By Thomas Orde-Lees, Quartermaster
"August, 1914. 16.
"A nice, fine day. We are still sailing only with a good, big swell. We are somewhere in the Bay and it is behaving itself unusually well. If we get nothing worse than this, I have nothing to fear. We had a short service today; I read prayers and we sang a couple of hymns. We have to do all our own work in our cabins and in cabins with 3 in it we are taking it in weekly turns to keep it clean; keep the wash-stand supplied with water, etc. There are also the outside passages to keep clean and we are taking this interns. It is my turn in the cabin this week.
One of our best men, Tom Crean, who was the Capt. Scott, and got the Albert Medal for saving Commanders Evans's life, fell down an broke his wrist the other day on board and is laid up with it. Minor accidents are frequent. I had a very narrow shave this morning from getting my head bashed in. We were all pulling a halyard, and someone was singing a chantey, when the rope broke and the block came down very forcibly and just grazed my face. But a miss is as good as a mile every time. Slept all afternoon."
One hundred years ago this August, Ernest Shackleton rescued his crew after the failure of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. These entries are a selection from the diary of the expedition's quartermaster Thomas Orde-Lees.
Rauner Special Collections Library in Webster Hall holds a complete transcript of the diary and the manuscript diary from March 24th, 1915, through April 16th, 1916. To see them, come to Rauner and ask to see MSS-185 or Stefansson G850 1914 .O7 1997 during normal hours of operation. An exhibit on Shackleton’s Antarctic explorations will be on display in Rauner from July 1-September 2, 2016.