird rescue crew
Walter How 1885 1972 Stancomb Wills Able Seaman
William Lincoln Bakewell circa 1917.png
William Bakewell
1888 1969 Stancomb Wills Able Seaman Recruited in Buenos Aires. An American who falsely claimed to be Canadian in order to be hired. Bakewell helped Blackborow stow away on the ship.
Thomas McLeod 1869 1960 Dudley Docker Able Seaman
Perce Blackborow[e]
1894 1949 Stancomb Wills Steward Stowed away in Buenos Aires. Had the toes of his left foot amputated by Macklin and McIlroy on Elephant Island after gangrene set in.
Sir Daniel Gooch 1869 1926 - Dog Handler (temporary) Never considered a permanent member of the expedition, he helped Shackleton out when the original dog handler resigned from the expedition at the last moment. He returned to England when the Endurance stopped at South Georgia
Mrs. Chippy
1915 - Mascot McNish's cat. Was shot the day after Endurance sank

Ross Sea party[edit]

Shore party
Name Born Died Position Additional information
Aeneas Mackintosh
1879 1916 Commander Died during the expedition
Ernest Joyce 1875 1940 Sledging Equipment and Dogs
Ernest Wild 1879 1918 Storekeeper
Reverend Arnold Spencer-Smith
1883 1916 Chaplain and Photographer Died during the expedition
John Lachlan Cope 1893 1947 Biologist and Surgeon
Alexander Stevens 1886 1965 Chief Scientist
Richard W Richards 1893 1985 Physicist
Andrew Keith Jack 1885 1966 Physicist
Irvine Gaze 1890 1978 General Assistant
Victor Hayward 1887 1916 General Assistant Died during the expedition
Aboard the Aurora
Name Born Died Position Additional information
Aubrey Howard Ninnis 1883 1956 Motor Tractor Specialist Intended for the shore party but stranded when the Aurora broke adrift
Lionel Hooke 1895 1974 Wireless Telegraph Operator Intended for the shore party but stranded when the Aurora broke adrift
Joseph Stenhouse 1887 1941 1st Officer (subsequently Captain)
Leslie Thompson 2nd Officer
Alfred Larkman 1890 1962 Chief Engineer
C. Adrian Donnelly/Donolly[f] 2nd Engineer
James Paton 1869 1918 Boatswain
Clarence Maugher/Mauger[g] Carpenter
Sydney Atkin Able Seaman
Arthur Downing Able Seaman
William Kavanagh Able Seaman
A. "Shorty" Warren Able Seaman
Charles Glidden Ordinary Seaman
S. Grady/Grade[h] Fireman
William Mugridge Fireman
Harold Shaw Fireman
Edwin Thomas Wise 1872 1943 Cook
Emile d'Anglade Steward


  1. ^ Among these were Douglas George Jeffrey, who later joined Shackleton's final expedition; Courtney Brocklehurst and F. Dobbs who would have been in charge of the dog sections; and V. Studd, the original geologist.
  2. ^ Often seen as Hubert
  3. ^ Accidentally omitted from Worsley's list
  4. ^ McNeish and MacNish are commonly seen
  5. ^ Blackborrow or Blackboro often used for Blackborow and Percy occasionally seen for Perce
  6. ^ Donolly spelling used in South
  7. ^ Mauger spelling used in South
  8. ^ Referred to as Grade in South


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