HARDING MCGREGOR DUNNETT
Harding will always be remembered for his unalloyed kindness and the enthusiasm with which he recruited countless new members at home and abroad. He kept in touch with many of them personally, ensuring they were informed, eagerly debriefing them of Shackleton news and details, and taking immense pains in dealing rapidly and efficiently with every request for Shackleton information.
Harding Dunnett was born on 20 March 1909, two months after Shackleton, Wild, Adams and Marshall achieved their ‘Furthest South’ (9 Jan 1909). He was at Dulwich College in 1924 when the James Caird was presented to the school by John Quiller Rowett, also an Old Alleynian and sponsor of Shackleton’s final Quest Expedition. In retirement, Harding renewed his connection with Dulwich College and, along with Margaret Slythe, then Head of Library and Archives at the school, planned for the return of the James Caird to Dulwich from storage at the National Maritime Museum (following its splendid restoration). In 1989, Harding and Margaret escorted the boat back from Greenwich to Dulwich, hooting triumphantly.
Harding’s Shackleton enthusiasm remained undiminished and he worked assiduously to promote and further Shackleton’s reputation as ‘the greatest leader on God’s earth, bar none.’ He continued to chair the James Caird Society Committee and answer Shackleton questions from countless correspondents until his death in April 2000, aged 91.