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

Up Close: Geothermal

A bird's-eye view reveals the Cerro Prieto Geothermal Field, Mexicali, Mexico - one of the biggest geothermal plants in the world - as it has never been seen before.

Up Close: Ice Fishers

Photographer Aleksey Kondratyev on the generations of Kazakh men who brave temperatures that often reach forty degrees below zero in the hope of catching fish beneath the ice.

A Hundred Hills

Photographer Jack Davison captures a styled journey in the hills of Yr Wyddfa, Snowdon, Snowdonia.

The Legacy of the Gaddafis

To what extent does Libya’s former dictator continue to extend the tentacles of power eight years after his death?

Microsculpture

A technique combining 8,000 images per picture. Photographer Levon Biss reveals insects as never seen before.

Archive Letter: Steve McQueen’s Great Escape Annotations

A request for more ‘importance’ is just one of Steve McQueen’s scribbled demands from producers in the script that went on to seal his reputation.
Browse by Category