Published 20th January 2022

Sir Ernest Shackleton

As part of a regular series on the meaning of place-names in the Territory, this latest edition focuses on Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Antarctic place names map
Credit: British Antarctic Survey

5 January 2022 marked the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s death.  The explorer has been commemorated in place-names across South Georgia and the Antarctic; there are over 250 either associated with Shackleton himself or related to his expeditions.

Many place-names in South Georgia honour Shackleton and the famous crossing of 1916, where Shackleton, Thomas Crean and Frank Worsley travelled from King Haakon Bay to Stromness Bay in the first crossing of the interior of South Georgia, to save their remaining crew trapped on Elephant Island
after their ship was crushed by sea ice.

The team started their crossing in what is now known as Shackleton Gap, and ended their traverse at Shackleton Valley where they made contact with those at Stromness whaling station. Features along their route are named after the expedition, such as Compass Glacier, after Frank Worsley’s compass, Crean Glacier, Worsley Beach and Nineteen-Sixteen Snowfield.

For information about British Antarctic Territory place-names and guidelines on how to submit new proposals, visit the Committee website.


With thanks to the British Antarctic Survey for the image and text.