Henry [Harry] McNish was born on 11 September 1874 at Port Glasgow, Scotland.
McNish was selected as carpenter for the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition [Weddell Sea Party], 1914-1917 (leader Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton). After Endurance was crushed in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea 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, 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.
After the expedition, McNish joined the New Zealand Shipping company, eventually settling in Wellington. Retiring due to ill health, he died on 24 September 1930 in Wellington Hospital, New Zealand, and was buried with full Naval honours.