June 1921 – the team assemble – Part 1

Frank Wild (48) : Second-in-Command on the Quest, as he was on the Endurance expedition. In 1921 he is a decorated veteran of four Antarctic expeditions and trusted ally of Shackleton. He answers Shackleton’s call and returns from Nyasaland (Malawi), where he has been farming cotton, in partnership with James McIlroy.

Shackleton, John Rowett and Frank Wild on the Quest at Southampton

Frank Worsley (49) – Sailing Master and expedition Hydrographer. New Zealander, Worsley (or “Wuzzles”) had been Captain of Endurance and went with Shackleton on the life-saving trip of the James Caird to South Georgia from Elephant Island. He served during the War in the Royal Naval Reserve and was awarded the DSO. Since the war he has had a business partnership with John Stenhouse.

Alexander Kerr (28) – Chief Engineer. Essex-born Kerr was second Engineer on Endurance, under Lewis Rickinson. After returning from the Endurance expedition, he served in the Royal Navy on minesweepers. He is married to Lilian, with two young children Jack and Eileen. His nickname is “Krasski”.

Douglas Jeffrey (35) – Navigator and Magnetician. Born and raised in Belfast, in 1914, Jeffrey was poised to join the Endurance expedition but withdrew at the last moment and served throughout WW1 in the Royal Navy. In 1921, he is serving in the Royal Naval Reserve.

Dr James A McIlroy (41) – Surgeon and Meterologist. McIroy, an Ulsterman like Jeffrey, is another veteran of the Endurance expedition. He was badly wounded at Ypres during the War. Since the end of the War he has been running a cotton farm in Nyasaland with Frank Wild. He plans to go with Quest as far as Madeira. He’s nicknamed “Mick”.

Dr Alexander Macklin (32) – Surgeon and Quartermaster.

Macklin has been helping Shackleton with planning the present endeavour since early 1920. On 13 June 1921, he arrives at Liverpool on the SS Minnedosa, of the Canadian Pacific Line, from Montreal, where he has been looking to buy sled dogs for the expedition, having been recalled by Shackleton with the decision to go south., “Mack” had served as medical officer, with “Mick” McIlroy, on the Endurance expedition. A Scot, born in India, he learnt to sail in the Scilly Isles. He was awarded the Military Cross for his service in the RAMC in the War.

Dr Leonard Hussey (27) – Meteorologist and Assistant Surgeon. Banjo-playing, cheery, recently-qualified medic and meteorologist, “Huzz” is another veteran of the Endurance expedition. He also served with Shackleton in Russia at the end of WW1.

……..to be continued.