Shackleton Memorial in Westminster Abbey

On the 150th anniversary of his birth, Thursday 15 February 2024, a Memorial to ‘The Boss’ will be unveiled in Westminster Abbey.

The Great West Door will open at 1630 to allow the congregation to enter for Choral Evensong, to which all are welcome. Abbey staff will direct people to their seats by 1645, ahead of the arrival of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.

After the service, there will be a private dedication ceremony in the Abbey’s south cloister, close to a memorial to pioneering sailors Captain James Cook, Sir Francis Chichester and Sir Francis Drake. The Shackleton memorial was created by sculptor Will Davies, and incorporates stones including Connemara marble and Kilkenny limestone to reflect Shackleton’s Irish heritage.

The memorial will be unveiled by HRH The Princess Royal and dedicated by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, who said:

‘Shackleton’s name conjures up a little bit of an old and familiar narrative about a great man with remarkable courage and resilience. That is true, but it does not do justice to his achievement. Shackleton was more than an explorer; he was a story-teller, a pioneer in photography and film and an inspiring speaker. He planted the idea and image of the Antarctic in our imaginations. Shackleton helped persuade us towards a new excitement about science and a deeper reverence for the world in which we live. This memorial will help sustain that legacy of wonder.’

Roald Amundsen Conference

The Devon and Cornwall Polar Society will be holding a Roald Amundsen Conference on Saturday 28 October 2023

This will take place at
Lewinsky Building
Plymouth University
PL4 8AA

For further details, and to book your place, please go to the DCPS site

Come and experience Art beneath the Ice

Join us for a magical evening of Art and Adventure…

This wonderful exhibition by renowned artist Johny Midnight tells Shackleton’s inspirational story in a unique new way – in oil on canvas.

Mensun Bound, Director of Exploration on the expedition that discovered Shackleton’s Endurance at the bottom of the Weddell Sea last year, also has a unique story to tell. Come and hear him talk about his own polar adventure, while enjoying drinks, canapés and some wonderful paintings.

Tuesday 7 March

18:00 to 20:30

Shoosmiths London    No. 1 Bow Churchyard    London EC4M 9DQ

Places are limited so please RSVP ASAP

Society Dinners

The 2022 AGM and Dinner took place at Dulwich College on Friday 11 November.  Dinner was preceded by a fascinating account of the search for Endurance in 2019 (Weddell Sea Expedition) culminating in the Endurance22 expedition in February/March 2022. The latter was under the auspices of the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust. The lecture was given by Mensun Bound, Director of Exploration.

The next Dinner will take place on Friday 12 May 2023. Please note: the date of this event has been changed. We are delighted to announce that Dr Jan Piggott will be the speaker at the Dinner. His topic will be George Marston, the artist on the Endurance Expedition.

The 2023 AGM and Dinner is planned for Friday 3 November, and we look forward to welcoming Skip Novak, Antarctic explorer and real-life legend, as speaker.

Shackleton’s Legacy Exhibition at the RGS

The James Caird Society is delighted to announce a brand new exhibition has opened to mark the centenary of The Boss’s death. Shackleton’s Legacy and the Power of early Antarctic Photography will be available to view in the Pavilion at RGS until the end of April. This superb exhibition draws on a wealth of material, much of it previously unseen. It was curated by Dr Jan Piggott, former Keeper of Archives and Rare Books at Dulwich College.

Full details can be found here.

Definitely not to be missed!

Lucky for some!

Friday 13 August 2021 turned out to be an auspicious day for some lucky members of the James Caird Society and their guests. Those who responded in time were able to enjoy a splendid Grand Summer Barbecue aboard HQS Wellington, voted by some of the assembled company as ‘one of the best settings in London’. Dare we say ‘the best setting?’

Drinks on the top deck, with its stunning views of the Thames and the London skyline, were followed by a sumptuous feast of barbecued sausages and kebabs accompanied by a selection of salads; with delicious desserts to follow!  And all laid on by the magnificent catering crew, Seahorse Hospitality.

The event was attended by more than 60 people and proved so popular that there has been talk of making it an annual event… Watch this space.

Also watch the website for further details of the AGM, planned for Friday 5 November, with dinner in the Great Hall at Dulwich College to follow.

Next JCS Dinner

As we feared, the May dinner has now been ‘postponed’. We are hoping to arrange an alternative event later in the summer but in the meantime can confirm that the next event at Dulwich College will be the 2021 AGM, followed by a much delayed dinner and talk. This will take place on Friday 5 November, fingers crossed. The well-known Polar photographer David Baillie, known for his willingness to go to places no  other cameraman is prepared to go, has also indicated his willingness to talk at this event.

Please save the date, whilst continuing to keep all fingers firmly crossed. Full details will be sent to members as soon as possible and will also of course appear in our Newsletter in the summer and be posted here on the website.

May Dinner 2021

Thanks to the on-going Covid situation, a question mark remains over this event, earmarked for 21 May. We would like to delay a final decision for as long as possible and are liaising closely with Dulwich College to ensure that, if we can go ahead, the event will comply with all Covid restrictions and regulations. This will undoubtedly mean that numbers will be restricted.

In order to anticipate demand, we would ask all JCS members to inform Andy Kinniburgh, Membership Secretary, () what your intentions might be:

  • very likely to attend
  • will possibly attend
  • definitely will not attend

We are delighted that Skip Novak has agreed to talk at the dinner, a talk that we plan to stream for absent members or if the event becomes a ‘Virtual Dinner’.

For full details, please email

To join the Society, please click here.