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Book about Tom Crean

While visiting Ireland, we learned about Tom Crean, who grew up in Anascaul, on the Dingle Peninsula, and served on early 20th century missions of Antarctic exploration. I picked up a copy of 'An Unsung Hero: Tom Crean - Antarctic Survivor', by Michael Smith. Just.... Wow.

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2556 posts

When he retired from the Royal Navy he opened a pub in Anascaul call the South Pole Inn, which is still there. Don't know if it's still owned by the family but it's a cozy little place with lots of memorabilia about his career in general and about his arctic explorations in particular. They serve a terrific pint of Guinness too. Worth a stop if you're in the area.

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409 posts

I was there two weeks ago - it's still there and owned by the family!

My husband taught a red-headed Crean.... He was a great nephew of the great man himself! And there's a one-man stage play you can often catch around County Kerry that is fantastic! And an exhibit at the Kerry Museum in Tralee on him and the expedition that is reallly, really worthwhile. Also has an exhibit on Roger Casement - if you're into history, that 's a good story, too....

Expat in Waterville

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2158 posts

Hi again, Susan! Thanks for the great info. I've had thoughts of spending a couple of nights in Anascaul...

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290 posts

I read a book about the voyage of the Endurance on which Crean had served. The work is entitled The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition. Author Caroline Alexander is a writer for National Geographic.

The book gives a comprehensive overview of the incredible voyage and the almost unlikely story of survival. Included in the work are hundreds of Frank Hurley's superb photographs, which look like they were taken yesterday, rather than more than a century ago. Hurley was a photographer on the voyage, documenting virtually every step of the Endurance's arduous journey. The work looks like a coffee table book, but don't let that dissuade you from reading it. It is well-written, comprehensive and worth reading.

Crean's story has spawned multiple books, such as the Smith work you note, as well as others.

The Endurance story has inspired a museum exhibit. I saw it here in Chicago at the Field Museum a decade or so ago. The exhibit probably still tours. Keep an eye out for it, as it's worth seeing.

I have visited the South Pole Inn three times, including once in 2010, when I walked 100 miles of the Dingle Way trail. If you are in the mood to follow Crean's example and be adventurous, consider walking it, too. Here is some information:

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2158 posts

Thanks for the book recommendation, Craig - I'll keep an eye out for it. Thanks also for mentioning the Dingle way. I would like to hike some of it.