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Swanley District Scouts

Scouts mark centenary of Shackleton’s departure

16th September 2021

​Scouts mark centenary of Shackleton’s departure for Antarctica on the River Thames by sailing historic flotilla under Tower Bridge and launch their own Antarctic expedition

Exactly 100-years after Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Quest set sail on the Thames for Antarctica a ten strong team of Scouts and leaders are recreating Shackleton’s departure from London

  • The Scouts will sail a flotilla of half a dozen vessels lead by the historic Lady Daphne under Tower Bridge exactly 100 years after Shackleton’s expedition departed for the Antarctic
  • The Shackleton-Rowett Expedition of 1921-1922 included two Scouts: James Marr and Norman Mooney. On 1st January 2022 the team of ten scouts and their leaders will follow in Marr and Mooney’s footsteps and depart from South America for Antarctica.


17th September 2021 - A team of ten Scouts will officially launch their Antarctic Research Project – ReQuest2021 - in London on board the 100-year-old Thames barge called the Lady Daphne.
The Lady Daphne will lead a flotilla of half-a-dozen Scout boats from Greenwich and then under Tower Bridge - which will open its famous bridge spans – into the Pool of London to mark the launch of the Scout’s ReQuest2021, Antarctic Research Project.

The team of Scouts on board Lady Daphne have been hand-picked for their personal research projects on topics spanning climate change, the arts and science.

One experiment the team will undertake is to study the Krill population of the region which is a basic component of the Antarctic food chain. To do this the team has using the same style of Nansen Nets as originally used by Marr in his experiments conducted 100 years ago. The data collected in 2021 will be compared to the data collected in 1921 and real time information will be gained on the health of the Antarctic waters.

Launching ReQuest2021 is the Honourable Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of Sir Ernest Shackleton, said:
“I am enormously impressed by the attitude, dedication and attention to detail that these ten members of Scouting have shown. It will be a truly life-changing experience for each and every one of them. I am very much looking forward to learning more about their individual projects and how we can work together to educate more people around the world about the need to protect our fragile polar ecosystem.”

The 23-day expedition will begin on 1st January 2022 with the 2000km+ voyage on board Bark Europa from Ushuaia, Argentina, crossing the infamous Drake Passage, to the Antarctic Peninsula which the Scouts will be exploring for two weeks.

Whilst in Antarctica, as well as working on their projects, the team will get to help crew the tall ship and to visit the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust base of Port Lockroy. They will also make a number of landings to study wildlife and carry out some ice trekking through dramatic scenery.

Lucy Morgan from Kent Scouts said:
“A key part of this expedition is to help educate young people about the impacts of climate change. We are also encouraging them to take their own climate action to protect Antarctica and other at-risk areas. So far we have used a mixture of online and face-to-face activities to reach over 1,000 young people. We are hoping to reach even more across Kent and the UK before our expedition departs. This is an urgent issue and we must act now to minimise losses for future generations.”

Expedition leader, Alan Noake, said:
“Antarctica is the ultimate destination to give our young people a sense of adventure. Our project aim is to develop their skills for life as ambassadors of peace, environment and heritage for this fragile world location.”

Dwayne Fields – Naturalist and Polar Explorer said:
"Recreating expeditions like Shackleton’s classic 1921 journey gives Scouts from 2021 a real way to experience what those Polar pioneers must have experienced 100 years ago. Being inspired by Shackleton and some of the other greats from our past as well as sharing some of the same experiences that Shackleton’s team did back in 1921 helps shine a modern light on climate change issues which is the greatest challenge of our times. It’s important to see the Scouts doing their bit to tackle this issue."


For more information, please contact simon.carter@scouts.org.uk 07889 130812


Lower Grange Farm Working Party
31st October 2021, 9:15 - 15:30

The next working party at Lower Grange Farm is on Sunday 31st October (the published date has changed!). Come along from 9.15am until 3.30pm ish and...

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