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Sir Ernest Shackleton's stirring appeal for men for the AIF

Date: 1917
Overall: 225 x 285 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Alexandra Shackleton
Object Name: Brochure
Object No: 00030101
Place Manufactured:Sydney

User Terms

    This leaflet contains the speech by Sir Ernest Shackleton delivered at a recruiting meeting held in Martin Place, Sydney on 20th March 1917.

    The use of his image and text of Shackleton was to encourage the men of Australia to volunteer for the war service. Shackleton was best known for his Antarctic achievements during the Heroic Age of Exploration and was a famous figure in the British Empire.
    SignificanceThe Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration was held in high esteem throughout the British Empire; this pamphlet uses Sir Ernest Shackleton to recruit men for World War I service based on his exploits and hero status.
    HistorySir Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) achieved fame as an Antarctic explorer. He achieved the furthest south record in 1907 by coming within 200kms of the South Pole before returning to safety. This record stood until the Norwegian team led by Roald Amundsen reached the pole in 1911, closely followed by the ill-fated Robert Scott expedition in 1912.

    Shackleton was a member of several Antarctic expeditions, the first being led by Robert Falcon Scott in 1901 where their relationship became acrimonious. It further deteriorated when Shackleton returned to Antarctica in 1907 in charge of his own expedition and he achieved the furthest south record in 1909. After the death of Scott and his team on his return from the South Pole, Shackleton once again returned to the continent in 1914. His ship was crushed in ice before being able to land the parties and Shackleton undertook the perilously trip from Elephant Island to South Georgia Island in a small open boat to enable the rescue of the rest of the crew. It is believed this trip undermined his health and on yet another expedition to Antarctica in 1922 he suffered a fatal heart attack en route and was buried in South Georgia.

    The recuitment of men to serve in the armed forces was a constant consideration towards the end of the First World War. Two referendums proposed by Prime Minister Billy Hughes to introduce conscription failed in 1916 and 1917. Hence volunteers to go to the war was dampened by the reports of life on the front which reached Australia and the authorities undertook to play on patriotism as encouragement.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Sir Ernest Shackleton's stirring appeal for men for the AIF

    Web title: Sir Ernest Shackleton's appeal

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