New Shackleton Biography

By Endurance We Conquer by Michael SmithA new biography of Sir Ernest Shackleton has been published: Shackleton – By Endurance We Conquer, by Michael Smith. It has been described as the first comprehensive biography of Shackleton since the 1980s and brings a fresh perspective to a compelling, charismatic and extraordinary man.

Ernest Shackleton is one of history’s great explorers, an extraordinary character who pioneered the path to the South Pole over 100 years ago and became a dominant figure in Antarctic discovery. A charismatic personality, his incredible adventures on four expeditions have captivated generations and inspired a dynamic, modern following in business leadership. None more so than the Endurance mission, where Shackleton’s commanding presence saved the lives of his crew when their ship was crushed by ice and they were turned out on to the savage frozen landscape. But Shackleton was a flawed character whose chaotic private life, marked by romantic affairs, unfulfilled ambitions, overwhelming debts and failed business ventures, contrasted with his celebrity status as a leading explorer.

Drawing on extensive research of original diaries and personal correspondence, Michael Smith’s definitive biography brings a fresh perspective to our understanding of this complex man and the heroic age of polar exploration.

Tim Fright writes about his ‘My Antarctic’ challenge: cycling from London-Geneva

Tim antarctic setting offAs part of the Shackleton Foundation’s My Antarctic campaign I cycled a Brompton bicycle from London to Geneva via Paris last month. This was a solo journey of 650 miles or so (1000km) completed in one week using a Garmin sat nav and Google maps.

I undertook this challenge because navigation has never been my strong point (several friends and colleagues will readily agree to this). Because of this, I was nervous ahead of the start of a) getting lost b) not being able to speak French properly and c) looking foolish in front of friends and colleagues if I did not succeed. In essence the challenge was a fear of the unknown, and a fear of failure. These hurdles however, were smaller than I thought.

Tim antarctic Eiffel Tower

I was outside of my comfort zone, and at first, the challenge seemed a little overwhelming. Breaking the distance down day by day into its constituent parts helped however. As did the support via Twitter of the Shackleton Foundation, Brompton and many other friends and supporters. As the days passed my confidence in my own abilities grew. I was also able to tell when the sat nav was mistakenly suggesting alternative routes (often).

There were several days were thing had gone wrong, or the ups were steeper then the downs. Without those moments however, the satisfaction in completing my challenge would be that much smaller.

Tim Antarctic fieldFinally, I had time on the bike to reflect on what I was doing, and why I was doing it. The Shackleton Foundation has been able to find some incredible people, creating new charitable ventures that are making real differences in peoples lives. The My Antarctic challenge helps us to continue to find more like-minded people to support. If you have any spare change down the back of the sofa please donate. Just as important, however: do you have a challenge that you think you can beat, and raise money for charity? Do it. You’ll be surprised what you can do!


Tim’s My Antarctic Challenge – an update from the road

Shackleton Foundation trustee, Tim Fright, is currently cycling from London to Geneva on a fold-up Brompton bike to raise money for the charity.

Tim Antarctic day 4He has written an update from the road:

“Overall the going’s been good so far and I’ve been lucky enough to see some fantastic parts of the English and French countryside. A few minor mishaps with the sat nav taking me on unpaved roads, closed roads and farm tracks has been deeply frustrating but dinner and bed never fail to make up for the travails of the day!

Right knee a little upset so now the fun begins as the second half is definitely more hilly! Please do keep that sponsorship coming – it is both much appreciated, and going to a very good cause!”

Found out more and donate on Tim’s fundraising page.

Shackleton Trustee sets off on a Brompton bicycle to face his ‘Antarctic’

To mark the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition this year, the Shackleton Foundation is running the My Antarctic campaign. This campaign sees trustees of the Shackleton Foundation face their very own ‘Antarctic’, a personal challenge to overcome, in order to raise money for the charity. So far trustees have posed nude for life drawing classes and spent a night on London’s streets. The next challenge sees Tim Fright cycle from London to Geneva on a fold-up Brompton bicycle later this month. Tim’s journey will be around 700 miles and should (barring minor mishaps and misfortunes) take a little over a week.

tim brompton trainingSpeaking ahead of his challenge, Tim has said “I am ever-so slightly terrified of what lies before me, but grateful for the support of both Brompton, and the Shackleton Foundation.  Over the past few months I’ve expanded my horizons and explored more of the UK by bike. My hope is that more people take up the My Antarctic challenge and do something that pushes their boundaries, expands their horizons, and raises much-needed funds for the Shackleton Foundation to continue its valuable work. #MyAntarctic”

Founded in 2007, by descendants of the original Nimrod expedition, the Shackleton Foundation celebrates the legacy of the great man in a 21st century context.

