Aurora's Damaged Rudder - 1917
The Steam Yacht "Aurora" photographed in dry-dock in 1916 - after her return from the Ross Sea during Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated "Endurance" expedition of 1914-17. Unknown to many, the fate of the "Aurora", which supported the expedition's Ross Sea Party, closely paralleled that of the more famous "Endurance". She, too, became trapped in pack-ice in May 1915. Unlike the Endurance, however, and despite colossal damage wrought by the pressure of tons of ice pressing down upon her, the Aurora survived and, after 10 months of uncertainty, was able to reach civilisation with news of the Ross Sea Party's fate. This photo reveals the full extent of the damage wrought by the tremendous power of the ice floes which, on 21st July 1915, squeezed the 600-ton ship so tightly that her solid oak and iron rudder was snapped like a matchstick. For full details of this harrowing story, see "Ice Captain" by Stephen Haddelsey, available via: www.thehistorypress , www.amazon.co.uk/Ice-Captain-Stenhouse-Antarctic-Navigato... all good bookshops.