Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874-1922)
A White Ensign from the Quest, , 67 x 127cm. (small tear to lower margin, some old dampstaining). Mounted in a varnished mahogany frame with stained pine backing, glazed, the frame with applied brass plaque 'Presented to the Members of the/Royal Portsmouth Corinthian Yacht Club, Portsmouth/by Lieutenant Commander Douglas C Jeffery D.S.O., R.N.R., November 1922./This White Ensign was flown on R.Y.S. Quest during her cruise to Antarctic/under the command of Sir Ernest H. Shackleton, C.V.O./17th Sept. 1921 to 12th Sept. 1922'
Provenance: Lieutenant Commander Douglas Jeffery (navigating officer on board the Quest, presented to:); Royal Portsmouth Corinthian Yacht Club.
Douglas Jeffery had signed up in 1914 as Chief Officer on board the Endurance, but, on the eve of her departure for the south, war was declared. Jeffery took the decision that he could not sail and stayed ashore when the Endurance put in to Plymouth: he joined up and served with distinction in the war (he was awarded the D.S.O.). Seven years later Jeffery seized his chance to once again serve under Shackleton and was appointed navigating officer aboard the Quest. The main intention of the expedition was to circumnavigate the Antarctic continent, filling in the remaining blanks on the maps, and looking for 'lost' islands. Things did not go well with the Quest from the outset. Shackleton was clearly unwell, and it was not until they were off South Georgia on the 4 January 1922 that Jeffery felt able to write in his diary that the 'Boss' was 'more like himself than he has been so far this trip', that he was 'more like the Shacks I knew in 1914'. He died the following day.