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Aboard Endurance | Leading By Example

Margot: In the journal entry below, Orde-Lees comments that he is “afraid” that in the coming winter months, Shackleton will be cold in the Captain’s cabin. His subtext is that the Boss has not taken the most comfortable space for himself. In fact, he has very visibly done the opposite.

This brings to mind, 1st Officer Lionel Greenstreet’s comment on Shackleton,

“Of course the thing I liked most about him was that his first thought was for the men under him. He didn't care if he went without a shirt on his own back so long as the men he was leading had sufficient clothing. He was a wonderful man that way; you felt that the party mattered more than anything else.”

Orde-Lees also finds worthy of comment that his leader “personally laid linoleum” in his new pantry. In other words, his leader isn’t reluctant to roll up his sleeves and work.

March 14, 1915 - Orde-Lees’ Journal

We are all quartered in the hold now except Captain Worsley, Wild, Marston and Tom Crean who are going to convert the wardroom into cubicles and Sir Ernest who is going to reside all by himself far away from everyone, right aft in the Captain's cabin, which he has been sharing with its owner ever since we left Buenos Aires. I am afraid it will be cold for him there.

Yesterday he personally laid linoleum in my new pantry which is that part of the hold that was my stores-issuing room and temporary workshop.

This morning we all had breakfast in the hold and are having all our meals down here in future, starting a new system of meals which I will described later when I have more time.

The “enemy"* presses very hard just now and I grudge the time it takes to write even this scrap.

I have spent all day building a strong table in the pantry. I almost wish someone else had made it so that I could say what an excellent table it is without being accused of egotism.

Days menu: breakfast: Porridge, Liver and Bacon; Luncheon: Seal and Vegetable stew (too thin); Dinner: Roast Seal, Black Currant tart.

*Probably referring to the ice-floes pressing against the ship.

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