Orde-Lees, Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition [Weddell Sea Party]

Scope and Content

  • MS 1652;BJ Diary, 8 August 1914 to 30 August 1916 [Missing pages 27 October 1915 to 29 April 1916] 1 volume, typescript
  • MS 1605/5/1;[Boxed] Diary, 1 December 1914 to 30 June 1915 [Possible manuscript for book about the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1916] 1 volume, typescript
  • MS 1605/5/2;[Boxed] Diary, 1 July 1915 to 31 December 1915 to 30 June 1915 [Pages 411 to 703] 1 volume, typescript
  • MS 967/1-2;BJ Diaries (2), 24 October 1915 2 September 1916 [Red diary includes miscellaneous notes and diary entries for 24 to 30 October 1915, 22 to 31 December 1915 and 1 August to 2 September 1916. The green diary includes miscellaneous notes on stores and diary entries for 11 April to 31 July 19116] 2 volumes
  • MS 1605/5/3;[Boxed] Diary, 1 January 1916 to 17 April 1916 [Pages 1 to 173, Cape Wild pages 174 to 176] typescript
  • MS 1537/3/3;[Boxed] Diary, 19 April 1916 to 10 July 1916 [Possibly was written by Orde-Lees after 1916 with the intention of publishing. The earlier chapters of the diary, pages 101 - 900, are filed in documents MS 1605/5/1-3;D] annotated typescript
  • MS 967/3/1-11;D Miscellaneous notes, 1916 to [1917] [Found loose within the diaries including menu at Elephant Island, stores list] 16 leaves
  • MS 293;D 'Beset by berg and flow, the story of Shackleton's Trans-Antarctic Expedition, as told by one of his men' [Unfinished draft account of the expedition] 44 leaves, typescript

Administrative / Biographical History

The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, [Weddell Sea Party] 1914-1916 (leader Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton) set out to cross the Antarctic continent. When Endurance was beset this goal was abandoned. The ship drifted for ten months before being crushed in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea and sinking in 1915. The entire company spent five months on the ice before escaping in the three lifeboats to Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands. Two of the life boats were made into a shelter for the company while Shackleton, Thomas Crean, Frank Worsley, Timothy McCarthy, Harold McNish and John Vincent sailed 1450Km to South Georgia in the James Caird. Arriving at South Georgia Shackleton, Crean and Worsley made the first major trek across the island to the whaling station at Stromness. The steam tug Yelcho rescued the men on Elephant island in August 1916.



Alternative Form Available

A transcript of MS 967/2;BJ is available. (MS 967/2;D)

Related Material

The Scott Polar Research Institute holds a number of photographs, film and other illustrative material in the Picture Library, some of which covers this expedition. The catalogue can be searched on line by going to the Picture Library Database and selecting the Enter Polar Pictures link.

The Institute holds over thirty archival collections containing material relating to this expedition see SPRI collection GB 015 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, [Weddell Sea Party] 1914-1916, for more information.