Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance - 7 January 2016

Described as ‘The Greatest Survival Story of All Time’ by Sir Edmund Hillary, the Imperial Trans-Antarctic
Expedition led by Ernest Shackleton is regarded as the last of the heroic expeditions of the polar regions.
  The expedition was an attempt to make the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent.

The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition sailed from Plymouth in August 1914, just before the start of the first world war.  By January 1915 the Endurance was trapped in icen , and the crew's fight for survival continued for 16 months. 

Monitor this
page for changes

it's private

powered by

Set of 8 stamps commemorating Shackleton's Endurance expedition.
1st Class
Entering the Antarctic ice
Endurance frozen in pack ice

Striving to free Endurance,
Trapped in a pressure crack

Patience Camp
Safe arrival at Elephant Island

Setting out for South Georgia
Rescue of Endurance crew

From Wikipedia:

Endurance became beset in the ice of the Weddell Sea before reaching Vahsel Bay, and despite efforts to free it, drifted northward, held in the pack ice, throughout the Antarctic winter of 1915. Eventually the ship was crushed and sank, stranding its 28-man complement on the ice. After months spent in makeshift camps as the ice continued its northwards drift, the party took to the lifeboats to reach the inhospitable, uninhabited Elephant Island. Shackleton and five others then made an 800-mile (1,287 km) open-boat journey in the to reach South Georgia using a Thomas Mercer chronometer.

From there, Shackleton was eventually able to mount a rescue of the men waiting on Elephant Island and bring them home without loss of life. On the other side of the continent, the Ross Sea party overcame great hardships to fulfil its mission. Aurora was blown from her moorings during a gale and was unable to return, leaving the shore party marooned without proper supplies or equipment. Nevertheless, the depots were laid, but three lives were lost in the process.

Technical details and details of background images:

The stamps were designed by Robert Maude and Sarah Dsvies and are printed by International Security Printers in lithography.  The 37 x 35 mm stamps are perf 14 x 14.5 in sheets of 30/60 in se-tenant pairs.  

Pioneering photographer Frank Hurley recorded the voyage, and his original glass plates have been used in the stamp design.
Entering the Antarctic ice, Endurance frozen in pack ice, Safe arrival at Elephant Island, Setting out for South Georgia and Rescue of Endurance crew © Royal Geographical Society (with IBG);
Striving to free Endurance, Trapped in a pressure crack and Patience Camp © Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge
Stamp designs© Royal Mail Group Ltd 2016

Products issued, available from Royal Mail: 

Set of 8 stamps  -- First day cover -- Presentation pack -- Stamp cards (set of 8)

Special Postmarks

Postmarks available for the day of issue are shown here.  These postmarks cannot be obtained after the date of issue.  The images shown here may not be to scale. 

Official first day postmark with text as below.
Official Plymouth FD postmark showing map of Antarctica.
Non-pictorial first day postmark,Plymouth.
Shackleton Endurance Cambdirge postmark.

Portrait of Ernest Shackleton on postmark.

Ref FD1601TH Philatelic Bureau Official Postmark "Fortitudine VINCIMUS - By Endurance WE CONQUER"

Ref FD1601PL Plymouth

Ref FD1601NP Plymouth non-pictorial Postmark

Ref L13690 Shackleton Endurance Expedition, UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, Cambridge. Ref L13699
Shackleton and the Endurance Expedition, London SW7
Postmark showing the Endurance.
Postmark showing Endurance on map of Antarctica.
Postmark showing the Endurance.

Ref W13704
Plymouth Devon
Ref N13702
Ernest Road, Birmingham
Shackleton and the Endurance Expedition, London W1

If you would like to be contacted when this page is updated please sign up on the ChangeDetection panel at the top of the page.
If you have any questions, please email us.

NB: all emails will be acknowledged in 1-2 days unless we are away (see home page). If you do not receive an acknowledgement please email us from a different address (eg hotmail, gmail).

This page created 18 December 2015

Keep up to date with our blog
Home Page
Visit our online shop!

Norvic Philatelics, PO Box 119, Dereham, NR20 3YN, GB.
UK Phone: 08450 090939 -- Skype:ian.billings-norvic