Tom Crean - Arctic Explorer
Tom Crean is one of my all time favorite "heroes of the bowl". Participated on three Antarctic explorations, helped save the lives of 30 men and as you can see... knows how to rock a briar. Crean, was considered one of the toughest men in the Endurance Antarctic expedition lead by Ernest Shackleton. If you have not heard or seen anything about this expedition then I urge you to watch the videos and listen to the stories you'll find below..
(Wikipedia.) Thomas "Tom" Crean (Irish: Tomás Ó Croidheáin; 25 February 1877 – 27 July 1938), was an Irish seaman and Antarctic explorer from Annascaul in County Kerry. He was a member of three major expeditions to Antarctica during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, including Captain Scott's 1911–13 Terra Nova Expedition. This 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 statute miles (56 km) solo walk across the Ross Ice Shelf to save the life of Edward Evans led to him receiving the Albert Medal for Lifesaving.
Crean had left the family farm near Annascaul to enlist in the Royal Navy at the age of 15. In 1901, while serving on Ringarooma in New Zealand, he volunteered to join Scott's 1901–04 Discovery Expedition to Antarctica, thus beginning his exploring career. After his Terra Nova experience, Crean's third and final Antarctic venture was as second officer on Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, on Endurance. After Endurance became beset in the pack ice and sank, Crean and the ship's company spent months drifting on the ice before a journey in boats to Elephant Island. He was a member of the crew which made an open boat journey of 800 nautical miles (1,500 km) from Elephant Island to South Georgia, to seek aid for the stranded party, none of which lost their lives.
Crean's contributions to these expeditions sealed his reputation as a polar explorer, and earned him a total of three Polar medals. After the Endurance expedition, he returned to the navy; 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 pub called the "South Pole Inn", where he lived quietly and unobtrusively until his death in 1938.
More on Tom Crean:
- Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage 1959 by Alfred Lansing
- South, The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition (Free Audio book)