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Reiver 2 Ballad of Tom Crean (26) RE: Ballad of Tom Crean 14 Jun 10


Tom Crean is one of my "heroes." He played a key role in Ernest Shackleron's Antarctic Voyage in the Endurance in 1914. He had also been a member of Robert Scott's attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole and several other exploring expeditions. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Tom Crean:

"Thomas Crean (20 July 1877 – 27 July 1938) was an Irish seaman and Antarctic explorer from County Kerry. He was a member of three of the four major British expeditions to Antarctica during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, including Robert Falcon Scott's 1911–13 Terra Nova Expedition, which saw the race to reach the South Pole lost to Roald Amundsen and ended in the deaths of Scott and his polar party. During this expedition Crean's 35-mile (56 km) solo walk across the Ross Ice Shelf to save the life of Edward Evans led to him receiving the Albert Medal.

Crean had left the family farm near Annascaul to enlist in the British Royal Navy at the age of 15. In 1901, while serving on HMS Ringarooma in New Zealand, he volunteered to join Scott's 1901–04 British National Antarctic Expedition on Discovery, thus beginning his exploring career. After his return with the Terra Nova, Crean's third and final Antarctic venture was the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition on Endurance led by Ernest Shackleton, in which he served as Second Officer. After Endurance became beset in the pack ice and sank, he was a participant in a dramatic series of events including months spent drifting on the ice, a journey in lifeboats to Elephant Island, and an open boat journey of 800 nautical miles (920 statute miles, 1,500 km) from Elephant Island to South Georgia.[1] Upon reaching South Georgia, Crean was one of the party of three which undertook the first land crossing of the island, without maps or proper mountaineering equipment, to get aid.

Crean's contributions to these expeditions sealed his reputation as a tough and dependable polar traveller, and earned him a total of three Polar Medals. After the Endurance expedition he returned to the Navy, and when his naval career ended in 1920 he moved back to County Kerry. In his home town of Annascaul, Crean and his wife Ellen opened a public house called the "South Pole Inn". He lived there quietly and unobtrusively until his death in 1938."

If you are related, mg, you can take great pride in that fact. Heck, you can take great pride in just having a link to that name! After Crean retired from exploring and as the Wikipedia article notes, he and his wife opened a pub in his home town of Annascaul on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry. After his death two of his daughters continued to operate the pub, but I'm not sure if they are still living. The next trip my wife and I make to Ireland, visiting Annascaul and the South Pole pub, is a MUST for us. To me, Tom Crean is a genuine hero. If you go to Wikipedia [search for Tom Crean, explorer] there is a good deal of information about all of his many expeditions. I'm thrilled to find that there is a Ballad of Tom Crean. I'm going to listen to it now!

Reiver 2


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