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Kerryman Tom Crean, Hero of the Royal Navy

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  • Kerryman Tom Crean, Hero of the Royal Navy

    I came across this article today in February's edition of Navy News:

    Heroes of the Royal Navy, No.46

    The Tragdey in Antartica in the austral summer of 1911 -12 could have been even greater had it not been for the fortitude of two senior ratings, Hampshireman William Lashley and Tom Crean from County Kerry.

    Either man might have shaped the fate of Scott had he chosen them, not PO Evans for the final slog to the Pole. Instead, they turned about around 180 miles from the southernmost point on the globe, accompanying Scott's deputy Lt 'Teddy ' Evans back to base camp.

    Crean, typically stoical, unflappable, wept at the decision to turn back; Scott noted in his diary. They nevertheless gave three hearty cheers for the five men no one would ever see alive again. The trio's journey was no less fraught with danager, bad weather and ill luck.

    Lt Evans began increasingly to suffer from the effects of scurvy, finally with still 83 miles to go to the nearest refuge hut, Evans urged his comrades to abandon him to an icy grave and save themselves.

    Both senior ratings refused. Instead, for the next four days, they hauled Evans across the snow on a sledge for almost 50 miles. At this point , the party split. Crean went on alone to raise help, while Lashley remained behind to care for the Officer.

    In a march 18 hours long, Crean reached the hut where he found the expidition surgeon and two dog teams, which immediatley set off for Lashley & Evans and carried them to saftey.

    Both ratings were awarded the Albert Medal for their gallant conduct which undoubtedly saved the life of Lt Evans.

    Tom Crean took part in the search for Scott's party and buried them. After service in WW1, he left the Royal Navy and returned to Kerry.

    In time, the rescue of Lt Evans would be hailed as " the finest feat of individual heroism from the entire age of exploration " .

  • #2
    Go and see Aidan Dooleys' one-man play about Tom Crean.It's an absolute masterpiece.Two hours, thereabouts, of an intense, single-handed account of the great man.
    regards
    GttC

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    • #3
      Originally posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
      Go and see Aidan Dooleys' one-man play about Tom Crean.It's an absolute masterpiece.Two hours, thereabouts, of an intense, single-handed account of the great man.
      regards
      GttC
      It was indeed an astonishing feat that Tom Creen had gone through and indeed he was an amazing man. It is sad that some elements in Irish and English society took so long to acknowledge him for his achievements. From the early English point of view he was just a 'paddy' and from the Irish view, he went to the Crown forces, nothing short of a traitor in some circles, even within his own home town. So much so, that it was some years before it was spoken about in public in Kerry.

      But as time moved on and old hardened views mellowed, he was revealed as a most extraordinary, compassioned and dedicated person to his fellow man regardless of the culture or nationality of the people with whom he found himself with.


      He set an example which would be most applicable today, for some sections of society that would be in conflict due to intolerance or indifference!

      A true legacy left.


      Comment


      • #4
        A brave man is a brave man, regardless of which side of the fence he stands

        and with all due respect deserves to be remembered.

        As long as his deeds are remembered and spoken about he will not be forgotten.

        May he Rest In Peace.

        Connaught Stranger

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