Suffolk man's South Pole adventure

THREE descendants of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men have rewritten history after reaching the spot where their forebears abandoned an attempt on the South Pole 100 years ago.

Sam Marsden

THREE descendants of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men have rewritten history after reaching the spot where their forebears abandoned an attempt on the South Pole 100 years ago.

The adventurers - including Suffolk resident Henry Adams - made it to the point yesterday , just 97 miles from the Pole, where Shackleton was forced to turn back on January 9, 1909, in the face of howling icy blizzards and dwindling rations.

Now they hope to achieve what the pioneering explorer could not and finish the 900-mile, 80-day journey.

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Expedition leader Henry Worsley said they were looking forward to completing “unfinished family business” by reaching the Pole.

He added: “The past 57 days have been phenomenally challenging and physically shattering.

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“But to stand at Shackleton's 'furthest South' exactly 100 years later and mark his extraordinary feat of endurance and leadership has motivated all of us.

“It's onwards to the Pole now.”

Mr Worsley, 47, an army officer from Hereford, is a descendant of Shackleton's skipper Frank Worsley.

Suffolk explorer Mr Adams, 33, a shipping lawyer from Badingham, near Framlingham, and father-of-one, is the great grandson of Jameson Adams, Shackleton's number two on the unsuccessful expedition.

Mr Adams father, Tim Adams speaking from his home in Dartmouth, said the whole family were incredibly proud of his achievement.

“When I heard he had achieved his first target I sent him a text message which said something along the lines of 'I know there is no one else on this Earth who has achieved such an epic Antarctic trek as well as your great grandfather.'

“I know Henry was immensely proud of his great grandfather.”

“Their primarily objective was to achieve what Shackleton had achieved exactly 100 years ago. Shackleton and his team made immense sacrifices and this trek is to acknowledge and celebrate these sacrifices.

“And they have achieved this despite being delayed by the weather for 11days. They had an extremely tight timetable to keep.”

Another explorer Will Gow, 35, a city worker from Kent, is related to Shackleton by marriage.

To reach the 97-mile point, the men have had to walk 800 miles across the Antarctica hauling 300lb sledges for up to 10 hours a day in temperatures dropping as low as -52C.

They had hoped to be joined by another three expedition members today for the final push on the Pole, but the second team was delayed due to bad weather.

The combined team of six expect to reach the Pole on around January 20.

Shackleton set out on his Nimrod expedition in October 1908 hoping to become the first person to reach the South Pole.

But he was forced to turn back at the 97-mile mark in the face of almost certain death.

Although Shackleton failed, he travelled further south than anyone else had before, and was hailed a hero and knighted when he returned to the UK.

It was nearly another three years before Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his team became the first people to reach the South Pole in December 1911.

The Matrix Shackleton Centenary Expedition is also being used to launch a �10million Shackleton Foundation, which will fund projects that embody the explorer's spirit and hunger for “calculated risk”.

Wfie, father-of-one, 18-month-old girl.

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