22-31 August, 1921

Monday 22 August, 1921

Because of the enormous public and media curiosity, Quest moves from Hay’s Wharf to St Katharine Docks, where she can be more easily and safely viewed by the public.  The Evening News reports a policeman on duty at Hay’s Wharf as saying “I shall be glad when the Quest goes away. It fell to my lot to refuse admittance to all would-be visitors unprovided with permits. In five minutes I denied admittance to: One clergyman, one Italian onion vendor, one French youth with a camera and blue Tam O’Shanter, one old woman with three girls eating apples, and one large cohort of Wolf Cubs. It is no use telling these chaps that Sir Ernest Shackleton has got all the Boy Scouts he wants. They just keep on coming and the smaller they are the more persistence they show. This is getting beyond a joke.”

Quest at St Katharine Docks, August 1921. Frederick Becker’s yacht is berthed alongside. The photograph is taken by George Wilkins.

The Quest continues to attract much public interest, many of Shackleton’s former expedition members come visiting, and recruitment continues.

James Dell (40) – Electrician and Boatswain. Jimmy Dell served as Bosun’s Yeoman on the 1901-04 Discovery expedition under Scott. He has just retired from the Royal Navy, as Chief Petty Officer. He visits Quest at St Katharine Docks and Shackleton persuades him, without much difficulty, to join the expedition.

Walter How (35), Endurance veteran, experienced merchant seaman and talented artist, also goes to see the Quest. Wild and Worsley invite him to sign on, and he does. However, he withdraws when his father dies, just before the Quest’s departure.

Tom McLeod (47), who has extensive Antarctic service both with Scott, on Terra Nova, and with Shackleton, on Endurance, meets Shackleton when visiting Quest at St Katharine Docks. He agrees to accompany Quest on the short leg from London to Plymouth, before returning to his current employment.

Thursday 25 August 1921

Sir Ernest and Lady Shackleton stay the night as guests of the Rowett’s at Ely Place, Frant.