Royal Mail Stamps guide: Endurance Expedition - 7 January 2016


07 January 2016
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Stamps featuring the Endurance expedition of 1914-16, as told through historic photographs from the adventure, chart the quest of Ernest Shackleton and his crew to became the first to cross Antarctica

Described by Sir Edmund Hillary as ‘the greatest survival story of all time’ the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-16 has all the ingredients of a Boy’s Own adventure story, with exploration over frozen wastelands, heroic feats of endurance on land and sea, and an exciting rescue of the last survivors.

Royal Mail’s tribute to the Endurance expedition marks the centenary of the rescue of the last members of the ship’s crew, some two years after they had left Plymouth on an exciting quest to become the first to cross Antarctica.

The eight stamps, featuring images by pioneering photographer Frank Hurley, record the harsh reality of the expedition and the conditions the crew had to endure before they were finally rescued.

The expedition leader was Ernest Shackleton, an Ireland-born adventurer who was aged forty when the voyage began, a veteran of polar expeditions including the Discovery and Nimrod trips.

Shackleton received more than 5,000 applications to join the Endurance expedition, which had received widespread publicity during the adventurer’s quest to raise funds.

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The final crew of 28 included scientists, a geologist, meteorologist, two surgeons, and photographer Frank Hurley, whose historic images are featured on the eight special stamps.

Edurance Expedition
Issue date: 7 January, 2016
Design: Robert Maude and Sarah Davies
Printer: International Security Printers
Print process: Lithography
Perforations: 14 x 14.5
1st – Entering the Antarctic, December 1914
1st – Endurance frozen in pack ice
£1 – Striving to free Endurance, February 1915
£1 – Trapped in a pressure crack, October 1915
£1.33 – Patience camp, December 1915 to April 1916
£1.33 – Save arrival at Elephant Island, April 1916
£1.52 – Setting out for South Georgia, April 1916
£1.52 – Rescue of Endurance crew, August 1916