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Shackleton

Shackleton is built on the powerful shoulders of Sir Ernest Shackleton with the invaluable support of his granddaughter The Hon. Alexandra Shackleton.

The Company believes the modern world needs Shackleton’s inspiration today as much today as his men did a century ago. That’s why our purpose is To Inspire and Equip the Modern Pioneer to great endeavours. All over the world, we see outstanding people performing with great courage at the very limits of human endurance in extreme or hostile environments. Many of these people are working for the good of us all, be they advancing scientific understanding of our planet, providing relief in disaster zones, reporting from wars, filming the incredible or exploring new and unseen places. We believe that if Shackleton was alive today he would be planning the most audacious adventures and overcoming the greatest odds on our planet and beyond; our job is to use his outstanding example to inspire the modern generation to achieve similarly great things.


‘I hold that a man should strive to the uttermost for his life’s set prize.’


THE NINE POINTED STAR

The Shackleton Company’s emblem, The Hon. Alexandra Shackleton writes, will already be familiar to the many people around the world who are interested in the life and achievements of my Grandfather, Sir Ernest Shackleton. On the evening before his death on board Quest in frozen South Georgia, Shackleton wrote in his diary ‘In the darkening twilight I saw a lone star hover, gem-like above the bay.’ The next morning, 5th January 1922, he died of a heart attack, aged 48. Shackleton's gravestone in the whalers’ cemetery at Griytviken bears a nine-pointed star - a personal motif that Sir Ernest used throughout his life as a guide and inspiration.

On the reverse of the stone is perhaps the clearest summation of how Sir Ernest thought about life. ‘I hold that a man should strive to the uttermost for his life’s set prize.’ This is the message carved on the headstone in that wild and lonely place that I have visited so many times. The words offer us clear direction: we must all seek and find our own prize; we must follow our own star. For my Grandfather this was Antarctic exploration; for the rest of us, these words are an inspiration to strive and strive again for whatever is our own personal Antarctic.

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