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Tuesday 5 July, 1921

Ernest Shackleton attends Summer Court Dinner at the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers, where John Quiller Rowett is Master. Note reference to John Rowett’s nickname “Jules”.  In their circles with Shackleton, John Rowett’s wife Ellie is often known as “Julie” to distinguish from Shackleton’s sister Eleanor who is also known as Ellie.

Friday 8 July, 1921

Ernest Shackleton is guest speaker at a garden fete at Sutton Hall, Hounslow, hosted by Frederick Becker. Frederick Becker is a paper magnate who contributed to funds for Shackleton’s 1914-1916 Imperial Transantarctic Expedition and has agreed to make a contribution of £5,000 towards the 1921 expedition.

Shackleton’s comments at the event receive international media attention.

Saturday 9 July, 1921

Boy Scout for The Quest

Shackleton’s nationwide invitation to Scouts for a “handy lad” to apply for a position as Cabin Boy among the crew of the Quest, is published in the Daily Mail. The paper also mounts an essay-writing competition for Scouts, on the title “Why I should like to go with Shackleton”. The fifty best entries will win a trip to London to visit the Quest and meet Shackleton before the departure. This will be the first time a scout has participated in polar exploration and generates huge national and international interest. The sponsorship by the Daily Mail newspaper includes a commitment for a ghost-written book after the expedition.

The idea to involve scouts has come in part from Lady Shackleton’s involvement with the Guides, being District Commissioner for Eastbourne. And by this time Shackleton is already an inspiration to the Scout movement around the world with many troops adopting his name.

In a huge response, there are 1,700 scout applicants for the position of Cabin Boy.

There is some desperation to join Shackleton’s expedition.  

To His Majesty the King,

Dear Sir,

Will you please try and persuade Sir E Shackleton the explorer to take me to the South Pole with him. My parents are agreeable. If I don’t go my life will be wrecked. Oh please do your best. If you succeed please send word quickly. I will live in the coal place if I can only go. I am not joking when I say that.

Yours truly, V Hambling.