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Tom Crean

Date of Birth:
20 July 1877

Date of Death:
27 July 1938

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Times favorited:

Tom Crean was an Irish seaman and Antarctic explorer, from County Kerry. He enlisted in the British Royal Navy at the age of fifteen as a Boy 2nd class. In 1901, while on naval duty serving as an Able Seaman on HMS Ringarooma in New Zealand, he volunteered to join Robert Falcon Scott's 1901–1904 British National Antarctic Expedition on Discovery, thus beginning a distinguished career as an explorer during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

Crean was on three of the four major British expeditions to Antarctica during this period. After the Discovery Expedition he joined Captain Scott on the 1911–1913 Terra Nova Expedition, in which the race to reach the South Pole was lost to Roald Amundsen, followed by the deaths of Scott and his polar party. During this expedition Crean's 35-mile solo walk across the Ross Ice Shelf to save the life of Edward Evans led to the award of the Albert Medal. His third Antarctic venture was the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition on Endurance led by Ernest Shackleton, in which he served as Second Officer. After the sinking of Endurance he was a participant in the 800-mile open boat journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia, and was one of the party of three which undertook the first land crossing of South Georgia.

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