Trailhead Review

With over 130 photographs an illustrations, this book is more of a visual account of Tom Crean's life in comparison to Michael Smith's other book - An Unsung Hero, which provides a much more in-depth telling of the story.

This is the inspiring photographic biography of Kerryman Tom Crean who hailed from Annascaul (on the Dingle Way). It chronicles his involvement with three major expeditions to the Antarctic in the early Twentieth Century under Shackleton and Captain Scott.

The story begins in 1893 when the fiercely independent 15 year old, Tom Crean, lies about his age in order to be accepted into the Royal Navy. Just two miles from Annascaul, he boards the ship from off Minard Beach (also on the Dingle Way). It is this adventurous spirit and determination that eventually earns Crean a place on three separate Antarctic expeditions. He serves under Captain Scott on the Discovery and Terra Nova Expeditions, and also under Shackleton on the Endurance Expedition.

It is on the ill-fated Endurance Expedition that Crean plays a pivotal role in one of the greatest heroic tales from that golden age of Antarctic exploration. After the Endurance is crushed by ice, the entire crew row across the Southern Ocean to Elephant Island. Crean is picked to be part of an extremely dangerous rescue mission to raise the alarm at a whaling station in South Georgia. All of the crew miraculously survive the Endurance expedition making it one of the Antarctic's greatest legends.

On his return to Ireland he established the 'South Pole Inn' in Annascaul. Crean lived a quiet life here and rarely spoke of his previous life in the Royal Navy. It wasn't until many years after Crean's death in 1939, that Michael Smith's book finally transformed Tom Crean from being an unsung hero into a recognised icon. The South Pole Inn still exists today and exhibits many photographs from Crean's expeditions. It provides an inspirational stopping point for those walking the Dingle Way.

Book Details
Title Tom Crean - An Illustrated Life
Subtitle Unsung Hero of the Scott and Shackleton Expeditions
Author Michael Smith
Publisher The Collins Press
Edition 1st Edition
Release Date April 2011
Cover Paperback
Printed Pages 168 Pages
Size 23.3cm x 15.7cm x 1.0cm
Postal Weight 420g

Tom Crean - An Illustrated Life

  • Company: Collins Press
  • Product Code: CP TM CREAN ILL
  • Availability: In Stock
  • €12.99

  • Ex Tax: €12.99