Charles Green collection

Scope and Content

The collection comprises of correspondence by Green to Alexander Hepburne Macklin regarding recipes for Antarctic explorers.

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles John Green was born on 24 November 1888 at Richmond, Surrey. He trained in the bakery trade, joining the Merchant Navy as a cook in 1910. Whilst in Buenos Aires he joined the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition [Weddell Sea Party], 1914-1916 (leader Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton), serving as cook on board Endurance. After the ship was crushed in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea, the crew lived for six months on drifting ice until this broke up northeast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Proceeding in three open boats, the party of twenty-eight men reached Elephant Island on 15 April 1916. Throughout the ordeal, Green cheerfully continued to provide hot meals with little equipment. He and his companions were rescued from the island on 30 August 1916.

After the expedition, Green served with the Royal Navy during the First World War, returning to the Merchant Navy on demobilisation in 1919. He was invited to join the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition, 1921-1922 (leader Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton), as cook aboard Quest. On his return, he continued to serve as a cook with the Merchant Navy and developed new skills as a lecturer, giving talks to organisations and schools in Britain and other countries. Retiring from the sea in 1931, he worked at a bakery in Hull. Following service during the Second World War, he continued to give lectures on his experiences in the Antarctic. He died on 26 September 1974 at Beverley.


The correspondence is arranged chronologically.

Access Information

By appointment.

Some materials deposited at the Institute are NOT owned by the Institute. In such cases the archivist will advise about any requirements imposed by the owner. These may include seeking permission to read, extended closure, or other specific conditions.


Anyone wishing to consult material should ensure they note the entire MS reference and the name of the originator.

The term holograph is used when the item is wholly in the handwriting of the author. The term autograph is used when the author has signed the item.

Descriptions compiled by N. Boneham, Assistant Archivist with assistance from R. Stancombe and reference to Robert Keith Headland Antarctic Chronology, unpublished corrected revision of Chronological list of Antarctic expeditions and related historical events, (1 December 2001) Cambridge University Press (1989) ISBN 0521309034 and Visit and learn and 'Charles J. Green' by F. Wilfred White in The Polar Record (May 1978) volume 19 number 119 p192 and Encyclopaedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans ed. Bernard Stonehouse, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2002) ISBN 0471986658 SPRI Library (7) and British polar exploration and research, a historical and medallic record with biographies 1818-1999 by Lieutenant Colonel Neville W. Poulsom and Rear Admiral John A.L. Myres, Savannah Publications, London (2000) SPRI Library Shelf 737.2

Other Finding Aids

Clive Holland Manuscripts in the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England - a catalogue, Garland Publishing New York and London (1982) ISBN 0824093941.

Additional finding aids are available at the Institute.

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Further accessions possible.