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Portrait of Tom Crean

Portrait of Tom Crean



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Scott Polar Research Institute

Scott Polar Research Institute Photo Prints and Wall Art

Portrait of Tom Crean

Photographer:Hurley, Frank (1885-1962)
Location:Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
Expedition:Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-17(Endurance). Leader: Ernest Shackleton
Date: 1915
Portrait of Tom Crean, smoking a pipe

Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, offers excellence in the study of the Arctic and Antarctic

Media ID 10521001

© Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge


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EDITORS COMMENTS
In this evocative black-and-white portrait, Tom Crean, a legendary figure in the annals of Antarctic exploration, is captured in a moment of quiet reflection. Taken during the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-17), led by Sir Ernest Shackleton, this photograph was captured by Frank Hurley in 1915. Crean, clad in a heavy coat and wearing a fur hat, gazes intently off into the distance, a pipe clenched between his teeth. Tom Crean's exploits in Antarctica are nothing short of remarkable. He had previously served as a seaman on Shackleton's Nimrod Expedition (1901-04), during which they made the first successful ascent of Mount Erebus, one of the volcanic peaks in Antarctica. Crean's fortitude and resilience were once again put to the test during the Endurance Expedition, where he endured unimaginable hardships, including the sinking of the ship Endurance and the subsequent struggle for survival on the ice floes. Despite these challenges, Crean's indomitable spirit carried him through. He played a crucial role in the rescue of his comrades, including Shackleton, when they managed to reach Elephant Island in lifeboats. Later, he accompanied Shackleton on the epic journey to South Georgia Island in search of help, a voyage that ultimately saved the entire crew. This portrait of Tom Crean, taken at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, stands as a testament to his unwavering determination and courage in the face of adversity. The pipe, a common prop for explorers of the time, adds an air of contemplation and introspection to the image, making it a poignant reminder of the human spirit's ability to endure even the most extreme conditions.

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