The Collection

Your selection

Title

Record details:

Description Epitaph to three officers who died on Shackleton's 1914-17 expedition, recovered from McMurdo Sound by Rear Admiral R. H. Cruzen U.S. Navy in 1947. A copper tube made of soldered sheet, the top turned over a wire ring, the bottom solid.

It contained a folded piece of lined paper inscribed: 'JIAE / 1914-1917 / Sacred to the memory / of / Lieut. Aeneas Lionel A Mackintosh RNR, / V G Hayward / and / the Rev A. P. Spencer Smith BA / perished in the service of the expedition / Things done for gain are nought / But great things done endure / I ever was a fighter, so one fight more / The best and the last / I should hate that death bandaged / my eyes and bid me creep past / Let me pay in a minute life's / glad arrears of pain darkness and cold'.

The epitaph includes Shackleton's version of lines by A C Swinburne 'Things gained are gone, but great things done endure', taken from his poem Atalanta in Calydon. The majority of the epitaph is paraphrased lines from 'Prospice' by Robert Browning, one of Shackleton's favourite poets : 'I was ever a fighter, so one fight more,/ The best and the last! / I would hate that death bandaged my eyes and forbore, / And bade me creep past [...] in a minute pay glad life's arrears / Of pain, darkness and cold..'
Date made 1917

Finding Reference AAA4270
Creator
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Hierarchy
Materials copper; paper;
Extent Overall: 155 x 43 mm
Help us

Do you know more about this?

Share your knowledge