Richards, Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition [Ross Sea Party]

Scope and Content

  • MS 1537/4/2/1;D Summary account, December 1914 to September 1915, 7 leaves, holograph
  • MS 1537/4/2/2;D Summary account, September 1915 to 18 March 1916 [Sledging party] 17 leaves
  • MS 1537/4/2/3;D Summary account, 23 February 1916 to 19 March 1916 [On the Barrier (Ross Ice Shelf)] 9 leaves
  • MS 1537/4/2/4;D Summary account, 18 March 1916 to 15 July 1916 [Hut Point] 6 leaves

Administrative / Biographical History

This expedition was organised by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton to meet the party from Endurance who were to sledge across the Antarctic from the Weddell Sea.

After visiting Macquarie Island to provision the Commonwealth Meteorological Expedition the Aurora (Captain Mackintosh) sailed to Ross Island. When ice prevented the creation of a base at Cape Crozier the ship continued to Cape Evans where ten men became stranded when on 6 May 1915 Aurora was driven from her moorings in a blizzard. With minimal supplies and equipment the party laid depots towards the Beardmore Glacier for the expected Weddell Sea party. Three men including Captain Mackintosh died between March and May 1916. During the 1916 winter a party of four wintered at Cape Evans while a party of three were at Hut Point.

Aurora (Captained by Stenhouse) drifted for ten months in the Ross Sea before returning to New Zealand. The seven survivors were rescued in January 1917.



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 several archival collections containing material relating to this expedition see SPRI collection GB 015 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, [Ross Sea Party] 1914-1917, for more information.