Alexandra Shackleton gives historic memento to teenage adventurer walking in her grandfather’s footsteps
Press Release 3rd Nov 2011
Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of Ernest Shackleton, today gave Amelia Hempleman-Adams a Shackleton coin and photograph of her grandfather to take to the South Pole.
Amelia, 16, is attempting to be the youngest person to reach the South Pole by skiing the final 97 miles with her father, the adventurer David Hempleman-Adams. Later this month they start their expedition from The Farthest South Point which Ernest Shackleton reached on January 9, 1909, before he was forced to turn back.
Said Amelia, “It is a wonderful honour to take this special commemorative Shackleton medal and Alexandra’s favourite photograph of her grandfather. We will keep the coin and photo in a special place in the tent and it will be very moving when we arrive with them at the Pole as finally part of Shackleton will have achieved his goal.”
Amelia and David met Alexandra at the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, where there is an exhibition of Scott and Shackleton photographs and artefacts including the Union Jack flag Shackleton planted at The Farthest Point South at the end of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909.
London-based Alexandra offered Amelia and David her grandfather’s advice on the qualities he looked for in a Polar Explorer.
“My grandfather said that a Polar Explorer should possess these four qualities: optimism, patience, imagination and courage. I think Amelia will do very well as she is a fit and healthy teenager. I believe that women have more powers of endurance than men.”
Alexandra’s other top tip for Amelia was that she should accidentally drop her homework en route.
David was the first Briton to reach the South Pole solo and unsupported in January 1996 when Amelia was just one. He is insisting that his daughter take her homework on the expedition which leaves on November 18. Amelia is studying four AS levels: Mathematics, PE, Geography and Economics.
Said Amelia, who attends Prior Park College in Bath, “Dad wants me to study in the tent so I don’t fall behind my studies. My school has been very supportive and I’ll be planting my school flag when we get to the South Pole along with a Union Jack. It will be a very emotional experience and we will also phone Alexandra to let her know we got there safely with the coin and her grandfather’s photograph.
David, who has taken his two other daughters, Alicia, 21, and Camilla, 19, on major expeditions (Camilla to the North Pole and Alicia to Baffin Island) believes the trip will be a life changing experience and a great father daughter bonding experience.
“Amelia spends a lot of time studying as her sisters did. We wrap teenagers up in cotton wool these days and put a lot of pressure on them to get good grades. I’d like to think that this expedition will teach her more about the real world and give her a truly unique experience.”
Times have changed since Shackleton attempted to reach the South Pole in 1909 although the conditions in Antarctica will be as harsh.
Tel: 01275 375300 or 07976 523530
Notes to Editors
Amelia and David Hempleman-Adams are available for interview.
For more information on David Hempleman-Adams see www.coldclimates.co.uk