The Shackleton Foundation provides a unique solution to the varied problems of today’s disadvantaged youth. They do this by providing seed-funding to social entrepreneurs with innovative projects that make a positive impact to the lives of young people. People prepared to take a risk to help others less fortunate themselves – truly in the spirit of Shackleton.

Find out more and donate on Tim’s fundraising page.

25% off Special Edition of South

Friends of the Shackleton Foundation can receive 25% of a special edition of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ‘South’, featuring a foreword by explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Bloomsbury have published this high quality collectors edition of South to commemorate the centenary of the Endurance expedition.

To get your hands on a copy, with 25% off, simply order from and enter South14 at the checkout.

I’ve got my copy!

south bloomsbury2

Shackleton sets sail for the Antarctic 100 years ago today

The Endurance set sail from Plymouth 100 years ago today. The following is an excerpt from South, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s account of the Endurance expedition.

“Towards the end of July all was ready, when suddenly the war clouds darkened over Europe. It had been arranged for the Endurance to proceed to Cowes, to be inspected by His Majesty on the Monday of Cowes week. But on Friday I received a message to say that the King would not be able to go to Cowes. My readers will remember how suddenly came the menace of war. Naturally both my comrades and I were greatly exercised as to the probable outcome of the danger threatening the peace of the world. We sailed from London on Friday, August 1, 1914, and anchored off Southend all Saturday. On Sunday afternoon I took the ship off Margate, growing hourly more anxious as the ever-increasing rumours spread; and on Monday morning I went ashore and read in the morning paper the order for general mobilization.











I immediately went on board and mustered all hands and told them that I proposed to send a telegram to the Admiralty offering the ships, stored, and, if they agreed, our own services to the country in the event of war breaking out. All hands immediately agreed, and I sent off a telegram in which everything was placed at disposal of the Admiralty. We only asked that, in the event of the declaration of the war, the Expedition might be considered as a single unit, so as to preserve its homogeneity. There were enough trained and experiences men amongst us to man a destroyer. Within an hour I received a laconic wire from the Admiralty saying “Proceed.” Within two hours a longer wire came from Mr. Winston Churchill, in which we were thanked for our offer, and saying that the authorities desired that the Expedition, which had the full sanction and support of the Scientific and Geographical Societies, should go on.

So, according to these definite instructions, the Endurance sailed to Plymouth. On Tuesday the King sent for me and handed me the Union Jack to carry on the Expedition. That night, at midnight, the war broke out. On the following Saturday, August 8, the Endurance sailed from Plymouth, obeying the direct orders of the Admiralty.”

Finding “My Antarctic” on a brompton

Tim Fright, Shackleton Trustee, wrote the following article for Cambridge MBA Inside Stories.

On 22nd September 2014 I will cycle a fold-up Brompton bicycle from London to Geneva. I expect the journey to be around 700 miles and should (bearing minor mishaps and misfortunes) take less than ten days. Just one issue-I don’t have much experience in long bike rides and I’m a near-awful navigator.

I am doing this to raise money for the Shackleton Foundation, a charitable foundation who believes that a new generation of charismatic leaders are needed to help solve some of the most difficult problems in society. The Shackleton Foundation gives seed grants of up to £10,000 to inspirational leaders who are creating charitable ventures to help disadvantaged children at risk of falling behind. This year they are running a fundraising campaign “My Antarctic” which is looking for people to challenge themselves to do something that scares them in order to raise money for charity. This cycle to Geneva is my Antarctic.

Tim and brompton

My ten minute cycle from the flat to Cambridge Judge Business School is alas a little too short to classify as a training session. I have however been able to get a few rides out around the Cambridge countryside. As you can see, being in Cambridge the year it hosted the Tour de France stage 3 has meant that there have been even more emphasis on cycling than usual.

Over the next month or two I’ll be getting more miles under my belt and planning the final logistics. I’m aiming for roughly 80 miles a day and will send photos and updates along the way.

