Did you know? Masonic Philately

Sir George Cathcart No. 617

Sir Ernest Shackleton (1876 -1922)

Antarctic Explorer


Son of an English father and an Irish mother he was born in Kilkea Co. Kildare. His father who was a doctor tried to persuade Ernest to follow him in the medical profession but he had his heart set on a life at sea.

Shackleton was educated at Dulwich College. And at the age of 16 he left and joined the Merchant Navy, In 1894 he passed his 2nd Mates exams and in 1898 became a Master Mariner qualifying him to take charge of any British vessel.

He became a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve in 1901.

He joined Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Antarctic (Discovery) Expedition (1901-04) as third Lieutenant and took part, with Scott and Edward Wilson in the sledge run over the Ross Ice Shelf. His health suffered and he was invalided out on the supply ship Morning. in March 1903.

In 1905 he returned to Antarctica as leader of the Nimrod Expedition (1907-09)

A sledging party led by Shackleton reached within 97miles of the South Pole and another led by T.W. Edgeworth David, reached the area of the South Magnetic Pole.

Victoria Land Plateau was claimed for the British Crown.

On his return Shackleton was knighted and was made a Companion of the Royal Victorian Order.

He also commanded the expedition 1914–16 to cross the Antarctic, when he had to abandon his ship, the Endurance, crushed in the ice of the Weddell Sea. He died on board the Quest on his fourth expedition 1921–22 to the Antarctic


Bro. Ernest was initiated in Navy Lodge No.2612

He was Passed and Raised in The Guild of Freemen Lodge No. 3525

Initiated:-  July 9th.    1901

Passed:-    Nov 2nd.   1911

Raised :-   May 30th.  1913


In 1914 he was made an Honorary Member of The Guild of Freemen Lodge No. 3525

And remained a member of both lodges until he died.



Stamps Issued :-

                                   British Antarctic Territory   2001 S.G. No. SG 337