What we do

The James Caird Society was established in l994 and is a registered charity. It is the only institution that exists to preserve the memory, honour the remarkable feats of discovery in the Antarctic and commend the outstanding qualities of leadership associated with the name of Sir Ernest Shackleton, KCVO (l874-l922), especially during the ill-fated but glorious Endurance Expedition.

How Shackleton maintained his men’s morale while stranded for months on the ice and when there seemed no hope of rescue, eventually bringing all of them home safe and sound, is now seen as an achievement unique in the history of exploration.

The Society’s main purpose relates to honouring that achievement and preserving the memory of Sir Ernest’s unique qualities of leadership. We do this through the Newsletter, Journal and our website. In addition members meet twice a year at Dulwich College, Shackleton’s former school and home of the James Caird. Meetings typically consist of a reception around the boat, followed by a talk and three-course dinner. These events are hugely enjoyable and well attended.

A vital part of the Society’s role also includes supporting projects, usually expeditions, which emulate the spirit of Shackleton, in particular of the Endurance Expedition. In the past few years the Society has made donations to a number of such projects deemed to have put Shackleton’s Leadership into Action…

These include:

  • The Shackleton Epic Expedition
  • The restoration of Trevor Potts’ James Caird replica
  • The Exercise Antarctic Endurance Expedition
  • The Fire to Ice Expedition
  • Baz Gray’s two Challenge Antarctica expeditions