The Shackleton Foundation look for people with risk-based projects that are innovative, scalable, and facilitate disadvantaged children reaching their potential. I’ve been a trustee of the charity for the past 7 and a half years and if you have a moment, and are interested in donating I’d be grateful if you could check out the following address.

The Shackleton Foundation welcomes Lorraine Kelly

The Shackleton Foundation is thrilled to announce today (30.6.2014) that Lorraine Kelly is joining as an Ambassador.

lorraine kellyLorraine Kelly is a television presenter and journalist best-known for presenting morning television shows. Lorraine currently presents her self-titled television programme on ITV every week day.

Upon joining the Shackleton Foundation Lorraine said “I am delighted to become a Shackleton Foundation Ambassador. Shackleton has always been my absolute hero. His leadership skills and sheer strength of character led to his astonishing achievement of saving the lives of all his men against all the odds. Inspired by the spirit of Shackleton, the charity improves the lives of disadvantaged young people, which is something I have always been passionate about. I am looking forward to being on board!”

Lorraine joins Anton Oliver to become the Shackleton Foundation’s second ambassador. Anton Oliver is a former All Blacks player and captain, earning 53 caps for his country and playing for 13 years.

Commenting on the appointment Bill Shipton, the Foundation’s chairman, said “I am absolutely delighted that Lorraine Kelly has agreed to be a Shackleton Foundation Ambassador at an important time for us – we are preparing to celebrate the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition to Antarctica which set off in 1914.”

Founded in 2007, by descendants of the original Nimrod expedition, the Shackleton Foundation celebrates the legacy of the great man in a 21st century context.

The Shackleton Foundation provides a unique solution to the varied problems of today’s disadvantaged youth. They do this by providing seed-funding to social entrepreneurs with innovative projects that make a positive impact to the lives of young people. People prepared to take a risk to help others less fortunate themselves – truly in the spirit of Shackleton.



The Shackleton Foundation:

  • seeks to help disadvantaged and socially marginalised young people. It does this by supporting aspiring Leaders and social entrepreneurs who exemplify the spirit of Shackleton with seed-funding to make their ideas a reality. In particular the charity’s trustees, who review applications for potential funding, are looking for leadership, innovation, enterprise, inspiration, ambition, endurance and courage in the applications. Each grant recipient is mentored by a trustee to ensure that their inspirational ideas really will make a significant difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people.
  • likes to support Leaders with high risk, but high potential projects. The Leaders that are awarded funding by the Shackleton Foundation are often considered too risky or too early in the endeavour for other funders, and often struggle to gain funding from traditional sources.

Web: www.

Twitter: @ShackletonF

Facebook: /ShackletonFoundation

For further information please contact

Laura Pedley |

Henry Worsley, Trustee, is interviewed about his expeditions

“Henry Worsley is a superior adventurer, a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army, with his book In Shackleton’s Footsteps: A Return to the Heart of the Antarctic a captivating author and change maker. Being a descendant of Frank Worsley, the skipper and captain of the Endurance, he undertook an extraordinary expedition to follow in the footsteps of his forbears to the heart of the Antarctic. Apart from this he helped set up The Shackleton Foundation which aims to support people who embody the leadership style and spirit of Ernest Shackleton.”

Henry discusses his expeditions, his life in Washington DC, his passion for painting and the Shackleton Foundation.

Click here for the full podcast.




Shackleton Leader, Carina Millstone, celebrates 5th birthday of her project

The Shackleton Foundation gave a Leadership award to Carina Millstone to Launch the London Orchard Project. The project works with community groups across London, mapping, planting, nurturing, restoring, harvesting fruit trees. Through these urban orchards, Carina hoped to strengthen communities, improve well-being and build resilience – this year Carina will plant her 100th orchard in London.

In the past five years The London Orchard Project staff have shared their experiences at conferences across the UK, in Europe and the US, and have had hundreds of activists, community groups and local councils seeking advice, wishing to launch their very own urban community orchards. So, at their fifth birthday party in May 2014 The London Orchard Project re-launched as The Urban Orchard Project.

So, happy birthday to Carina and The London Orchard Project. We are so proud of what you have achieved, and we cannot wait to witness the success of The Urban Orchard Project throughout the country.

orchard 1