Archive Letter: ‘Three Sporty Girls’

In early 1914 Sir Ernest Shackleton’s office posted an advertisement worded: Men wanted for hazardous journey. The overwhelming response was not limited to men, but the reply to Shackleton’s office to these ‘three sporty girls’ was one of regret.

  • Words: Pip Harrison

Having secured funding for his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, Sir Ernest Shackleton set about rallying a team to crew his two ships, Endurance and Aurora, for a pincer movement attack on the Antarctic continent. In early 1914, so the story goes, Shackleton posted an advertisement worded: Men wanted for hazardous journey.

Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success. The overwhelming response from volunteers was not limited to men, but the reply from Shackleton’s office to these ‘three sporty girls’ was one of regret, writing that there were no vacancies for the opposite sex on the expedition.

Thanks to University of Cambridge, Scott Polar Research Institute

Article taken from
Articles

Further Reading

The Navy Without a Sea

Bolivia lost its only coastal territory 130 years ago. Yet it still has a fleet which is important both practically and symbolically. Laurence Blair reports on daily life in Bolivia’s landlocked navy.

Wooden Skyscrapers

Experts are proclaiming that wood is the answer to the global housing crisis. Michael Green, arguably the most ambitious and visionary architect working in this medium, explains how it’s possible to recreate the Empire State Building in wood.

Grime & Punishment

At the end of last year Vladimir Putin declared war on Russia’s rappers. Yet hip hop’s obsession with machismo and dominance on the world stage finds inevitable echoes within the political establishment.

Valentina Tereshkova: Factory Worker to Outer Space

At the age of 26, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to have flown in space. Avaunt considers her meteoric rise from textile factory worker to hero of the Soviet Union.

‘We’re on the Road Eternally’

The writer, thinker, and former politician Michael Ignatieff talks about going night-fishing on Tito’s yacht, his friendship with Bruce Chatwin, and the challenges of fighting for democratic freedom in Viktor Orbán’s Hungary.

Rolex Deep Sea Special

In one of the greatest adventures in horological history, Captain Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard took the 1960 Rolex Deep Sea Special 10,916 metres below the sea.
Browse by Category